There’s a man emerging without the adornment of position, entourage or credentials. How daunting to stand tall, naked of the uniform that defined you for years. What courage it takes to make the declaration of emergence, knowing that people will watch and judge.
The man sees the valley beyond and it has people who offer to make him feel welcome and comfortable and there is a hand outstretched. He stands tentatively, having climbed to his present spot of unsure footing and wonders what is next.
He sees himself in the clear mountain stream. He is whole, sturdy, ready for the rest of the trip. He is not undefiled. He has dents and welts and scars, but he is strong and able.
He looks up at what it will take to get to the next step. The valley looks so inviting, bathed in warmth and the light of friendship, solace and understanding. It represent the rest of his life . . . and it provides the opportunity to reach out and touch the face of God.
Welcome home, soldier.