The Invisible War


I had a friend whose left leg was an inch shorter than his right. For years he tried to hide his limp and, as a result, developed chronic tendonitis and stalactic bone spurs. He finally had “weird shoes” made (his term) to correct the problem.

I had another friend, an alcoholic, who became so disgusted with life inside the bottle that she finally broke down and reached out for help. She was no less in need of rescue than a prospector in a collapsed mine.

In both cases, the effects were outwardly visible. But the real battle, the invisible war, was going on inside of them. Neither should be blamed for their congenital conditions. A short leg is real. So is the nature/nurture-rooted predisposition of an addict. But the responsibility to face the enemy?

That’s theirs.

We all have congenital conditions. Some are as visible as flat tires. Most are invisible, but no less serious. You can’t see a broken head gasket, but it’s far more critical than a flat tire. “Personality flaws”—sour dispositions, poor listening skills, incessant self-absorption—are not pretty, and it’s easy to blame the individuals for such flaws. But those weaknesses are very likely as congenital as crooked teeth.

And much harder to fix.

So cut them some slack. Recognize they’re fighting an invisible war. Just like you are. If they haven’t comprehended it yet themselves, pray they will. And when you see an opportunity, hike up your courage and tell them about your own invisible war. It may result in a double win: the empowerment to admit their own struggle, and the formation of a new allegiance.

There’s no opting out of this war. But there are alliances to be made. We’re not alone. Let’s stop shooting at each other and get back to facing the enemy…


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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33 Responses to The Invisible War

  1. Outstanding piece! Something worthy of meditating on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s a helpful post …thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. says:


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing how God leads us to those we need at just the right time.

    Excellent post, a call to action.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very true, and a subject I and another had discussed over the weekend. Never know what hidden pain is behind a smile or the reason for a person’s actions. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That’s beautiful and helpful. Thanks Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. revruss1220 says:

    Thank you for this. Very timely and true. It speaks directly to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. E says:

    Mitch! Awesome. Those invisible flaws are so much harder to fix and we haven’t done the best job talking about them or understanding them outside of recovery and mental health. I have some theories about why that might be, haha. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nancy Ruegg says:

    We could even include a third party in our alliance–God. He is a source of strength like no other, and always ready to come alongside!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joan says:

    Thank you, Mitch. May there be a truce followed by a rebuilding…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amen, Mitch!!! We do all have a congenital condition and that condition, SIN. It reminds me of a post in my cue, Default Position, that I can’t seem to complete. But “congenital” perfectly captures it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: The Invisible War | Mitch Teemley – Smart

  13. Amen! This is absolutely oustanding and so true! Great rallying cry! Prfound yet simple. Thank you, Mitch for this incredibly powerful exhortation!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very inspirational brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you. Very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ann Coleman says:

    I completely agree! Even when we acknowledge our own internal war (and we don’t always do that), we so often ignore the fact that others are dealing with a “war” of their own. Which means that we don’t give them the compassion and help they need and deserve. Thanks for such an important reminder that everyone has something they struggle with, and that together, we can overcome almost everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jo Martin says:

    Was really moved by the Invisible War. Most of us forget we are constantly under attack. Thanks for the vivid reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. RGS says:

    I have been fighting an invisible war, and recently confessed to someone close to me. Turns out they have been an invisible warrior, alongside with me, but I wasn’t seeing it. I had felt that I was fighting this battle by myself, and it gave me strength to know that I wasn’t alone. Then I remembered this quote:

    When you saw only one set of footprints in the sand, it was then that I carried you.

    Liked by 1 person

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