Safe in combat

During the war between the United States and Spain in 1898, Mary Baker Eddy admonished members of her church to “. . . remember our brave soldiers, whether in camp or in battle. Oh, may their love of country, and their faithful service thereof, be unto them life-preservers!” (Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 14). This has caused me to think back on my own experience in combat, and the fact that I experienced the effective results of consistent prayer in Christian Science as a Marine during World War II in the South Pacific.

After arriving in Wellington, New Zealand, I attended First Church of Christ, Scientist, there and met a wonderful Christian Science practitioner and her husband. They took me in like a son. The practitioner talked with me about God’s all-power and protection and wrote letters to my mother back in the States, sharing spiritual ideas with her about man’s safety under His care. With the prayerful support of this practitioner throughout the war, I survived a number of tumultuous experiences while being “in harm’s way.” Our joint protective work was based on the 91st Psalm, which opens: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” My trust in God was indeed my fortress, and I kept this in the forefront of my thought.

The communications unit I belonged to was assigned the task of setting up ship-to-shore radio support with the flagship USS Maryland, which brought us to the island of Saipan. Amid devastating artillery fire, the landing craft transporting me and 20 other servicemen, including the colonel in charge of the infantry, reached the island untouched. Not one soldier was harmed. One of the passages I prayed with was: “The God-principle is omnipresent and omnipotent. God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power” (Science and Health, p. 473). The protective power and presence of divine Principle—of God’s “secret place”—was with me throughout this and two other combat assignments from which I earned three battle stars.

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Sky-high prayer
November 14, 2011

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