I’ve noticed that when I open a new dress shirt to wear it for the first time, there are extra buttons that have been included on the shirt. I ‘ve always found this to be thoughtful on behalf of the designer. It can be irritating if you want to wear a favorite shirt, and it’s missing a button. Thank God, the extra buttons can be used for a needed repair.

Recently, however, we have heard of other buttons being highlighted and use- this time with potential deadly consequences.

The recent false alarms regarding alleged missiles being launched from North Korea to both Japan and Hawaii really highlight just how fragile we are about the risk of a potential nuclear war. Regarding the incident of the worker in Hawaii who accidentally pushed the button giving the message that a missile had been launched towards Hawaii was not only reckless but cruel.

Subsequent details revealed that it was a dropdown box on the “computer screen. “

Think about if you were the child being lowered down into a manhole by your father to protect you from harm? One wonders if the fear that this child and others experienced may be with them for the rest of their lives?

Furthermore, it doesn’t help for leaders of countries to brag about the size of buttons on their desk. World security is more than a board game and more than a table exercise. The threat of nuclear war not only threatens annihilation of humans, but of the entire world environment. How can we be so cavalier?

Years ago, a Chaplain friend of mine was asked if he wanted to participate in a table exercise. His unit was war gaming and strategizing for how they would execute a military advance. My friend respectfully replied that he could not participate in good conscience because it would go against his own understanding of his role as a Chaplain and against his denomination’s stance and policy.

Another Chaplain friend of mine argued that the Chaplain should be in the room with the military members for the reason of really making them question as to how they would determine what buildings to mark for attack and which other targets would be saved.

The question that my Chaplain friend raised was:

“Who would Jesus bomb? “

Clearly there are malicious actors on the world stage and parties that wish to do harm to our country. This is a given truth. At the same time, there needs to be measured response to threats to our national security. Bellicose rhetoric and school yard threats do not resolve tensions and do not make our world a safe place.

We need to have sanity and clarity about how we deal with people who we disagree with and who seek to do us harm.

When my niece was two years old she was fond of saying to me:

“I hope God likes us. I hope everybody likes us. ‘

That was great wisdom then, and it resonates as even greater wisdom today.

We need to give thanks not only for the blessings of our country, but we need to give blessings and thanks for the safety and security of our entire world.

May it be so.