The foundation for good relationships: All-inclusive Love
Even some of the most experienced teachers were intimidated by this middle school dynamo. Her sharp tongue and aggressive behavior were known to the whole school staff. But when she started targeting two students I was tutoring, I got radical with my prayer. Our Father-Mother God is All-in-all, and loves, delights in, and guides each one of Her cherished ideas; therefore, when we love God, it must include loving God’s creation. So my prayer focused on reflecting God’s all-inclusive love and seeing the student as God sees her. On this basis, I reversed in my own thought each aggressive picture of behavioral issues by knowing and standing up for her God-given grace, energy, and intelligence.
What if all our relationships could be constructive, satisfying, and harmonious?
Out of this powerhouse of prayer, a breakthrough arose. The student demanded that I translate some insults into the native language of the students I was tutoring. I appeared to oblige, but without letting on, shared words of love instead. On hearing these unexpected words of love in their language from this student, my students laughed. When I let their confused, but also intrigued, antagonist in on what was happening, she broke into a smile, too. From that point on, the four of us, representing three different races and ethnicities, had a secret language that united us. And the spark of love that was felt grew and was genuine.
That unity is true of our families and communities even when they struggle. Christ Jesus’ prayer for his followers reveals our shared oneness with God as a fundamental fact of being: “My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father” (John 17:21, The Living Bible). And Jesus’ life is the supreme example of living our oneness with God, Love. His Sermon on the Mount helps us find unity among the many cultures, backgrounds, and characters that make up our world. It instructs us to be meek, merciful, and sincere while also being forgiving, nonjudgmental, persistent in our love for one another, and eager to reconcile our differences. It celebrates “the eternal wonder,—that infinite space is peopled with God’s ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 503).
What if all our relationships could be this constructive, satisfying, and harmonious?
That isn’t just a vague hope. We discover that it’s what’s ultimately true when we see ourselves, our loved ones, and others through the lens of divine Science, which shows God to be divine, pure Love, tenderly embracing each of us as a unique idea of that Love.
In Science, God, the All-in-all, holds each individual in sacred unity with all others. No one is left out, including those facing problems such as some that are described in this week’s issue—addiction, a toxic relationship, and a miscarriage. God is infinite Mind, and we can’t go any higher, farther, deeper, or truer than this divine Mind manifesting itself in an infinitude of spiritual individualities whose relations are forever maintained in perfect agreement—each in our right place and in right relation to one another. As we see this, we recognize that codependency, deception, and even loss of life, have no place in the harmony of God’s ideas. Our unity with God and each other involves no loss of identity, but anchors our individuality in one divine, universal family, governed by Love’s law of harmony.
Any apparent pull toward division or tension in families and society need not be permanent. It is a claim that there’s a power that can negate what is spiritual and true and break into pieces that which is created eternally whole. But these claims are reversible through the understanding that God is All-in-all. As with my prayer for the bullying student, “Science reverses the false testimony of the physical senses, and by this reversal mortals arrive at the fundamental facts of being” (Science and Health, p. 120).
This reversal is helpful whenever we are tempted to mock or deride others, or to feel trapped in or hopeless about any relationship. We’ll find joy and progress with one another by reversing such temptations with these “fundamental facts of being”: the all-inclusive nature of God as All-in-all, the wonder and light of Love reflected in each of us, and the indissoluble spiritual link we have with God and one another. As one of the authors in this issue wrote, we’re all “part of God’s grand circulation of ideas” (Heather Frederick Brown, “How I became a parent”).
What a firm spiritual foundation for relationships among friends, families, neighbors, religious congregations, and nations. This unchanging divine foundation of all-inclusive Love enables us to embrace our own and others’ spiritual oneness throughout God’s infinite creation, lifting our relationships to a more secure, spiritually grounded grace and joy.
Kim Crooks Korinek, Guest Editorial Writer