A well-healed town

Our town is a good town. But at one point it was feeling sick at heart. The issue was an assault on authority. The president of the board of an organization needed to replace an employee. The employee had no legitimate grounds for contesting the decision but urged his friends to circulate petitions in his behalf. Factions quickly developed. Hard feelings and harsh words brought anger and devisiveness.

The board president, a Christian Scientist, recognized that what was needed was a healing, not a contest of human wills or the cold assertion of his authority. He was aware that very similar issues are faced every day in corporate board rooms, government offices, and even family councils. Each case is different, but the question that always needs to be considered is how to let God, good, govern.

The president called an open meeting, inviting all citizens. But before the meeting he prepared his thought carefully. He turned to the Bible and read in Psalms, ''He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.''n1 What was the word of God, good, which could be applied in this situation?

n1 Psalms 107:20.

Sitting quietly, waiting and listening, he remembered this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ''Controlled by the divine intelligence, man is harmonious and eternal.''n2 To him, this brought the assurance that if properly guided -- if he allowed himself to be directed by God, divine Mind -- he would feel no animosity toward any potential opponent. Appreciation of worthy motives and concerns (his own and others') would be uppermost in his thought. Looking for divine intelligence in his opponents, he could expect to find them as fully capable as he was of expressing fairness and integrity. This is natural , because man is actually the spiritual image of God, reflecting the intelligence, wisdom, goodness, love, and purity of his creator.

n2 Science and Health, p. 184.

Getting up from his desk, the president walked over to the large meeting hall. A grim hostility seemed to descend in the hush as he entered. He looked out at his fellow citizens with a love of their true nature as he had come to see it. He began by explaining the particulars of his position. Then came a barrage of angry questions from the crowd. He remained poised in his responses, because he was expecting to see, and was actively looking for, the Godlike qualities in each spokesman. He was practicing a fact that Mrs. Eddy clearly enunciates: ''The human mind has no power to kill or to cure, and it has no control over God's man. The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness.'' Further along she adds, ''All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal.''n3

n3 Ibid., p. 151.

There was no instant change in the atmosphere in that room. The kettle continued to boil. But the understanding and compassion of the board president lowered the heat. It was evident that the one ever-present God, good, was felt by all. The crowd gradually seemed surprised at itself. An element they hadn't anticipated was making itself apparent in their words and actions. A true change , a change toward understanding and resolution, was taking place.

Two hours later, the meeting did end in resolution without abusive exchanges. The employee in question and his friends, as well as the president of the board, were satisfied with a harmonious settlement. As a matter of fact, the man and his wife who had been the angry initiators of the petitions became, in the weeks following, the most staunch supporters of the president.

God is real, active, and a powerful force for good -- in fact, He is infinite , unopposable good itself. The president had sought to know Him and had shared what he knew. And God continues to make the difference in our well-healed town. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister race unto the hearers. . . Let all bitterness, and wrath. . . be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. Ephesians 4:29, 31, 32

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