Mary Baker Eddy saw clearly the need for all people to defend themselves and others from destructive influences—such as disunity, fear, suspicion, dishonesty, confusion, violence. “In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power,” she writes, “it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 82–83).
False influences would persuade humanity that God is not in control. These influences would condemn races, religions, political parties, governments—all the while blinding humanity to the path that leads to healing.
Our prayers can stand as beacons of light for humanity to find rest and safety.
But we can open our eyes to fearlessly see what is true. The early Christians provide a helpful example. Saul’s and others’ relentless persecution gave them little rest. Certain in his own religious views, Saul felt affirmed by his beliefs in his murderous pursuit of Christians. Yet, the Christians didn’t just shrivel up and hide out. While they were wise about their actions, they also prayed, expecting God to help them.
God’s solution was Christ, “a divine influence ever present in human consciousness” (Science and Health, p. xi), which appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus. This didn’t just stop his deadly acts; it totally transformed him into a full-fledged follower of the teachings of Christ Jesus. Even his name was changed. He became the Apostle Paul.
Today’s world also experiences negative influences such as hatred, lust, cruelty, and deceit. But these cannot outwit or overpower divine intelligence, love, peace, lawfulness, beauty, and joy. That God is a very present help right now uniquely equips those who understand this fact to stand up to and destroy errors of belief for ourselves and others.
Our prayers can stand as beacons of light for humanity to find rest and safety. This light is not dependent on changeable human strength; its source is Christ. Recognizing this fact as true for oneself and others opens the door to healing. It brings to light the evil that these influences would have us do, and powerfully ensures that it is evil we will not do.
“I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error,” writes Mrs. Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 104).
No matter where in the world we are, each individual can ally himself or herself with “the forces of God.” We have the power to prove the true influence of Christ, which leads to healing, restoration, and peace.