A grass-roots view

THERE'S an African saying, ``When the elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers.'' From a grass-roots point of view, the maneuverings of the world's superpowers can be pretty rough. Trampling feet, whether of friend or foe, feel much the same to the grass being trodden underfoot. But is our world just an arena for trampling feet, trampled grass, and national vying for supremacy? The Bible says otherwise. It acknowledges God as supreme. ``Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.'' 1 It also tells us: ``The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?'' 2 The inspired message of the Bible presents a view of life very different from the commonly accepted one. It points to God--to Truth and Love--as the supreme authority instead of to heads of state. It shows that no one is inferior or superior to another in the sight of God. It draws attention to the responsibility each individual has for his or her own state of thinking and for the well-being of all. Spiritually viewed, the people of the world are not divided. That's because man, as God has actually created him, is not a mortal at odds with other mortals. He is God's spiritual likeness. In truth, then, we are all one family, with one Father-Mother God, one Life, one Soul, one Spirit. I'm writing from a quiet, grassy hillside in a peaceful area of the world. No missile silos dot the scene. There are no barbed-wire entanglements. The citizens aren't waving weapons in the air, nor, I expect, do they sleep with pistols under their pillows. A fortunate people untouched by the realities of the big world, you might say. But below me, in the city center, and in the city suburbs, and in other cities, towns, and villages in this country, are hundreds of memorials to the dead of two world wa rs and of the wars of Korea and Southeast Asia. Few families have been unaffected by the carnage of this past century. What can we, as individual men, women, and children, do about it? We can protest--not just protest against something, but protest for the truth of God's supremacy, of His absolute and perfect government of His creation. This is prayer, and it's effective. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, the Science underlying Christ Jesus' healing words and works, describes Jesus' humble prayers as ``deep and conscientious protests of Truth,--of man's likeness to God and of man's unity with Truth and Love.'' 3 The vision presented to us by thousands of weapons of mass destruction, by the possibility of a ``nuclear winter,'' is terrifying to most people. Negative protest alone is not enough. Affirmative protest for the supreme power of God is needed to achieve healing results. ``Truth is affirmative,'' Mrs. Eddy states, ``and confers harmony. All metaphysical logic is inspired by this simple rule of Truth, which governs all reality.'' 4 The price of peace has to be genuine, spiritual effort on the side of peace-- affirmative, prayerful protest; the practical living of spiritual love; profound faith in God based on an understanding of Him. Acrimonious charges and countercharges are no help. Hate and fear are useless weapons. The weapons of God, of Truth, are wisdom, understanding, love. Wielded effectively, they can uncover the powerlessness and emptiness of materialistic thinking. The illusion of material power has to be seen as illusion, not reality. Reality is in God and in God's spiritual creation. God is

Love, and no power can withstand the might of Love. Christ Jesus demonstrated this fact. So can we. The power of Love behind a peaceful, prayerful protest of Truth can ultimately be proved limitless in its effectiveness. Truth and Love are true, but their truth needs to be realized, understood, and thereby demonstrated. That's your job and mine. The Bible tells us that the prayer of a righteous man avails much. The prayers of millions of righteous men and women can be the greatest healing power ever. It's what we, the people of the world, can give. 1 I Chronicles 29:11. 2 Psalms 27:1. 3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 12. 4 Ibid., p. 418.

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