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Love–alive, active, vibrant!

From the Christian Science Sentinel - October 24, 2011

Originally appeared on

Have you ever thought about the atmosphere of God’s love as being a law? We may not often think about it this way, but it’s true!

In the Bible, Paul writes to his friends in Galatia, telling them: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22, 23).

How expansive and liberating those words are. But not everyone realizes that they really do activate a live, active, vibrant law of Love, one which cannot be negated and which goes out to include all of us. It empowers everything in the universe!

Mary Baker Eddy said it this way in Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896: “In Christian Science, the law of Love rejoices the heart; and Love is Life and Truth. Whatever manifests aught else in its effects upon mankind, demonstrably is not Love. We should measure our love for God by our love for man; . . . fulfilling the law of Love, doing good to all; imparting, so far as we reflect them, Truth, Life, and Love to all within the radius of our atmosphere of thought” (p. 12). This explains how “the fruit of the Spirit” energizes and engages us in a purifying process.

So it’s hardly surprising that when our love becomes inclusive and joyous, we light up everyone around us. And not only those near us, but all “within the radius of our atmosphere of thought.” The uplifting thoughts of Christly activity while we’re “on the hoof,” doing stuff, is vastly important. Thoughts of harmony and love actually bring the law of Truth, Life, and Love into effect in our experience and that of others.

On the other hand, if we are depressed, feeling crestfallen, nothing we do seems to benefit anyone, least of all ourselves. I know if I am having a mental “bad hair day” that I can change that atmosphere of depression. As a kid, I used to be aware of it in the form of homesickness. I would think, “Quick! Do something loving for someone, and soon!” I must have learned in Sunday School that acting unselfishly activates Christianity. And it was always a start for me to lift my thinking; the law of Love took over and filled my thoughts and I became involved in my purpose, which was to fulfill God’s law.

Perhaps later on in life, becoming too mechanical in doing routine chores led to angst about material limitations, which led to hurry, tiredness, then the slippery road to a feeling of futility, frustration, and depression. But it’s never too late to turn things around; it’s never, ever, too late to get to the attitude of “Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report . . . think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). Praise, as everyone knows, always turns life around. I know stopping to relish Life’s freshness brings my thought back into the atmosphere of Love.

When we are in tune with this law of Love, healing takes place, too. I saw evidence of this one night while staying on a remote island in Thailand with my family. In the middle of the night, our adult son came to our chalet asking if we would get him to a hospital. He said he was in pain and had been violently sick. Hugging him, I promised him that we would as soon as we could; though there were no night ferries off the island, we would find a way to make sure he received care. He was relieved, and got into my bed to rest as I went out to clean up his room.

We felt the all-inclusive, rich, abundant atmosphere of divine Love.

That’s when I realized that the day before, I had diluted a bottled drink of his with tap water—and on this morning the tap water looked pink and fetid! How could I have done such a thing, especially having heard that dysentery was rife in the area? I really had my work cut out to stabilize my thoughts, but I knew it was important for my son that I move past guilt and self-condemnation to an understanding of both him and myself as unfallen and perfect. I knew instinctively that “whatsoever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it” (Eccl. 3:14, New King James Version). So a mum’s mistake could never interfere with God’s law, or hurt anyone, since God is All-in-all, effectively the only “doer.” Recognition of this was availing both of us of the “law of Love,” and instituting its power, right where inharmony seemed to be.

As I went about cleaning up, I kept thinking about how spiritual and loved this guy was: God’s spiritual idea, with the human love I had for him always being perfected. I was still learning about divine Love, knowing that God’s love for our son was much more expansive and dynamic than mine. So I knew he could only feel his Father-Mother’s care, peace, and harmony. And if that was so, he was not condemned to feel the opposite, pain. Nothing that I could do, inadvertently, could change that.

As I thought about this, I suddenly felt loved by God, too. My prayers were freeing me, as well. So every time guilt or fear crept in, I brought myself back to this atmosphere of love, God, “. . . in whom we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). I repeated to myself “the scientific statement of being” from Science and Health which starts with this powerful statement: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all” (p. 468). This truth was available for both my son and me to experience.

It wasn’t long before my son came back to his room, calmer but still in pain. He lay down, and in the dark I thought of Mrs. Eddy’s poem “The Mother’s Evening Prayer” and recited slowly to him: “O gentle presence, peace and joy and power; / O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour.” To me, this meant that all was well even though we weren’t able to go to the hospital right away. I finished, changing the words slightly, “Thou Love that guards your faltering flight! / You keep my thoughts on upward wing tonight” (Poems, p. 4). I recited the whole poem, concluding with the sweet assurance that both of us could find our peace “and heav’nly rest.” When I had finished, there was a deep sigh; he had fallen asleep.

I slept peacefully, too, and a few hours later, before it got light, he stirred and I heard a deep appreciative voice say “Thanks, Mum. It’s gone!” We went back to sleep until morning when he got up and began moving about. There was no mention of needing to go to hospital, and by mid afternoon he was really hungry and ate a hefty sandwich. That was the end of it.

I know the reason we were able to sleep that night, after I had done the mental “cleaning up,” was because we both felt the all-inclusive, rich, abundant atmosphere of divine Love, which Mrs. Eddy’s poem had given us. There just wasn’t room for anything but Love. We’d both felt a calm, an assurance of the presence of the kingdom of heaven that is within each of us.

I have remembered this experience many times since when I have been with people who have been feeling disturbed. Recalling this atmosphere of Love—reliving the feeling that the poem brought—has had a calming and healing effect on others, too. Calling upon the law of Love has blessed everyone around me, many times.

Ruth Smith is a Christian Science practitioner. She lives in London, England.

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