You Must Love That Man
I WAS very surprised by the angry response to my telephone call. I didn't even know the person, and here he was telling me he wasn't going to have anything to do with someone who couldn't get where she was going on time! But when I had asked him what time I should come, he had said any time would be fine. I started to feel angry, but then the thought came very strongly ``You must love that man.'' The study of Christian Science was new to me, but I realized that the thought to love was a thought from God, and I earnestly sought to respect that man as a child of God, which really was his true identity. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, defines angels as ``God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality.''1
Proof to me that God's love for us is active and constant was the immediacy of the angel thought, the demand to love. I hadn't knowingly asked God for help when I started feeling angry (though I had been trying to be a better Christian and was obedient to the demand to love when I recognized it). But the flash of insight hadn't come from nowhere; as Christ Jesus said, ``Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.''2
The reminder to love was a great help to me in calming the hurt and angry feelings I felt during the phone call so that I was able to carry on with the task at hand. I said something to the effect that I was sorry this had upset him. He told me that we could still have the political meeting we were planning but that he wouldn't arrange for the food as he had previously agreed to do.
I was working as a volunteer during a presidential primary campaign in a city I was not familiar with. Since the local campaign was very low on funds, I had planned to give him my own money for the refreshments for this gathering. The posters said refreshments. I decided to put the posters up as they were and figure out something about the food -- there wasn't much time. I prayed then, and later that night, to feel the love I was being required to feel -- to understand more deeply the allness of God and the reality of God's goodness.
When others in the campaign found out, they chipped in to help. My recollection is that it was nearly effortless, even fun, to provide the food. We had a successful meeting, and the man I had spoken with on the phone evidenced his good will by greater helpfulness and support.
This experience meant a lot to me because it showed me how practical and immediate spiritual love is. It turned anger to good will. Isn't that the promise of the Christ -- to bring good will to men? Doesn't the Christ change our thinking, enabling us to be aware of the power of God, good?
It's very easy to get caught up in busyness and overlook the need to love those we are in contact with. But love brings a feeling of reward and satisfaction to our work because such spiritual love brings us into harmony with our true being as children of God. As His children we possess the qualities of God, including love. It's natural to love. And even though it may seem difficult at times, we can expect to do better and better at reflecting God's love.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 581. 2Matthew 6:8.