At every turn these days one is conscious of humanity's urge to get back to what is called normalcy. Returning veterans naturally hope to pick up the threads of so-called normal living, broken by the war. Shopkeepers and all in the marts of trade look longingly for the return of a normal flow of supplies and wholesome business activity. Much is heard about "the good old days" before the late hostilities, and hope is expressed that their like shall soon be known again; and so it goes.
But let us consider the question of normalcy from the standpoint of divine metaphysics. Our English word "normal" stems from the Latin norma, meaning rule; so, really, what is normal must be that which is conformed to established law. Now the law recognized as supreme by Christian Science is the law of immutable good, God. In her "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 200) Mary Baker Eddy makes this important statement: "Jesus regarded good as the normal state of man, and evil as the abnormal; holiness, life, and health as the better representatives of God than sin, disease,and death." And in another place in the same book (p. 104) Mrs. Eddy says: "According to Christian Science, perfection is normal—not miraculous. Clothed, and in its right Mind, man's individuality is sinless, deathless, harmonious, eternal."
From this it will be seen that nothing short of the perfection of being, with its perfect, harmonious activity, should be regarded as the normal state of man and the universe. To aspire to any so-called normality is therefore anomalous, vain, and falls short of the mark of spiritually normal being.
In connection with the problems of industry and labor, what should be the state of Christianly scientific normalcy, to which thought and aim should be directed? Is it Christianly normal for one group of citizens to be at the throats of another? Do we see the workings of divine Principle, Love, when class is arrayed against class, when employer is pitted against employee, or employee plays the tyrant with employer?
In the thirteenth chapter of Genesis we find the story of possibly the first dispute among labor groups in recorded history. We are told that strife arose between the herdmen of Abram and Lot. Abram promptly made a sane and loving move. He called a fact-finding conference with Lot. Governed by divine Love, and not abnormal self-interest, Abram proposed the following peace terms (verses 8, 9): "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? ... If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left." The strife was quelled, and peace ensued.
Is not fear at the root of economic discord, just as it is in the case of bodily disease? And what heals fear but Love? When industry and labor can proceed from the premise that all righteous business hints the activity of good, and is therefore motivated and protected by divine Principle, Love, and that employer and employee alike are the brother's keeper, then fear, self-will, and distrust will disappear, and in their wake will be found no more unreasoning threats, paralyzing pressures, and economic chaos.
Does someone call this viewpoint Utopian, impractical? Many students of Christian Science can bear testimony to the fact that invoking the law of God in instances of industrial strife or injustice has, again and again, silenced hate, greed, and stubborn will, and ushered in a sense of peace with justice. Is not this the normalcy to which dwellers in hostile industrial camps should look forward? The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians (6:5–7, 9), outlines the normal Christian solution of labor problems when he counsels workers to be obedient to their overseers, "not with eyeservice, as man-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, ... with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men." And to employers he writes, "Ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."
Let us, therefore, seek not the return of the doubtful "good old days," but rather pray for the dawn of a new and happier day for the sons of men. Has there ever been a moment in mortal history when the human heart has so needed the influx of divine light and Love as at this hour? Thank God, Christian Science is in the world to light the torches of truth in individual consciousness and enable the Christian to lead his fellows out of their self-imposed darkness and mesmerism of fear, minds many, greed, and hate.
And what will light these torches? Love, only love: love that is the reflection of the divine; love that "suffereth long, and is kind;" love that "doth not behave itself unseemly ... is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil."
No, let there not be a striving for mere mortal mind normalcy—a sense of ease in matter, a period of material well-being which will exclude the need of turning to Spirit for health, peace, and supply. Instead, let us pray as never before for the light of Love to flood consciousness and reveal the harmonious normalcy of being wherein all God's children are brethren. Only divine Love can do this.
What a wave of healing might we expect if, before going to rest at night, every student of Christian Science would put to himself such searching and all-important questions as these: Have I declared the power, presence, and activity of infinite Love this day? Have I voiced the love of Love today? Have I consciously lived Love today? In the words of one of our lovely hymns:
"Love bids all discord cease.
Conquering hate, enthroning peace,
Love, Love alone is power."
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