The ‘Invisible Hand’ Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 February 2017
By Chaplain (Maj.) Damon Saxton
Special to GUIDON

December 2006, I was deployed to Iraq.  Some of our Soldiers had just experienced an indirect fire attack.

I traveled with the brigade command team to visit the Soldiers and provide support.One of them had gone in the bathroom to shave and shower when just a couple minutes later, a mortar struck just a few feet from the building and tore it up. All the mirrors and sinks were shattered.There were barely a few inches between holes from the shrapnel. It seemed impossible anyone in there could have survived, but the Soldier had survived.

The Soldier took me to the bathroom where this happened and told me normally he would shave and then shower. That morning, he inexplicably changed his routine and showered first. The shower end of the building was partially shielded by a concrete barrier and he was in the shielded area.

Just a short time before that, two female Soldiers who were roommates, decided to rearrange their room one day. That night, while they were in bed, a mortar came through their roof, went through one of their wall lockers, and through the floor without exploding. Had the Soldiers not rearranged their room, the mortar would have gone right where the head of one the Soldiers would have been. I could continue with many more such  accounts.

You often hear people call accounts like these coincidences. How many coincidences do we experience before we start to believe there is an unseen presence and power working in our lives?

On Monday, we celebrate George Washington’s birthday. He often remarked on “the ‘Invisible Hand’ which conducts the affairs of men.” He believed in a divine presence that helped win, arguably, the most important war in our country’s history. This “Invisible Hand” is not just there for the big lifesaving or history-changing events, it is here for our daily affairs. We all have times when we were at the right place at the right time, when we called a friend and found out they really needed to talk, when we knew just what to say or do to salvage our relationship.

 How many more times would the “Invisible Hand” be there for us if we just ask? When times are uncertain; when things get tough, reach out and grasp the “Invisible Hand.”

(Editor’s note: Saxton is the 14th Military Police Brigade chaplain. This article was adapted from music and the spoken work, “The Invisible Hand of God” from Jan. 21, 2001.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 March 2017 )