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My protest plans
Originally published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column, April 20, 2021.
Less than a year ago, I was trying to comprehend George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer. Now, the trial of that former officer, Derek Chauvin, has ended, and a verdict has been reached. But the need to fix the problems that led to George Floyd’s death and heal divisions and injustices in the United States and elsewhere persists. And that calls for protesting.
I’m talking about protesting in the way Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of The Christian Science Monitor, describes it in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She says that Jesus’ “humble prayers were deep and conscientious protests of Truth,—of man’s likeness to God and of man’s unity with Truth and Love” (p. 12).
“Humble prayers.” Hmmm. Do I have the humility, I ask myself, to let go of my own opinions about the Derek Chauvin case and instead protest in favor of man’s likeness to God? What would that even look like? And would it change anything?
The first chapter of the Bible says that God made man, which refers to everyone, in His image. Everyone’s true identity is spiritual, the likeness of God, divine Spirit. And since we’re God’s likeness, we’re inseparable from God.
That’s where the unity part comes in. Jesus’ prayers were protests of our “unity with Truth and Love,” which are names for God. As God’s likeness, our unity with divine Truth and Love is already established. We don’t have to do anything to make it happen. Our job is to live it, to express our unity with Truth and Love in the way we think and act. As Science and Health puts it, “The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice . . .” (p. 202).
That “life-practice” is my protest—striving, moment by moment, for all that I do and say to show my unity with Truth and Love. And to ensure that the way I think of others honors their unity with Truth and Love.
That might seem like a pretty quiet protest plan, but picture the power of us all putting our unity with God, with divine Truth and Love, into practice. That looks like justice to me.