The humanitarian within each of us

Originally published in The Christian Science Monitor, September 17, 2015.

It was deeply moving to read about the tender, generous, and courageous humanitarian efforts of the fishermen of Southeast Asia who rescued hundreds of people (see editorial on facing page). The account stirred me to consider the spiritual basis for our sense of humanity. My study of Christian Science has shown me that each of us is actually the spiritual offspring of God, of divine Love; and as Love’s offspring—Love’s image and likeness—we each have an intrinsic care for others deep within us. It may sometimes seem latent in human character, but the divine fact is that selfless love comes from our spiritual connection to God. This love is what moves us to reach out and extend a helping hand to those in need of aid—regardless of differences in race, color, creed, or social status. The driving force behind every selfless desire to help is divine Love, which is always present, ever giving, and always expressing itself in man, Love’s offspring.

The humanitarian efforts of the fishermen have made me consider Jesus’ well-known parable of the good Samaritan. The Samaritans, too, were looked down upon, yet it was the Samaritan man who compassionately stopped to lend a helping hand to the man who was destitute, in danger, and had been stranded by the side of a road—after two highly regarded men passed by (see Luke 10:33). In this same parable, Jesus exposes selfishness, self-importance, small-heartedness, and pride—destructive qualities that are no part of man’s true nature—that convinced the other men to turn their backs on the stranger in need. There is a Christly spirit within each of us, the expression of divine Love, that counteracts selfish tendencies and impels us to put aside our own concerns to help a fellow traveler in life’s journey.

Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 250).

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

‘As in heaven, so on earth’
November 2, 2015

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.