From age five until seventeen when I joined the Navy in WW II I never missed a Sunday of Sunday School.
While in the South Pacific on a ship I came down with a tropical infection and was slated to go a hospital at the earliest opportunity. While in that condition I changed my thought about a shipmate who was different from the rest of us and was treated unkindly. I realized that this was going along with a wrong concept of man. I reached out to him with an offer of friendship. We became close buddies. And, there was no need to go to the hospital as I was healed. After the war he came home before me. He landed at my homeport and contacted my parents.
Later during the Korean War I once again served, this time in the Air Force. While in Morocco I served The Mother Church as an Armed Forces Christian Science Representative. My wife and I held services and I had many opportunities to work with individuals needing Christian Science support.
During the year I had an experience which was long in coming but gave me much needed mental release. My father had been an alcoholic when I was a boy and caused our family much grief. When my mother embraced Christian Science he finally and permanently overcame this addiction and our family became a harmonious one. I came to realize this year that I had never forgiven him for those years of addiction. I saw this as a weakness of character as this was how I had held him in my thought. During the year, however, I read a book by Barbara Tuchman, “Guns of August.” It described the experiences of the soldiers in the trenches. My father had been one of them and was seriously wounded.
Since then I feel we have understood better the effect on an individual who has endured such an experience. I realized that my father’s addiction was undoubtedly a result of his participation in that war and not a weakness of character. After reading the book, my heart went out to him and I felt a release from my long-held feeling of condemnation.
The restoration of our home, I know, was a result of my mother’s embrace of Christian Science.