Everyone a Friend

A STORY is told about a new immigrant who got a job as a gardener. Next door was another gardener, a local man who did not like immigrants. He did all he could to provoke the new man. The family employing the new immigrant asked their gardener what he thought of the troublesome gardener next door. ``He is my very good friend,'' he replied. Surprised, they asked, ``How can he be your friend when he does such unkind things to you?'' ``He is my very good friend,'' was the reply, ``because he shows me what not to do.'' Most of us tend to see people as friends or enemies. National histories and security arrangements tend to focus, similarly, on friendly nations and unfriendly -- or enemy -- nations. It has long been common practice to have friends and enemies -- a friend to love and an enemy to hate. To hear of a man who regards everyone as a friend, even for a simple reason, is encouraging, because, inevitably, we are all going to see everyone as a friend.

The fact is, God, the divine Principle of all, is Love -- omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Love. In this divine Love there is no enmity and no enemy. As we learn to understand God better and to know ourselves better as the spiritual likeness of God -- as we grow more aware of our own true spiritual nature -- we are bound to reach a point where we entertain no enmity and no sense of enemy.

Christ Jesus said, as the Gospel of Matthew records: ``Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies.''

As we become more aware of the all-loving nature of the real universe -- the spiritual universe -- aggression will give way to compassion, enmity to friendliness. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ```Love thine enemies' is identical with `Thou hast no enemies.'''

Already we see signs of progress. In the past year or so, people who looked at each other across barbed wire and land mines have started shaking hands and hugging each other.

It is normal to love, and abnormal to hate. Because God is man's one, universal Father, it is normal for us to be friendly with all races and nations and abnormal to have enemies.

I can recall that when enemy planes were dropping bombs on my native land, I, like others, donned a uniform and went to war. The focus of attention was the destruction of the enemy. The thought of the enemy dominated everything we did. I found myself becoming miserable with the constant and oppressive sense of enemy presence.

Then I did a rethinking. I went to my Bible. I had been carrying it with me. I also had a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy. Studying what these books were telling me gave me a more positive, spiritual outlook. Initially, it was as small a change as a simple shift of thought from fighting against an enemy to the more positive sense of fighting for something -- fighting for freedom, my own, my country's, mankind's. As I continued to study and pray, however, and to learn more of fundamental Truth, I began to realize that the real battle for freedom is not fought with bombs and guns against an external, personal enemy. It takes place within our own, individual state of consciousness. Victory, I learned, must rest on the side of God, of Truth and Love. Love dissolves enmity.

What I am learning today from the Bible and from the teachings of Christian Science is this, that as we each let the spirit of God's love develop in our hearts and minds, enmity begins to disappear from our thinking -- and enemies from our lives. We are then able to start seeing everyone as our very good friend.

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