I'd like to tell you about one of the most special gifts my beloved mother hands out to our family and to all the world. Every morning when she wakes up, she prays. And in her prayers she acknowledges that God's loving care and provision are wrapped around each one of us: me, my sisters, my brother, the spouses, the grandchildren, herself, and all humanity.
I've thought of the gift as similar to when a person gives an open-armed, loving hug. I've also thought of it as illustrating what a wedding ring symbolizes - the circle of unending love that unites a man and a woman.
I'd never heard of anyone praying daily in this way. In fact, I had no initial response to it the first few times my mother informed me of her gift. Then one morning, my mother shared with me, once again, the heartfelt, Christly prayer for every family member. This was a morning that changed my perspective on life.
When I called my mother long-distance that lonely heartache of a morning, I'd had a stillbirth. The doctor and midwife in attendance had seen no reason for it to happen. I was assured by my mother that neither our dear infant daughter nor I, nor anyone, could ever be removed from the circle of God's love. The love of God is always complete and is our protection and provision. Right then I imagined a shiny, beautiful bubble that could not be popped because of its strength, completeness, and beauty. And, in turn, I envisioned in prayer this circle of pure love around our daughter, my mother, the doctor and midwives, my husband, our children, and myself.
That day I felt as if the staff had joined supportive hands with my family. It was very special to receive a call from the doctor two days later, sharing how very impressed he was by my calmness and resolve. God sustains us under all circumstances with His grace.
As family and friends communicated compassion in countless unique and loving ways, I thanked God for examples of the fact that His life and love never die. He truly sustains each one of His children through eternity.
Everyone lives in divine Love's embrace. We cannot be out of it. This fact does not change. As the Bible says, "God is love" (I John 4:8). The Christian Science textbook elaborates: " 'God is Love.' More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 6).
The understanding of God has saved me countless times throughout my life. Whenever I've felt teased, hated, used by anyone, I've been able to protect myself and express Love's good grace to these individuals. Every conflict has been resolved, healed, through this prayerful action. Love would not allow me to walk away (physically or mentally) from a situation until it had been healed.
According to the Bible, Christ Jesus showed the way to respond to any situation that falls short of characterizing God's love. He prayed, he forgave, he overcame, he healed, all through expressing Love's purposeful grace. The lovingkindness that Jesus lived continues forever, for everyone to express.
We do not create the circle of love, nor is it there to think of only if we have a need. It is vital to recognize that this circle includes in it every individual, everywhere, in his/her true nature as God's perfect image (see Gen. 1:26). It is not enough simply to admire Love and to be grateful that God is here. It is as we "live, and move, and have our being" in this Love (Acts 17:28) that we truly care for ourselves and for each other. And it's so important to recognize this daily in our prayers, as my mother does. It truly helps the whole world, for it reflects the love of God!
As stated in the "Christian Science Hymnal," No. 148, let's rejoice together:
In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?
You can read in-depth articles about Christian Science in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.