"What's happening, man?"

His voice was soft, almost childlike. "What's happening, man?" The smile was wide and rather gentle. Only his eyes betrayed the undertone of threat, challenge, and questioning as he stepped from the alley to block my path. His eyes—and the knife.

For over a year now I had been spending one evening a week in an office on the edge of the city's combat zone, working part time in the public practice of Christian Science. During that year the phone calls had not been plentiful, and the office appointments even fewer, but the work certainly had been a blessing, both in my growth Spiritward and in meeting the needs of those who had called out for help. And yet, admittedly, most of my practice had been in praying for the world. Each week I had searched The Christian Science Monitor's pages for patients. For example, violence in Ulster. I had treated that by pondering the deeper spiritual implications of the first line of a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal, "What is thy birthright, man?"

Now, as I faced the challenger in the alley, the whole stanza came readily to thought:

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June 28, 1975

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