Christian Science Monitor – What makes a veteran?

Sandy Sandburg published an article on the Christian Science Monitor website considering the spiritual power of qualities such as strength, honor, integrity, and brotherly love expressed by veterans from all walks of life. The following is a segment from this article:

On Nov. 11 – a holiday in the United States, Britain, Canada, and other countries set aside to honor those who have served in the armed forces – it seems appropriate to ask, What comes to mind when you think of a veteran? A soldier receiving a medal? A white-haired guy wearing a baseball cap with the name of a Navy ship on it? Or some young man or woman in uniform at the airport on the way home from deployment overseas? Or maybe someone in a wheelchair who is disabled, or even someone who is homeless or unemployed?

These do indeed describe some folks who have served in the military, but there’s an entirely different way of thinking about veterans that’s especially meaningful to me.

It has to do with the expression of qualities such as courage, discipline, honor, integrity, thoughtfulness, brotherly love, and teamwork. This list could go on and on, but these qualities really speak for themselves when it comes to why we respect those who have served or are serving in uniform. Taking a moment to pause and be grateful for those who have expressed these qualities says something important – not only about them but about us, as well as about the culture that lifts up and values these qualities.

Why? Because when these qualities, which Christian Science explains are derived from God, are expressed consistently, especially when it seems difficult, they are the death knell to oppression, domination, and disease. Consider this: It was his love and understanding of God’s goodness and love that enabled a young man named David to express the courage and resourcefulness necessary to overcome the fierce warrior named Goliath (see I Samuel 17 in the Bible for the whole story).

Many generations later, it was spiritual insight, discipline, brotherly love, and above all absolute faith in the power of God to heal that prompted a veteran Roman officer and soldier to come to Jesus for help. This man was well-versed in giving orders, but he came humbly to Jesus, seeking the healing power of the Christ, Truth, for his servant, who was so ill he couldn’t leave his bed. The result? The disease was destroyed, and the servant was healed immediately (see Matthew 8:5-13).

As we recognize and acknowledge these spiritual qualities in those who have expressed them often under the most trying circumstances, our own expression of them inevitably grows…

If you would like to view this entire article on, please click here. 


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