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Originally printed in The Christian Science Monitor, June 11, 2015.
Sometimes it can seem that differences are too deep, history is too violent, or harm inflicted has been too great, for harmony to be restored. But we also see that reconciliation, even in the face of dark history, is indeed possible. The German-Israeli relationship is an example. The friendship those nations have today is a “remarkable” one, a model for others struggling with conflict and hate (“Fifty years on, practical lessons from German-Israeli friendship,” CSMonitor.com, May 12, 2015).
Reconciliation, as the editorial pointed out, takes work, and a forward-looking approach—learning from the past, while also progressing.
Mary Baker Eddy understood in a deep, spiritual way the significance of looking in the right direction—to God, which allows us to find peace. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy’s seminal work, says, “Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus’ teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit,—the law of divine Love” (p. 19). To me, this gets at the heart of true reconciliation: lifting our thought above material circumstances to God, recognizing that we are all made in the image of divine Love. This transforms thought, bringing a deeper realization of God’s allness and goodness, as Christ Jesus proved. We, too, can demonstrate the practicality of understanding the reconciling power of divine Love.
I was once involved in running a sports team with two other individuals. Disagreements arose with one of them, and we stopped collaborating.
I realized that I was thinking this person was disrespectful and selfish, and that I needed to pray to see our true nature as God’s children, harmonious and good. I didn’t have to love the hostility this individual had expressed. But as I stopped defining her by that, instead seeing her true nature as spiritual, good, and loving, I realized antipathy isn’t as real or lasting as it might seem. It doesn’t really belong to any of us, the offspring of God. The self-justification and ill will in my thought were replaced by a deeper sense of love.
When I next saw this person, I was able to calmly initiate a conversation. The whole situation shifted, and we had a successful year working together.
This experience, though modest, showed me clearly how powerful divine Love is in reconciling our thought to God. True reconciliation is not personal; it has to do with the dawning of thought that sees everyone’s true identity as divine Love’s image—as loving.
We can support reconciliation in the world through our prayers, letting the truth about man as the loving and harmonious reflection of God fill our own thought. Such prayer supports progress by abiding in a truer sense of Love’s reforming and unifying grace, which goes out into the world to heal.
Diggy, Margaret Powell
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Fifty years on, practical lessons from German-Israeli friendship
The Monitor’s Editorial Board
Liz Butterfield Wallingford
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