Don't let reports of violence pass unchallenged

Prayer not only lifts our hearts; it also brings healing.

We have a friend from what used to be the nation of Yugoslavia. Talking with her, we found her full of despair over the news the media were reporting from her country, especially the severe conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We, too, were very shaken, but for her these were her own countrymen, her own relations and friends, who were living in the area involved in the fighting. She was also horrified by the cruel acts that were being reported. My wife and I tried to comfort and reassure her. We urged her not to suffer passively, but through her prayer to do something actively herself for peace. She tearfully promised she would.

We have had to pray as well. In the face of such horrors one can't let the matter rest with well-meaning words. Helpful, effective prayer is still required. Our starting point has been a deeply rooted conviction that the man God created is good. Through Christian Science we have learned that this truth does not refer to a corporeal, mortal man but to our actual, spiritual selfhood. We have both had healings as a result of our knowledge of this truth. Since we know from experience that such prayers are effective, this was how we had been praying for Yugoslavia. With the television continuing to broadcast further horrific pictures, it isn't always easy to assert the spiritual truth of man. Sometimes I wondered, Is it even right to do so? In a certain sense, could it mean we are closing our eyes to terrible wrongdoing?

The Bible offers an example of grave wrongdoing. With flimsy arguments the chief priests, scribes, and elders had managed to have Pilate condemn Christ Jesus to death. No sooner had this verdict been spoken than unleashed brutality descended upon Jesus. In the Praetorium, the soldiers "smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him." They had also made a crown of thorns and had pressed its sharp points into his scalp. Then he was executed in a particularly agonizing way— by crucifixion.

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Monitor wins design awards for 1992
May 3, 1993

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