Innocence that dissolves racism

Originally published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column, June 5, 2020.

First appeared as a Web Original on June 11, 2020

As I consider recent tragic events in my home state of Georgia and in Minnesota that have become global headlines, I find hope in these words by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science: “The necessity for uplifting the race is father to the fact that Mind can do it; for Mind can impart purity instead of impurity, strength instead of weakness, and health instead of disease” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 371).

I experienced the healing, purifying power of God, divine Mind, firsthand as a teenager in the 1960s, when I worked in a kindergarten program for rural Black children. One evening I was at my friend’s house when her dad called an after-dinner meeting with us in the living room, which always meant he was upset with one of us, and this time it was me. He said he had heard about the work I was doing, and that I had been seen holding one of the children’s hands while crossing the street and seen with another of the children sitting in my lap. He felt these loving actions merited the harsh retribution of corporal punishment.

He asked, “Do you deny this?” Instead of immediately admitting to the facts, I reached out quickly to God as an ever-present help in trouble (see Psalms 46:1). I thought about the Bible story of Daniel, who was thrown into a lions’ den for worshipping God instead of the king. The following morning, the king went to see if God had kept Daniel safe. Daniel responded, “God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt” (Daniel 6:22).

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October 26, 2020

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