In a year of war, is anything else worth remembering? Like the new, high-tech bombs that suck the air out of a cave, bombshell stories from the battlefield seem to suck up all the pages of a magazine, all the power of our collective memory.
So, for many, 2003 will simply be remembered as the year of the Iraq War. First came the tension of the prelude, the agonizing weeks of doomed diplomacy as hope for a peaceful solution slowly slipped away. Then came the war itself, a quick, decisive, humiliating defeat for a tyrant who dreamed of greatness. And finally the aftermath, the dangerous task of healing old divisions even as fatalities multiplied.
Prelude, war, aftermath: For the sake of thousands of Americans who spent their entire year on hostile, foreign soil-for the sake of nearly 500 who never returned alive-that's not a bad way to remember 2003.
Yet even in a year dominated by war, there was more, all the many stories stuck in the cracks or pushed to the margins as God's plan unfolded. Here they are once more, the stories of war and peace, judgment and mercy, sorrow and joy. A year of providence reduced to black, white, and multicolor.