Marian Wright EdelmanOp-EdOpinion

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Persevere

The past few months have been a very difficult time for so many of us. I repeat here this “Request for Transfer” by an unknown author that has gotten me through some dark times when I’ve wanted to give up. I wanted to share it to help keep spurring us forward today:

“Request for Transfer”

To: Commander-in-Chief

From: Battlefield Soldier

Subject: Request for Transfer

Dear Lord,

I’m writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons:

I began my career as a private, but because of the intensity of the battle, You quickly moved me up in the ranks. You made me an officer and gave me a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I’m constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems.

You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private. I realize that You promised to supply all I would need for the battle. But sir, I must present You a realistic picture of my equipment. My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and blood of those I have tried to help. The soles of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist and encourage the troops.

My weapons are marred, tarnished, and chipped from constant battle against the enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.

You promised You would be with me throughout the war, but when the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear You. I feel so alone. I’m tired. I’m discouraged. I have battle fatigue.

I’d never ask for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I’ll file papers or clean latrines. Just get me out of the battle — please, sir.

Your faithful, but tired, soldier,

John/Jane Q. Servant

——————-

To: Faithful but Tired Soldier

From: Commander-in-Chief

Subject: Request for Transfer

Dear Soldier:

Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present My reasons:

You are needed in the battle. I have selected you, and I gave My word to supply your need. You do not need a demotion and transfer. (You’d never cut it on latrine duty.) You need a period of “R and R” — renewal and rekindling. I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there, and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and make all things new.

You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuries. I will heal you. You have been weakened in the battle. I will strengthen you, and I will be your strength. I will instill in you confidence and ability. My Words will rekindle within you a renewed love, zeal, and enthusiasm.

Report to Me tattered and empty. I will refill you.

Compassionately,
Your Commander-in-Chief, God

Marian Wright Edelman is the founder and president emerita of Children’s Defense Fund.

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