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To heal a wounded world

From the September 5, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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Scanning almost any major newspaper these days, the picture one could get is of a world desperately in need of God’s love. While great progress has been made among nations working to counter terrorism, fear of economic disaster has divided political parties within nations and is greatly affecting financial markets and international decision-making. Corruption seems to abound not just in developing countries, but in larger economies, too.

In a sense, the world looks like the man set upon by thieves on the road to Jericho—wounded and greatly in need of help (see Luke 10:25–37). Yet these thieves aren’t so much people as influences on thought that misguide our actions, tending toward negative outcomes. As healers, Christian Scientists have an opportunity to reverse this trend by recognizing the power of Christ, God’s message of love to humanity, to guide, restore, and save.

Doing this work will demand diligence. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science and the founder of this magazine, saw very clearly that the carnal mind, or animal magnetism, would resist progress through spreading fear and uncertainty over what the future may hold. It also tempts people and nations into making decisions that are not in their own best interests.

To pray scientifically is not just to hope for an answer, but to expect results that heal because they are based on divine law. 

In her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy wrote, “In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one” (pp. 82–83). 

To ignore these destructive influences is to accept the carnal mind’s message that restoring economies and building peace is the job for “someone else,” and to pass by on the other side. To pray scientifically is not just to hope for an answer, but to expect healing results because this prayer is based on the divine law of Love, Truth, and Life. Understanding these laws of harmony even to a small degree, enables us to reject any influence to the contrary and to embrace restoration and progress. 

The Bible offers many precedents for such confidence. The balance sheet that looked hopeless when the children of Israel were demanding food and water in the wilderness wasn’t improved by people rushing about hunting for supplies, but by Moses’ conviction of divine authority. The result was that they were provided with all they needed during their journey (see Ex. 16:8–15).

The laws that Moses, the prophets, and Christ Jesus, in particular, were working with were made accessible to us today through Mary Baker Eddy’s tireless work. She perceived that they were timeless, universal truths that can help people today. These laws apply not only to the provision of food but also to honesty in business, harmony and brotherhood among sects and societies, as well as balance and stability in government.

So how do we lift conditions above the influence of pride, envy, hatred, revenge, and other elements of the carnal mind? How can we build an atmosphere that excludes fear and confusion, where decisions are not argued back and forth endlessly, with rancor and bitterness? The good news of Christ is that divine Love already does reign supreme—is reigning right now. Love is never afraid, never discouraged, never overwhelmed. As children of Love, neither can we. 

Mary Baker Eddy counseled, “Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong and to proclaim the right. . . . Reason is the most active human faculty. Let that inform the sentiments and awaken the man’s dormant sense of moral obligation, and by degrees he will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the grandeur and bliss of a spiritual sense, which silences the material or corporeal. Then he not only will be saved, but is saved” (Science and Health, pp. 327–328).

Jesus’ ministry provides numerous examples of Christ-empowered moral courage. He healed fearlessly, he challenged and healed hopelessness and corruption. And his example, along with Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, empowers us to reach out to the “wounded world,” with confidence in divine Truth. Christ’s healing influence silences the machinations of the carnal mind, which may seem aggressive and frightening, until we realize that it is shadow, not substance. 

Divine Truth, being infinite, is present everywhere and no matter how thick the walls of thought may be, Truth’s light—laserlike in its intensity—can make itself felt with power, goodness, and love. These spiritual facts show that no problem is too big for our prayers when they rest on all-powerful Truth and Love.

With that in mind, we can go forward confident that no matter what the report, we can claim divine Love’s authority. Our trust in Christ, the spiritual expression of God’s love for humanity, is a sure guide through these times. Jesus said it best, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me. . . . In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:32, 33). This promise is also for us. We are not alone; Christ, our sure guide, is with us.

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