I Was within sight of a neighborhood service station when my car ran out of gas. It was rush hour, and the busy street I was on was filled with traffic. Even if I ran to the station and ran back with a can of gas, the traffic snarl would be terrible.
When a taxicab driver made a daring maneuver through the traffic and swung in behind me, I was encouraged. But my hopes fell as I realized that he was a newcomer to my country and that we could not understand each other's language. I didn't want to be rude, but I wasn't in the mood to deal with cultural and language barriers. In fact, as the traffic began to pile up, this man's arrival and our arm-waving attempts to communicate seemed mostly an added complication. Also my pride kept telling me that it was odd to be enlisting the help of this stranger from a distant land when I was only a few blocks from my own home!
Patiently, however, he persisted in his efforts to help me, and in a few minutes he had pushed my car out of traffic and into the service station. I was very appreciative of the help and offered him some money for his time and trouble. He quickly refused, with the only sentence from our entire "conversation" I clearly understood: "It was my duty."
This experience made me reconsider how I saw my fellowman, especially those of other lands. I recognized subtle feelings of prejudice and division in my thought, and this started me thinking about how I could better pray for myself and the world.
The Bible provides many assurances of God's loving care for man, and Christ Jesus emphasized that all can experience—and need to express—the love that comes from divine Love. On one occasion he said, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." When we hold in consciousness the spiritual fact of God's infinitude and ever-presence, we gain this more enlightened view of divine Love and of its expression in the world.
The first astronauts who journeyed toward the moon looked back on their planet and viewed it as it had never been seen by man before. They returned home with photographs of earth that showed no national or ethnic boundaries. This points to what we discover when we have a spiritual view of creation. We become less aware of the factors that tend to divide people and nations. Borders and distinctions associated with conflict lose their prominence and fade from view. The work of holding to this special, higher view is prayer—prayer that brings needed help to the human scene.
Such prayer is not wishful thinking or the dream of a world organized under a single human order. It is a vision based on the basic spiritual truths found in the Scriptures, and understood in Christian Science: that there is one God who is Spirit and Love, and who is both all-powerful and all good; that God's creation is wholly spiritual and good; and that man is made in God's image and likeness and therefore must be spiritual and perfect. The real identity of the taxi driver who stopped to help me was that likeness, and he demonstrated this fact through his helpfulness, patience, and resourcefulness.
We can pray to see that everyone is really of God's creating and not ultimately defined by nationality, race, background, physical appearance. This encourages us to think of our world in a more enlightened way, and we will be less likely to accept simplistic or stereotyped views of people. We can know, with certainty, that there are no limits—no borders—to God, infinite Spirit. A national boundary or an ethnic distinction cannot filter out some of God's goodness. Truth doesn't change its nature nor does Love lose its constancy at a country's or neighborhood's border. The beauty of Soul, the power of Spirit, the inspiration of Mind, have no geographical limitations. They fill all space.
God's goodness knows no cultural or language barriers, no religious or racial conflict.
On certain very old navigational charts, the land and surrounding seas are drawn as accurately as possible. But beyond the known sailing routes, where the confidence of practical experience turned to fearful speculation, are drawn pictures of monsters, which were believed to inhabit the uncharted waters.
Don't we sometimes, even unconsciously, come up with similarly ignorant descriptions of certain regions or peoples of our modern world that are different" from our hometown and family? "You know how proud and hot-tempered they Or "Something dreadful will happen to you if you go there." While we certainly need to be alert to unenlightened states of thought and harsh situations, here or abroad, we must reject the temptation to settle for a view based on superstition, rumor, or prejudice.
We can ask ourselves, Are we thinking of certain people and places as cut off from good in one way or another? We can turn away from this false sense to a more spiritualized view. We can insist right now that all of God's creation is harmonious, vibrant, and life-affirming. God's goodness knows no cultural or language barriers, no religious or racial conflict. And while prejudice, fear, and hatred, can seem intractable, they are actually only confused human concepts based on false, material views of man. The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mrs. Eddy, wrote in Science and Health, "Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned."
Ultimately we are not trying to mend a broken material world. Instead, we are affirming that God's spiritual creation is forever whole and harmonious, under the government of divine Love. Let's strive to see God's creation as it really is, reflecting love, progress, beauty, spiritual vitality, and the infinite variety of Mind. The more we hold to this true view and endeavor to demonstrate it, the more God's goodness will be made apparent in the brotherhood and unity of mankind.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning.
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