A forward move

Facing a move? Are you seeing it as an experience of entering the uncertain, possibly unfriendly unknown, or as a stimulating adventure with advancement for you and others as the result?

One couple recently made a move that appeared to be met with a negative reception until they found how to change the picture.

For business reasons they had moved from a small town where they had lived for twenty years to a suburban neighborhood of a large city. The first thing that concerned them was an apparent lack of friendliness. People they met on the street were not as outgoing as in the smaller town. Business people kept their distance.

Being avid students of the Bible, the man and his wife accepted the statement in Genesis that God created man in His image, and the declaration in I John that God is Love.

1 They reasoned that because man is God's image, and God is Love, man's actual nature must be loving, not grim, unloving, and unresponsive.

n1 See Genesis 1:27, I John 4:8.

As this spiritual fact became more evident to them through prayer, the couple began to see the community in a new light. They saw that not only were homes well cared for but that the residents thought enough of their community and its newcomers and visitors to provide planters and hanging baskets filled with flowers throughout the business district. Trees lined the streets. Vandalism and other law violations were minimal. These good works could not be from some unloving specter; they demonstrated a loving desire to provide beauty and well-being for all.

The man and his wife, who were Christian Scientists, were accustomed to praying each day for the benefit of themselves and the entire world. As part of this effort they prayed the ''Daily Prayer'' given by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. It appears in the Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. The prayer reads: '' 'Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!'' n2

n2 Church Manual, Article VIII, Section 4.

Although for years the couple had repeated the prayer thoughtfully, now it took on additional meaning. The word ''Love'' is preceded by ''divine,'' leaving no doubt that the reference is to the Love synonymous with God - the Love fully demonstrated by Christ Jesus, who proved by his healing example that the power of Love could be applied in a practical way in daily life.

The words ''affection'' and ''mankind'' awakened the couple to a need to look to God for ways to bring His loving expression to the community.

Then, at a Wednesday testimony meeting in the Christian Science church they attended, a woman told how she had been led to respond to unsmiling people by ''giving them one of my own.'' The couple immediately saw that they must express Love if they were to help bring to light man's true being. They adopted the testifier's method as a way to spark an expression of affection in those living in their community - an affection they knew to be rooted in God's love.

The couple's smiles were accompanied by a cheery greeting, and at first it was not easy to be what some might consider ''forward.'' But as they strove to see those they greeted as not dour, unhappy, uncommunicative mortals but instead as the loving, caring offspring of God, the efforts became easier and finally natural.

As this view became clearer, friendly relationships, both casual and more significant, developed. Discerning their own and everyone's unity with divine Love, the couple were happily able to take their rightful place among their neighbors. DAILY BIBLE VERSE

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