“When the heart speaks, however simple the words, its language is always acceptable to those who have hearts,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, page 262. It’s natural for all of us to “have hearts” and to sincerely want to reach out and care for each other—across cultural, racial, religious, and national lines. Sometimes, however, even if we want to love others, it’s hard to know how to begin. It’s as though we can’t make ourselves love, and frankly, at times, we may even feel afraid of someone.
This is one of the reasons I find Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of divine Science to be so important. Her teachings help us move our hearts from just trying to love emotionally or through human goodness to actually having a spiritually based understanding of why it is our God-given nature to love. She also explains why it is counter to our nature to feel hatred.
This is the wonderful redeeming truth about each one of us: As God’s spiritual reflection, we each come straight from Love and reflect His love. We are one. And we are all good. To know ourselves or someone else in any other way is to believe in a mistaken sense of identity. The more clearly we understand the fundamental truths of God, Love, as the source of all being, the more clearly we will be able to see the true spiritual identity of ourselves and others as God’s image. Mrs. Eddy has helpful statements in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, such as: “It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established” (p. 467). She also writes, “Truth not error, Love not hate, Spirit not matter, governs man” (p. 420). This scientific understanding undergirds our ability to love and nurtures our hearts to find the good in all people.
I prayed recently to have a more scientific and thorough understanding of the oneness of God, divine Mind, that Mrs. Eddy speaks of when I was feeling anxious about attending an interfaith meeting. We were there to discuss the topic of justice. When I walked in the door and saw the sea of diversity represented there, the Bible’s instruction came to my thought, “Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10). The stress I was feeling disappeared, and I was able to sit at a round table of ten with those of other faiths, including a Roman Catholic, Muslim, Presbyterian, and Hindu. It was an honest and constructive exchange of perspectives and concerns. I left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the warmth and true brotherhood I felt.
It reminded me of a phrase my then-four-year-old child prayed one evening: “God bless everyone we know and everyone we don’t know.” Simple words. The open heart that embraces us all.
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