The same to all observers
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
I learned recently that Einstein didn't coin the term relativity. Ironically, other scientists applied this term to a part of his work, which he preferred to call "invariance theory." Though he discovered that space and time are relative, he also discovered that the speed of light is absolute, constant. Einstein discovered that the speed of light is the same to all observers.
This started me thinking about how God, the source of divine light, must also be the same to all observers. It has been immensely enlightening to me to think of God as constant, unchanging Principle. And it has been a powerful help to acknowledge that under all circumstances, divine Spirit, the Mother-Father of us all, is right here, always ready and willing to save, protect, comfort, regenerate, and heal everyone.
I often think about God as the constant, trustworthy source of everything good we need. Whatever is enduring and life-enhancing, God supplies. Intelligence, purity, health, prosperity, courage, capability, and composure come from God, steadily and reliably. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above," is how the Bible puts it, "and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).
If you're willing to look at things from the standpoint of a spiritual observer, it's plain that the "Father of lights" doesn't favor some people over others. The equitable divine Principle simply wouldn't bestow opportunity, beauty, freedom, and security on the basis of nationality, race, religion, gender, or age. God wouldn't give good and perfect gifts to one person but not another, to this family but not that one, to some nations but not others. The Supreme Being gives unlimited good to all - democratically. "In solemn truth I can see now that God does not discriminate between people," the Apostle Peter said (Acts 10:34).
The Monitor's founder, Mary Baker Eddy, a 19th-century woman who rose out of ill-health and poverty, expressed it this way: "In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as 'a very present help in trouble.' Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters' " ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pgs. 12-13).
Everyone has a direct, one-on-one, tender relationship with God. And that includes you. Whoever and wherever you are, you have a right to expect to see your prayers for rescue answered - to see God's invariably present and practical help take shape in your life. You, no less than anyone else, can experience the solace, fairness, progress, and success that flow freely from the inexhaustible waters of divine Love. You can feel the power of God lifting you up and out of your limiting and oppressive situation - first mentally, then tangibly.
I have. At times, my struggles and challenges have been severe. But trusting God's constant goodness has sustained me and answered my prayers. I've learned many things through it all, and here's one I'm still learning: a sure way to feel divine Love's constant, transforming light in my life is to keep on loving no matter what - impartially and universally. Some days it feels more like a goal than an attainment, but I try to remember that everyone I encounter (or think about) is an equally beautiful, special, and important child of God. I've realized, for example, how much I depend on the faithfulness and humility of other people for help and service each day, in all kinds of ways. As I go about my business in my neighborhood and elsewhere, I've seen what a difference a smile, a "hi!", a patient listening ear, a short conversation, a heartfelt "thank you," a generous deed, or a word of encouragement can make in underscoring our divine fellowship.
I like the way Herman Melville says it in "Moby Dick," celebrating its 150th anniversary this year: "The great God absolute! The centre and circumference of all democracy! His omnipresence, our divine equality!"
It feels natural to be kind, openhearted, and egalitarian. It feels right to let God's love sustain you, and to let it shine through you "the same to all observers." It can transform the world.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society