When I was called recently to serve as a juror in a state superior court, I wondered how all twelve jurors would ever reach agreement. It was challenging enough to follow the thread of truth through the often-conflicting testimony. But what about twelve jurors, from all walks of life, trying to arrive at a unanimous verdict?
As a Christian Scientist, I'm accustomed to praying about problems that arise. In this instance I reviewed some of the synonymous terms that Mary Baker Eddy n1 uses in defining God in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. n2 (These terms are either given explicitly in the Bible or clearly implied there.) I reasoned that since God is all-knowing Mind and man is the very likeness of God, as the Bible says, the other jurors and I could express the intelligence and perspicacity to reach fair decisions, free from bias. And since God is divine Love itself, we could be compassionate toward all the parties involved. I thought of King Solomon's prayer: ''Give ... thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?'' The Bible continues, ''And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.'' n3
n1 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 See Science and Health, p. 587. . I Kings 3:9,10.
Later during several hours of deliberations, we jurors fitted the pieces of the puzzle together. There was a vigorous give-and-take of candid opinions. Everyone was open-minded, and we arrived at a fair settlement.
Sooner or later we may all find ourselves serving on a jury, an arbitration board, or an executive committee. It's reassuring to know there is a basis for finding right answers and reaching agreement. In harmony with the Scriptures, Christian Science teaches that there is one God - infinite divine Mind - who governs His offspring as both Father and Mother. We all truly live in God and can't get outside His government or His care, even though the very opposite may often seem the case. As we silence self-will and pride, we can listen for and receive divine Mind's guidance, feel its care. We receive divine direction when we pray quietly and earnestly, having closed our mental door on distractions and discords. We pray to discern God's will, not to have our own way.
If we keep in mind our unity with our divine Parent, we'll be capable of expressing our own views articulately and also of listening sympathetically to the opinions of others. The true identity of everyone as God's likeness will become clearer to us. The good qualities in our associates will become obvious. Mrs. Eddy writes: ''All consciousness is Mind, and Mind is God. Hence there is but one Mind; and that one is the infinite good, supplying all Mind by the reflection, not the subdivision, of God. Whatever else claims to be mind, or consciousness, is untrue.'' n4
n4 Retrospection and Introspection, p. 56 TWhy should we want to have one Mind? Because that one Mind is totally good, the only genuine source of harmony. We can know that our associates truly express the intelligence and wisdom of that same Mind. And yet each of us retains his own individuality as God's offspring.
The truth of divine Mind's allness has practical applications. In absolute being - God's spiritual creation - there is no mingling of good and evil; therefore no conflict or confusion. When we realize and insist on this truth in prayer, we can expect to see God's will evident in appropriate solutions to disputes; we can expect to see creative Mind's mandates expressed in human justice.
Whether we serve in a town meeting or an international council, we can be peacemakers, emulating in some degree the lifework of Christ Jesus, the master Christian. This involves striving for moral and spiritual integrity and for purity of motives. We are responsible for what we admit into our thinking.
To an increasing extent we can entertain thoughts of God's perfect creation. The knowledge that true consciousness is derived from God conveys a genuine freedom of action. It can restore our confidence in patience and calm reasoning. It can help us mightily to be at peace with our neighbors. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Fulfil ye my joy, thayt ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:2