What 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai is teaching the world
A Christian Science perspective: Does the tragic shooting of Malala Yousafzai send a message to the world that evil prevails?
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And this is the blessing that Malala has shown us: Her goodness has exposed the evil – has made it so plain to the world that none but the most morally confused can offer any defense. Eddy calls this confusion “moral idiocy” and says of it: “Without a sense of one’s oft-repeated violations of divine law, the individual may become morally blind, and this deplorable mental state is moral idiocy” (“Miscellaneous Writings,” p. 107).Skip to next paragraph
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Where can it hide now? To all right-thinking people, it cannot. As a Monitor correspondent, I have been to Pakistan. Understandably, the Pakistanis are afraid of the convulsions tearing their country, but they are also proud, and they are fierce in their defense of justice. I believe Malala saw these noble qualities in her countrymen and women, too, and that their strength is reflected in her own. From this viewpoint, there is no opportunity for anything but victory.
The world may see Pakistan as a stumbling nation burdened by its own mistakes as well as those of erstwhile allies. But what has Malala shown us – and her own people? That they are uniquely suited to expose in the most effective way the evil that would beset them. Before she was shot, perhaps Pakistan had only paid lip service to her example. Now, it is an unquenchable beacon to the nation.
But will Malala herself be fine, as she said? Again, the mortal viewpoint is not the most incisive one. The night before Jesus was tortured and crucified – an event he foresaw – he told his disciples: “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27).
For those looking beyond the world picture, the world picture is not the standard of comfort. Jesus was sustained through his ordeal – indeed he gained immeasurably in grace through it. Through his own tribulations, Peter learned that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). In allowing that revelation to gain its rightful spiritual momentum, we can say with Eddy: “The good cannot lose their God, their help in times of trouble” (“Miscellaneous Writings,” p. 10).
Has one act of terror shown the impotence of goodness? No. A more spiritual view shows error exposed and the method for its complete destruction made plain, as well as a precious child forever safe in her own purity and goodness.