Arms and the Lad

Our lads when leaving for the front not infrequently put the following questions: "How am I to handle this matter of arms? How can I consistently take weapons in hand, knowing that I am expected to inflict injury on others, and at the same time pray that injury may not be inflicted on me? Let us look first at the reason for the query, and then at the answer.

The question is, at base, an unselfish one. The lad may have little fear of bodily hurt as such; and he may not shrink from the though of laying down a human sense of life for his country. What he realizes is that in going "over there" in defense of an ideal, he can accomplish more for that ideal, uninjured and alive, than he can by display of fortitude in hospitals, or an untimely descent into "the valley of the shadow." To live for his country and its ideals, and to keep on living for them, rather than to die for them, is his earnest prayer.

The Lamp of Truth
November 16, 1918

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