You can do the right thing

A woman in prison finds the Bible's answer to violence.

IN MY FORMER WORK as a Christian Science chaplain in a correctional facility, I met with detainees weekly for one-on-one visits. Our conversations focused mostly on God and His love for us and on verses or stories from the Bible. We frequently read from Science and Health, as well. Very often I heard of their longings. They wanted to be treated justly, to be free of addictions, to feel the peace God alone can give, to know better how to resist "the devil" when they leave the institution, to be better parents. That's understandable. We all want goodness in our lives. And despite what appears to be overwhelming evidence to the contrary at times, everyone really longs to be good.

As God's image, as the likeness of a perfect Father-Mother, man is at the point of perfection right now, longing for nothing. Never less than complete. As we awaken to this truth, it will transform our character and behavior. Mary Baker Eddy speaks of such longings: "Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould andfashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness" (Science and Health, p. 4).

April 19, 1999

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