The pen is mightier than the sword unless some barbarian is trying to lop off your head. At that point, a sword is mightier until the threat is neutralized.
This morning, a respected friend of mine posted the following: “AP reported last night Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the U.S. government but turned down the offer. An American official tells me Zelenskyy said, ‘The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.’”
When the dust of a conflict finally settles, a pen can then be used to offer our reasons for using a sword. It can also craft a warning for those in a future context why after experiencing the pain of a life and death conflict that using a pen is always a preferable first choice until the barbarians arrive.
If young David had a choice, he would have used a pen to write an appeal to his brothers and the nation of Israel not succumb to the threats of Goliath and the Philistine army. In that encounter, the time for a pen had passed and a stone in the forehead of Goliath was what turned the tide, not a well-penned appeal to an unyielding barbarian.
Some of our understanding of reality in matters of faith has been constructed within the insulated halls of religious academia or in coffee shop bible studies where no real life and death threat is approaching our table of discussion. We are in a moment of history when the harsh realities of life will redefine some aspects of our faith as we move through the blood and grit of physical and spiritual conflict.