A recent Monitor feature brings out the complexity and potential power of China on the world scene. It’s reassuring, and yet the dangers it describes invite our prayers for unity and true friendship among the world’s countries. In a sense, the globe is like a ship on which all the nations are sailing together through rough seas and smooth ones.
On a ship, all hands need to be working together, recognizing that each one’s life depends on the diligence of his or her fellow beings. The practice of brotherly love – truly caring for each other – can make all the difference, especially in times of peril. For nations, this teamwork may translate into prosperity and security, but no matter what the terms are, ultimately all are vital to each other.
Thinking of ships, I was reminded of Noah’s ark, and how everyone on it was safe through floods and storms because they were gathered together by God’s love for His creation. Embracing China in our love can be a plank in the ark that actually shelters all of us.
The floods of these times are political, economic, and social, to mention the more prominent ones. Including China in our prayers for human progress helps reduce the isolation (on all sides) that can breed intransigence, jealousy, misunderstanding, and fear. As the Apostle Paul put it in his letter to the Christians in Rome, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope” (Rom. 12:10-12).
Active prayer for understanding, instead of fear, can only work to everyone’s advantage. Recognizing the power of God, divine Love, to neutralize antagonism and totally eliminate ignorance and isolation lifts thought above politics, history, and economic theories.
Trusting divine Love to lead doesn’t mean we are being careless or unwise. Since Love is infinite intelligence and wisdom, each nation can be protected and also be saved from missteps that could create antagonism. Under Love’s control, politics and commerce can be guided into intelligent and loving actions.
In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy has a spiritual definition of “ark.” She describes it as “[s]afety; the idea, or reflection, of Truth ... God and man coexistent and eternal ...” (p. 581). The “reflection of Truth” reveals the spiritual nature of every individual no matter what country he or she may be from. Each of us, yielding to His care, is capable of responding to spiritual sense and is receptive to divine Love’s guidance and protection.
In my prayers for China’s progress I’ve found I can insist on divine Love’s presence right there, embracing and including that ancient and modern nation and its myriad cultures.
And divine Love is right here, embracing all those who are working with China, striving to achieve a higher understanding of the nation and its many people. Love is also with each of us, providing safety, stability, and strength to go forward as world development goes on. We all are in God’s ark – for small things and for large – and can know the safety of being under the care of a totally loving God.
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