THERE was a woman who worked in our home and whom I loved very much as a child. She counted as ``hers'' not just those of her skin color -- her children and others she raised in her home -- but also white children like me. She had great dignity, and she showed the most tender and unstinting love. She was a deeply religious woman, and her ability to love us all in spite of personal and historic injustices that might have raised barriers to her love made a lasting impression on me. She was actively living from the Biblical standpoint that we are all, in truth, united as loved children of one infinite God, who is the supreme authority over all. From this perspective, no one is better than or less than another; we all belong equally to God.
Of course, day-to-day living can present a painfully different view, and it isn't always easy to witness so strongly to impartial love. Indeed, a love capable of loving despite societal habits of discrimination -- of indifference and even hate -- must originate in much more than mere human affection or good intentions. It must have a divine source. It must express something of the purity and universality of the divine Mother-love of God.
The Bible says of God, ``As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.''1 Wouldn't God's comforting love include redemption from racism?
The purest expression of human mothering is to love each child without favoritism. How much more, then, would the motherhood of the one God, who is infinite, divine Love, be without any hint of partiality? Man, we learn from the Bible, is the likeness of God. So, in his genuine, spiritual selfhood, man expresses tender, inclusive love.
Understanding more of God's motherhood and of man as God's likeness, we can help confront racism as an awful lie about man's true nature. Then we can more consistently show the love and compassion that are natural to spiritual identity.
Such caring is not for women only! Christ Jesus' understanding of people's spiritual selfhood enabled him to love without regard to labels of nationality or social status. He nurtured others by teaching of God, whom he called ``our Father,'' and by healing all who came to him in need.
Jesus' perfect example of inclusive, caring love is unmatched. Yet surely that doesn't make it irrelevant! Jesus expected his followers to begin to love more completely. He said, ``Love one another.... By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.''2
Reflecting God's Mother-love, man loves. Father-Mother is a name for God in Christian Science. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, describes the divine sense of Mother this way: ``God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love.''3
If we regard Mother as Love, then man must be inseparable from Love as God's child and heir. And if we view Mother as Principle, the source of divine law, then man must be governed by and responsive to the rule of Love only, and not conflicting or destructive human tendencies. To be infinite, Principle or Love or God, must rule out hatred, divisions, insecurity -- anything unjust or unlovely. As we conform thought and action to this reality, we can begin to reject prejudice and fear as totally alien to man's true, spiritual selfhood. This brings real joy.
Living the truth of man's loving nature, even in the smallest ways, we help bring the brotherhood of man more clearly into view. This benefits everyone.
Actually, spiritual brotherhood is the logical expression of divine motherhood and fatherhood. Accepting divine parenthood as a law of true, spiritual existence, we can glimpse how human genealogy and history must ultimately be transcended by the spiritual unity inherent in man's identity as the offspring of one God. As Mrs. Eddy writes in a poem, ``Love hath one race, one realm, one power.''4
A friend felt that a lack of mother-love was hurting her severely. Since I view man's true Mother as God, I rebelled at the notion that this woman, or anyone, could be deprived of the support of mother-love, for God is ever present. Praying to express the love inherent in man's true nature, I was able to show love for this woman in practical ways. Though my friend is black, she, too, must feel that our relationship isn't defined by race, for she remarked to her daughter that during this difficult time I was like a mother to her.
Recognizing something of the truth that God is man's Mother helps bring to light the divine fact that we all belong to God's universal family. Inevitably, this aids in dissolving the suggestion that racial differences can prevent brotherhood and cooperation or that racial discord is a ``fact of life.'' Life originates in God and must be as pure and harmonious as its divine source. Isn't it logical, then, for Love to be a fact of divine Life?
God's all-powerful Mother-love enables us progressively to purge the sin of racism by filling our hearts with a growing desire and capacity to witness a little more each day to the truth of man's shared spiritual identity as the child of one Father-Mother God.
1Isaiah 66:13. 2John 13:34, 35. 3Science and Health, p. 592. 4Poems, p. 22.