A mother's prayer, a vet's welcome home

A Christian Science perspective.

My oldest son recently completed 10 years of military service. The last six years were in the US Army. He was deployed in Iraq for 15 months.

Naturally, as a mother I prayed a lot, and many family members and friends were also praying for his safety. In my prayers I declared that we all are God’s children, including my son and the Iraqis. God’s children must always be where He wants them, about their Father’s business, because they reflect the all-knowing Mind. They can be neither separated from, nor blind to, God’s ever-present, all-inclusive Love. This is the Word of God – His promise to His children. Therefore, it is powerful, effective, and irreversible. With this prayer came the sweet assurance that all are safe in God’s care, and that they can know it and feel it. As a result, I was free of anxiety or worry about his well-being.

In June 2006, my son called and told us that he had been out on patrol when he spotted an incoming mortar. When he returned to his tent, he found that it had been severely damaged. Some of his belongings had been destroyed, but he had been safely out of range, and the few soldiers who had been in the tent hadn’t been seriously hurt. Everyone involved was awed by the safety they experienced.

Our daughter-in-law was shaken by the news. I shared with her how grateful I was that the very place – out on patrol – that seemed so dangerous to her was actually the safest place for him at that particular moment.

He received orders to return home to Alaska that August. But the day he was to leave, he received new orders and was sent to Baghdad instead. When we spoke, I told him there must be more good for him to do there. In prayer, I reaffirmed that God was in control. I reminded my son that, like the biblical patriarch Joseph, while living in a foreign land, he was there to serve God (see Genesis, chapters 37, 39-47).

It was midautumn when a deep-settled peace washed over me as I prayed for our son and the whole world. I was sure that he would soon be home.

He arrived the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a few days ahead of schedule.

It had been over a year since he had returned to Iraq, shortly after the birth of his son. There was some concern expressed because this toddler was very cautious and fearful around men, and my son was so eager to hold him again.

As I prayed, it became clear to me that God, as divine Love, would provide the patience that my son would need and would also remove any fear that his little son might have. About three days after his return, our son called to say that it was almost as if he had never left. Apparently Love had removed all fear, and father and son were feeling a special, close bond.

I remembered how I’d prayed when my son was in Iraq – that he was safe in God’s care. Now, back home, God’s care is still providing exactly what is needed for him and for his family.

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