As I walked down the halls of the Veteran’s hospital, a silent sense of unity echoed all around me. I saw men and women, proudly displaying hats, vests, and jackets with the branch of military they served, and in what war they played a role in. I saw Navy, Army, Air Force, National Guard, and Marines all brought together, in one place, asking for healing of different sorts. It seems at my age, the people involved in the military seem to have a struggle between which branch is the best, which one trains the hardest, and has the most important role. I did not see this here, I did not see it today. I saw hungry souls, seeking camaraderie and comfort within one another in the unique setting of a hospital. I saw retired Air Force men sitting amongst the Marines, all swapping war stories in the waiting room. I saw an Army Infantry Veteran having lunch with a Navy Veteran. The great divide between the branches was not seen at the VA and made me appreciative of the many roles each retired soldier played, and thankful for each and every one of them.
If not for the mechanics, the Airborne soldiers would not have a plane to jump from. If not for the helicopter pilot, the medics would not have a vessel to carry the wounded in. If not for the Calvary, our Infantry would have to do a lot more walking. Each and every man in the service plays a vital role for the safety of our country. Do some train harder? Are some put into more dangerous situations? Do some go longer without being able to speak to their wives or children? Yes, but they are all valued the same as the other. Without one, the other would be weak. The body of the military forces would not be able to function properly without each and every man and women, dedicating themselves to the specific area of training they need to perform the task they signed up to do .
This makes me reflect on the passage in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 which states:
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
The men and women in the VA seemed to have gotten this. They seemed to have grasped that they all served well in the duty that they performed for us and were content to have done it. I saw this passage about the body of Christ come to life when I took a step back, and reflected on the body of the United States Armed Forces. I see the body of Christ in action when I reflect on the many members within the Church working as hard as they can in the specific area that they have gifts for, and do them humbly, without complaining about why they do not have a more “important” job. From the bottom of my heart I thank you Veterans for the work you put into protecting this country. For the role you gave 100% to, without complaint, or grumbling for a bigger better tittle. It is my prayer that you are also putting this same commitment into the Lord’s Church as well, serving to your greatest capacity with the talents that you have been blessed with. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you in His perfect and holy peace.