The editorial on the facing page gives us a hint about how we can work toward greater peace and harmony in our neighborhoods and, by extension, our world. One statement reads, “No matter how you measure it, civic engagement is the bedrock of social peace and economic prosperity.”
Many of us may nod and say, “Right!” And then go on with our lives. After all, what difference can one person, or even a few caring people, make when the problems seem so large?
My study of Christian Science has given me an answer. In Science and Health with Key the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power” (p. 192). Wow! If my actions put others ahead of myself, I can count on God’s power for help.
“Unselfed love” is the key. It is different from unselfish action based on human do-goodism. To me it means getting beyond a mortal sense of identity separate from God, and recognizing that we actually express God’s nature as His beloved immortal creation. When we consciously do this, we open the door to the expression of God’s goodness, which empowers us in our efforts to help.
Our efforts for good, when coming from a place of unselfed or spiritually pure love for others, are not only nice things to do, but have the power of divine Love behind them. Christ Jesus is a wonderful example of this. His unselfed love opened the way for the divine to be demonstrated through his healing works. He knew that God’s great love was available to all. Today, we are still feeling the impact of that unparalleled example of unselfed love.
Unselfed love inspired several Christian Scientists in Kenya to respond to the needs of street children, who had no educational opportunities. After significant prayer, it occurred to them to start a small school. Some land was donated straddling the border between two warring tribes, which was just one of several hurdles that seemed insurmountable.
A great deal of prayer went into the school. The founders thought of it as a beam of Love that would enlighten the darkness of strife and ignorance, and leaned on this promise: “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; … I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). And in relying on God to supply their needs, they consistently prayed with this idea from Science and Health: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (p. vii).
These unselfed efforts opened the way for inspiration and love to shine through in tangible ways. Years later the school has not only educated hundreds, but the school’s outreach into the warring tribal communities contributed to a lasting peace in the entire area.
When we love with a Christly love and leave self-concern behind, we are expressing our true spiritual nature. This brings us into harmony with God, the ultimate source of love. This, in turn, gives impetus to our actions, intelligence to our decisions, strength to our efforts. We can make a difference.
Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, January 5, 2017 .
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