This week I’m hosting Katy Lee with Warning Signs (US only) and Myra Johnson withWhen the Clouds Roll By (outside US an ebook version). If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The drawings end Sunday (Oct. 5th) evening.
1. Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Many might consider my war service interesting, although it’s a time in my life I’d just as soon forget. I always thought I’d be a parish minister, but when President Wilson began sending our boys to France to fight in the Great War, I felt God’s call on my heart to serve with them and bring whatever spiritual comfort and assurance I could.
2. What do you do for fun?
After serving in the war, “fun” seems such a frivolous pursuit. I have spent many long months struggling past the horrors I saw over there. These days I take great pleasure in simply being alive, in walking the streets of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and spending whatever stolen moments I can with the beautiful Annemarie Kendall.
3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Talking about the war, most definitely. Only someone who’s been there can possibly understand. I’d much rather put it behind me and look toward the future. Except . . . certain things must be faced before one can heal. I’m praying for the strength to confront my demons and become whole and free again.
4. What are you afraid of most in life?
That the memories of war will haunt me until the day I die.
5. What do you want out of life?
Peace. Contentment. Family. A lifetime to spend with the woman I love. Maybe someday I’ll leave the chaplaincy and pastor a small congregation somewhere, but that remains to be seen. Right now, I feel I’m needed at the Army and Navy Hospital in Hot Springs. Besides, being here keeps me close to Annemarie.
6. What is the most important thing to you?
Faith in the Lord is my greatest treasure. Though my faith was severely tested during wartime, I’m striving every day to continue leaning on Christ and to trust in His forgiveness.
7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
The Bible is far and above my favorite book. The Twenty-third Psalm sustained me through many dark days. I am also inspired by the writings of St. Augustine, John Wesley, and Martin Luther. Luther’s assertion that we are saved by grace, not by works, remains a continual comfort to me.
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would erase one fateful day from my life, the day that nearly destroyed my faith and caused me to fear I had moved eternally beyond the reach of God’s grace.
9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Serving as an army chaplain isn’t conducive to having a pet. However, I remember fondly the stray dogs who found their way into our camps in search of handouts. They were so trusting, and utterly confused by the chaos of war. I often wonder if they found their way to good homes after the armistice.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
That’s a hard question. My first thought would be to go back to a time before the war began, before I had any knowledge or memory of the atrocities human beings are capable of inflicting on one another in the name of patriotism. But then, I wouldn’t have met Annemarie, and my heart clenches at the very thought of never knowing her. Annemarie is the one bright and beautiful light shining in my life, and I would gladly suffer any amount of pain or grief for just one day with her.