THERE'S a man at our local supermarket who can bring a smile to almost anyone. He radiates genuine happiness with life and is impartially kind and courteous to each customer. People can't help feeling good around him. That's the way it is with unselfish love. It's impossible to resist. When we live it, it's bound to make a difference in someone's day. It can lift spirits or restore self-worth. It may even change a life.
To live in a way that consistently blesses others is no small accomplishment. Certainly this is one way of contributing to world peace, and it's work we can all participate in, whatever the scope of our daily activities.
We accomplish the most good, however, when the love we share is something greater than human affection alone--when it is an expression of divine Love, God.
Divine Love succeeds where human efforts fail. It doesn't withdraw before the cynical sneer or the proud rebuff. It isn't helpless in the face of overwhelming grief or an ailing body. It is unconditionally and invariably Love. A personal sense of love may bubble over one day and dry up the next. But God's love is unchanging. It's all-powerful. It heals.
The degree to which our love expresses the divine has a lot to do with our view of man. God always beholds man as His perfect spiritual likeness, never as a pitiable mortal. As we learn to perceive others from this higher standpoint rather than from a mortal perspective, we will more readily discern and love--really treasure--the true selfhood of everyone. Then the kind deed and compassionate word won't just ease another's hurt (as helpful as this may be); they'll bring the very healing touch of the Christ.
How perfectly Jesus understood man's pure spiritual nature; how perfectly he loved! We have a long way to go in learning to love as Christ Jesus did, but we can all work to follow his example by expressing more of the Christ-spirit in our everyday lives.
For instance, when conducting business, visiting relatives or neighbors, running household errands, we might ask ourselves if our manner and conversation are as Christian as they can be. Do our contacts with the client and the daughter-in-law bless--or burden--them? Are we disciplining ourselves not to judge others according to appearances, but to ``judge righteous judgment,''1 as the Master urged?
It's not so much what we say, but how we think and act, that determines the healing character of our lives. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Pure Mind gives out an atmosphere that heals and saves. Words are not always the auxiliaries of Truth. The spirit, and not the letter, performs the vital functions of Truth and Love.''2
Recently, during a business appointment, I was healed of exhaustion when I felt the love of God reflected in another's life. The individual I met with didn't know of my problem; and although he is a deeply committed Christian, he didn't talk to me about God or spiritual healing. But it was the gentle, uncritical Christ-spirit he expressed that helped me break through the fog of feeling mortal. My thought was turned to God and to my true spiritual selfhood, and I was healed.
Someone you meet or talk with today (maybe someone in your own household) needs to feel the gentle touch of the Christ. Let your contact with that individual be kind, compassionate, charitable. Above all, strive to see that person's pure, spiritual selfhood. Express the love of God. Then you won't just be loving; you'll be living the love that heals.
1John 7:24. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 260. DAILY BIBLE VERSE My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
I John 3:18