CHRIST Jesus loved children and urged us all to embrace childlike qualities. When his disciples tried to prevent children from being brought to him, he rebuked them, saying, ``Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
Innocence, purity, joy, unconditional love, and trust are attracted to Christ. And, of course, these are qualities we associate most readily with children. Such qualities are not limited, however, just to children. Rather, they evidence the spiritually childlike thought inherent in everyone. We may feel we are lacking childlike spiritual qualities, but because they are wholly spiritual, they can never really be lost. And we can learn, through prayer and a deeper understanding of God and of man's relation ship to Him, how to express them more fully in our lives.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, stresses the need to see man as God made him. This man is neither young nor old, but is the likeness of God--spiritual and immortal. Man is the child of God. In her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy describes children as ``the spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love."
Man--and this includes all of us, children and adults--is the representative of good, innocence, purity; he is the very representative of God. These God-derived qualities are our strength and protection from harm because they enable us to see man as God-created and God-sustained. Our spiritual understanding that God's child, man, is our actual identity helps dissolve the strains and sufferings of mankind, whether children or adults. Seeing man as God made him--perfect, whole, complete--helps us to expres s these qualities in our own life. We gain this spiritual understanding through prayer.
Prayer is much more than merely pleading with God to do something. Prayer is an awareness of God's ever-presence. So when we pray we aren't ignoring problems; we're finding practical solutions to them. As we each prayerfully turn to God to learn more of the man He made--and then to act like the man He made--our correct view of man will help establish harmony. The more we spiritually understand the impossibility of an absent God, for example, the more we'll see His ever-presence revealed in our experience . God is always available, always governing and caring for His creation.
When we are expressing goodness, truthfulness, lovableness, vitality, abundance, we are reflecting God. Prayer helps us to do this. Prayer shows us how to view correctly, spiritually, each circumstance that needs healing. This growth in spiritual understanding blesses us and others because it shows us that God's goodness is present right now for everyone. Such a change in our view, uplifting our understanding from matter to Spirit, heals. It adjusts the scales and replaces whatever would hide man's genui ne selfhood with abundance, health, supply.
The childlike qualities that draw us naturally to God are innate within man. They can be expressed in adulthood as in youth. And while the suffering we see filling the media will not disappear overnight, we can begin today to bring into view more of the reality of God's creation.
Cherishing childlike qualities in ourselves and in others, and learning to express them more effectively, we find the kingdom of God is indeed at hand, as Christ Jesus promised. Innocence, purity, gentleness, and care reach far beyond one's immediate experience to bless and heal others who are searching for God's abundant goodness. We'll then find that our right apprehension of God and man is acting to save the children.