X is a young 25-year-old Syrian Christian. For the past 5 years, this handsome and intelligent young man has been doing compulsory military service to defend his people; but life indeed sometimes makes you do things you do not want to do.
He came to us wearing his military uniform, with a beautiful smile and shining eyes. After dinner with the whole focolare, he told me, face to face, how he lives each day on the front, where one can meet death at any moment. At one point, he looked straight into my eyes and said, "I‘m not afraid to die, because Jesus died for us. ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done‘." I was deeply moved, and I say to myself: this is Christian faith, this is our faith; whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life. What a testimony! My God! He told me that, every day, before making any step, he thinks, "but by doing this, how many could die; I feel that God guides me." "I do not care what we eat—the young man continued—, what we drink (although knowing that we eat poorly), or even if it is cold; the important thing is that we are all good inside, because we have faith and our trust in Jesus is great. One day we will return home to be with our families, with our heads held high, with the hope that this disaster that has fallen on us and on our people will end. It seems that God is trying our faith in Him and in eternal life, by making us live many virtues such as patience and perseverance; we hope that, in every difficulty that is added in front of us, our faith will be strengthened, and so we can overcome evil." I cannot hide that I hardly slept that night, but thought about him and the absurdity of war. The next morning, I woke up with a thought: the world should know that being a Christian also costs lives, but that faith brings people to bear witness in spite of death. May God listen to us and this war end soon. Let us raise our hands, praying and crying: We want peace; we want to live without war.