Despite the intense heat, it was another beautiful day in central Iraq. The sky was devoid of clouds and blue as Army Captain Louise Carpenter, an engineer commander, took in the beauty of Baghdad. Captain Carpenter and her engineers had spent two days removing debris from the Tigris River to make it navigable for the many Iraqis whose living depended upon this river. Though working, the unit could observe the rows and rows of ancient buildings, lush gardens and open markets where friendly businessmen sold any buyers fresh bread, delicious gyro sandwiches, and bright colored fresh fruits of many kinds. As Captain Carpenter completed the unit’s mission, everyone watched and marveled at the sun’s slow descent over a local mosque’s tower as Iraqis were called to prayer.
A few steps in front of the mosque appeared to be a small cemetery that caught Captain’s Carpenter’s attention. Not knowing the local customs with regards to visiting a burial site, she could only speculate as to what the site actually was. However, it did appear to be a cemetery. The picturesque artwork, beautiful buildings, colorful flowers and free flowing water works were absolutely impressive! For this reason, she believed the place a sacred area. Captain Carpenter observed what appeared to be a figure that rendered a prayerful posture honoring those who had died—a place of serenity and peace during a time of destruction and war.
Captain Carpenter, though observing all of these things, did not feel a sense of sadness, feel threatened or that death was eminent. Rather, she found her unsponsored tour strangely comforting in the “cradle of western civilization”.
“Today, I am alive and here in the land of Abraham’s birth. In this land, God came to him with the promise of a great, wonderful nation,” she thought. At that moment, the sky turned a reddish-orange in color amidst the blue as the sun sat on another day.
Now back in their base camp, Captain Carpenter, now in the silence of her barracks room reflected, “What was God telling me in the land of Abraham’s birth? Why were (was) we (I) given an opportunity to see the beauty of Baghdad? Maybe sometime in the future, perhaps a person from another nation will float down the Potomac River past Washington, D.C. to reminisce about the life I and other Americans lived in during the 21st century and before. But on this day, He has given me life and this day to reflect upon His beauty of this land and the life He has given me. Perhaps I am to write about my reflections.
As Captain Carpenter fell asleep, she believed she was afforded a Divine revelation about His promise, the magnificent world He gave her and others to live and journey in though war, pain, suffering and uncertainty exist as challenges.