No matter how complex or hopeless seem the challenges facing humanity, you and I can make a difference. Bettering the world must begin at the individual level, and the key to this individual work is love. Christ Jesus said, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
“All right,” one might say. “Perhaps more love is needed. But I’m just one person. What can I do to lessen fear and misunderstanding in the world?” We can find encouragement in the Bible assurance, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
To be effective, prayer, which Mary Baker Eddy refers to as “an unselfed love” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 1), must be based on the spiritual understanding of man and the universe as the spiritually perfect creation of God. In prayer we must come to the clear recognition of divine Love’s ceaseless maintaining of all its ideas in their original, perfect state; we must accept the truth of being and live it in daily life.
Equipped with such practical, spiritual understanding, and governed entirely by divine Love, Christ Jesus resolved every problem that confronted him—he stilled the storm, fed the multitudes, cured so-called incurable diseases, and even raised the dead. The purpose of any follower of Jesus is to love on this Christly basis; to be unselfish, merciful, and kind; and to let the light of our God-reflecting spirituality shine. No matter how sore society’s ills seem, unselfed love is always the answer, along with the unshakable understanding that God is divine Spirit, and His creation, spiritual.
The good that the expression of genuine, prayer-inspired love brings to the world need not be questioned. Every time we bring harmony to a discordant situation or forgive an injustice, every time we love in the face of hate, every time we embrace others in the understanding that man’s true being is spiritual—the reflection of God’s being—we are making a very important contribution to healing the world’s ills. The world’s overwhelming problems are the culmination of unresolved individual concepts and differences, and the resolution of these individual issues paves the way for better global conditions.
The ability to demonstrate the fruits of Love, such as kindness, compassion, forgiveness, warmth, and unselfishness, is not the prerogative of a chosen few. It is natural to all men and women, since each of us, in our real being, is the reflection of ever-present and inexhaustible divine Love, God. The material view of man is vastly different from the truth of man as spiritual and made in God’s likeness. But if we gain even a glimmer of understanding that all individuals are the children of God, we have a real basis for seeing that our fellow beings—whether living next door to us or on the other side of the globe—can naturally express and respond to divine Love.
No matter how sore society’s ills seem, unselfed love is always the answer.
An experience I had some years ago bears this out. I was serving as a Christian Science Minister for Armed Services Personnel in a country halfway around the world from my home in the United States. One day while putting up notices for a meeting, I was suddenly struck very hard on my back and shoved into the bulletin board. Turning around, I saw a young man of a different race than I with an angry look on his face.
This military post had recently been the scene of racial unrest. But instead of feeling afraid, I felt a wave of compassion sweep over me. My heart went out to this man. I mentally affirmed divine Love’s governing presence, acknowledging that God’s love was encompassing us both and holding us beyond the reach of ill will, misunderstanding, or harm. At once, the defiant look left the man’s face. We actually smiled at each other, and an unfortunate incident was quickly averted.
Mrs. Eddy writes: “Is not a man metaphysically and mathematically number one, a unit, and therefore whole number, governed and protected by his divine Principle, God? You have simply to preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with your divine source, and daily demonstrate this. Then you will find that one is as important a factor as duodecillions in being and doing right, and thus demonstrating deific Principle” (Pulpit and Press, p. 4).
Regardless of what our occupation may be, our real reason for being is to bear witness to our Father-Mother God, to be and do right by bestowing upon our fellow beings the love God is pouring out to us and all. You and I can make a difference in the world as we live the Love that is God in our daily activities, thus bringing to the dark places of fear and unhappiness the healing, saving light of divine Truth.
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