Opened Eyes

IN a world where so many have been victimized, not only by war and political oppression but by so-called natural disasters, it sometimes seems as though there's no justice and that much is beyond hope. Yet we can't simply give up in despair. Nor can we close our eyes to the world's troubles. Clearly, we need to help in whatever way we can.There is a way in which we can open our eyes to what's needed, a way that underlies our ability to be of profound help. Perhaps the most basic need today is for spiritual vision, for opening our thought to the reality of God's presence. This kind of "eye opening takes discipline. It requires prayer and moral progress. It involves the humility to trust that there is a God who is infinitely good and that we have recourse to His all-powerful law. When we're haunted by the question "Where do I begin to help when so much is out of control? the answer is to begin with God. Because there is a God--whose healing presence is illustrated throughout the Bible and in individual lives today--there's hope for humanity. And more than hope: we have the certainty of progress and healing. It may seem that our own lives are enough to deal with and that there's little we can do to lessen the larger, worldwide tragedies of starvation, homelessness, corruption, oppression, and so forth. We can, however, have a healing role as we open our eyes to the spiritual reality of God and man, to the reality of infinite divine Love and man's safety in Love's care. To begin in our prayers to acknowledge God's government of man is to help break down the belief in His absence, not only for ourselves but for mankind as a whole. Only through a growing sense of divine control can humanity gain lasting dominion over the destructive influences that plague so many. The Bible in Second Kings tells of when the prophet Elisha and his servant were surrounded by enemy forcesan host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. The servant was fearful, but Elisha prayed, "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. The account continues, "And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. Elisha's spiritual vision made a difference. Our own willingness to exercise God-given spiritual sense through prayer for mankind can make a difference as well, even if the results aren't immediately apparent. The tendency is often to feel overwhelmed when we hear of some tragedy. But victimization can't be the final word on anybody's life. Christ Jesus showed us through his healing works that man's real being is spiritual, indestructible. He showed that when hopelessness is dissolved, we can see the reality of spiritual man, whole and safe in God's care. The final word must be God's word, the spiritual reality of existence transcending even the worst that the physical senses report. But we'll see proof o f this only to the degree that we're willing to open our eyes to God's supremacy, to discern Spirit's omnipresence and man as Spirit's perfect likeness. And this requires prayer. Referring to Jesus' counsel in his Sermon on the Mount, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness. Opening our eyes in prayer to God's omnipresence, we'll help others see evidence of His presence, at home and around the globe.

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