Love: always adaptable

The Bible extends a hearty welcome to all who want to drink from the rivers of Truth: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." Isa. 55:1. Mrs. Eddy refers to that summons in her book Science and Health. But first she offers a comment with an intriguing word: "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals." Science and Health, p. 13. Adaptation!

How natural it is to see her statement in the light of the prophet's invitation. Love's goodness truly is universal; it is bestowed on all. One thinks easily of an analogy: the sunshine beams down, impartially touching lives. That's a useful picture. But the comparison does have its limitations. For instance, not everyone is out in the open where he can freely soak up those sunbeams. There's more to the way divine Love blesses us than just general universal and impartial "bestowals." What about that interesting—but less often considered—universal and impartial "adaptation"? If this concept doesn't play a specific role in the way we think, something important is obscured. In fact, to skim over this crucial point may reduce the natural healing activity that flows from our expression of universal Love.

When we pray, it's valuable to recognize the broad, the comprehensive, facts of reality. We may feel, for example, a wonderful sense of God's allness. We can appreciate the truth that infinite Love is all-embracing, ever present, and that man is Love's perfect image. But such concepts call for specific and practical application. In other words, we can discern not only that infinite good is bestowed on us by divine Love, but that it is adapted to individual needs. If we grasp the truth that infinite Love brings concrete, distinct, particular elements of gentleness, tenderness, affection, understanding, to human woes, the door to healing is opened more widely.

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BIBLE NOTES Pullout Section
September 27, 1982

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