It's natural to care deeply about community. Real love for family extends to neighbors—and overflows for the whole of society. This occasional column tells of how a spiritual perspective has been helping Sentinel readers help others and make a contribution to healing some of the collective challenges facing communities today.

Several years ago one neighbor had a feud with another neighbor. I lived between the two, and each seemed to think I was a sounding board against the other. I liked both neighbors and prayed at different times to see a loving solution come about. Each time I prayed, I did feel better, and, looking back, I know we were all helped; but I still felt something more needed to be resolved.

The turning point came as I was praying, not for my own immediate neighborhood but for the world neighborhood in general and the Middle East hostages in particular. There seemed to me to be two sides to that conflict, one characterized by hatred and one by fear. In praying more deeply about this, I realized that both sides were captives to these emotions, one just as much as the other. The enemy wasn't a matter of other peoples but a material definition of life. It was a belief that something outside of God, good, governs us, that we must fear being controlled by some other power whose opposing views cause great hatred. Without a sense of God's benevolent government and care, each position seems necessary.

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Selfless love, unity, and immunity
August 27, 1990

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