A mother prays about bullying

It was comforting to know that both my daughter and this other individual could feel loved because that is what they are in God’s eyes. 

When my daughter was in eighth grade, she would come home from school, curl up on her bed, and cry. I discovered that she was being bullied by someone at school—someone much larger and, in her mind, tougher than she. This person seemed to have all the resources—friends, popularity, and confidence—on her side, while my daughter felt overwhelmed, alone, and scared. 

My heart went out to my daughter. But she did not want to talk about it, nor did she want any help, no matter what form. But one way I could help was to pray. And even though she did not want to hear my words, I knew she could hear God, just as I could. 

As a child, I had been taught in Christian Science Sunday School that no one can be separated from God or from feeling His love and care. I remember learning and being assured that I could trust God always, and I felt comforted by Jesus’ promise “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). 

We are always with our Father-Mother, God. Christ Jesus knew this. He said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). Mary Baker Eddy explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: ‘For in Him we live, and move, and have our being’ ” (p. 361).

My daughter began to feel loved, confident, and free from fear.

We cannot walk away from God any more than we can walk away from the air around us. The air constantly surrounds us whether or not we are thinking about it. Similarly, our divine Parent, God, is with us always, supporting, guiding, protecting, loving.

To understand what more I could do for my daughter, I first needed to turn to God in prayer. I immediately felt His love surrounding my daughter and me—but not only us. Because God is with everyone, all the time, He is with my daughter, in and out of school, but He is also with the person doing the bullying and with their classmates, teachers, and families. And He loves us all. 

We learn from the Bible that God made man—all people—in His image (see Genesis 1:27) and that God is Love (see I John 4:8). From these two spiritual facts I reasoned that if man is the child of God, and God is Love, then man is the child of divine Love, created in the image and likeness of that Love. Therefore, everyone involved in this situation—in fact, everyone we could ever meet—is the beloved child of God. As such, all are incapable of expressing anything other than compassion, respect, kindness, and justice to one another. What’s more, all can feel this divine Love because they cannot be separated from the source of that love—God. It was comforting to know that both my daughter and this other individual could feel precious, loved, and cared for because that is what they are in God’s eyes. 

A line from one of my favorite hymns reads: “Love, Love alone is power” (Margaret Morrison, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 179, © CSBD). This implies that hate, anger, revenge, greed, and intimidation are powerless to cause harm because they express not one element of goodness. I saw that neither my daughter nor I had anything to fear and that her classmate could not be motivated by anything other than good. Although my daughter did not want to hear these ideas at that time, I knew divine Love was right there with her, protecting, guiding, and guarding her every action so that it would bless her and those around her. Divine Love was the communicator. That was enough. 

What was my job? To bear witness to my daughter’s, and everyone’s, true identity as a child of Love. I also saw this as an opportunity to bring that sense of love into all my interactions, at home, at work, or anywhere else. The more we express love and claim it as natural to us and to others, the more we see it expressed around and toward us. This is not wishful thinking. Rather, it is bringing the reality God created—the reality that is always here—into focus in our thought, and therefore into our experience, in just the right form for each need. 

Although the situation at school did not heal overnight, it did begin to improve. My daughter never mentioned the bullying to anyone at school, but a caring teacher knew something was bothering her and offered her a peaceful classroom where she could eat lunch and talk if she ever wanted to. My daughter also found classmates unexpectedly reaching out to her. She began to feel loved, confident, and free from fear. While we don’t know how the teachers might have dealt directly with the other student, new class arrangements naturally separated my daughter from her. All of these changes pointed to the fact that God was communicating helpful ideas and caring for all involved.

This experience brought home to me the power of divine Love to effect change in our daily lives. Even though I could not physically be there at the school to help my daughter, nor could I tell her my thoughts when she wasn’t interested in hearing them, there was a way I could help that was more powerful and effective than any other means or method: yielding to God in prayer.

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