“That’s unjust!” That was how I reacted when I learned that my school was going to charge me for damage I hadn’t caused. Many of us have no doubt felt aggrieved in this way or felt compassion toward others being treated unfairly.
This past fall, one of South Africa’s most popular figures, Thuli Madonsela, ended her term as Public Prosecutor after seven years of taking on powerful figures—including President Jacob Zuma—for corruption. Her popularity stems in large part from a widespread hope in post-apartheid South Africa to not only give all citizens a democratic say in determining the laws but also to treat all people equally before the law, especially those in high office.
One year ago, when I was eight years old, my awesome mom encouraged me to read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I knew this book from going to the Christian Science Sunday School, but I had never read it all the way through.
H ow could she not like me? I was pouring on the charm. My jokes all hit the mark—everyone else was laughing.
Many people identify themselves in material terms, according to things such as their race, place of birth, occupation, and personal accomplishments. When we first meet someone, we might ask, “Where are you from? What do you do for work?” We link ourselves so closely with merely human characteristics and events that they seem to become our identity.
In a country, in a household, in a business, or in any organization, disagreements on important issues can sometimes escalate, with people quickly taking sides and splitting off into opposing camps. And, as you’ve probably seen, emotionally based, quick reactions usually don’t go far toward resolving things.
Through the years I have not hesitated to pray regularly about my own finances—whether to remove a sense of lack, to gain a better understanding of the reliability of God’s supply, or to entrust judicious charitable giving to the wisdom of God. But it never occurred to me to pray more selflessly about the national or world economy, leaving it instead to the movement of market forces and the policies of governments.
Some of us have a lot going for us; some of us don’t. At least, that was what this author thought. Could prayer help her see herself in a new light?
A long-awaited school rafting trip turned scary when problems broke out among the group. With a Class IV rapid up ahead, this author knew what she had to do: pray.
Mental purgation must go on: it promotes spiritual growth, scales the mountain of human endeavor, and gains the summit in Science that otherwise could not be reached,—where the struggle with sin is forever done. —Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p.