Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Have you ever wished you could talk with Jesus? I have.

There was a time when my son was abusing drugs and alcohol. I became very fearful for his life. No effort on my part to get him to stop this behavior was effective.

In my prayers, it came to me strongly that I could learn something from Jesus through the Beatitudes. I knew this message was divine guidance.

The Beatitudes are found in Chapter 5 of the book of Matthew. Inspired by his communion with God, Jesus gave them to his disciples in his Sermon on the Mount. As I listened, the beatitude that came strongly to my thought was "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."

I knew in an instant that this very much pointed to a solution to the problem; in addition to fearing my son's death, I had allowed myself to feel anger over the circumstances. Other discordant feelings on my part - of failure, self-justification, willfulness - were made very evident to me in that moment of praying for help. Now, how simple, how clear, the message was. I was shown exactly what I needed to do. Instead of reacting in anger, I needed to be a peacemaker. I needed to "be called a child of God."

The change of atmosphere in our home was dramatic. As I prayed, the destructive elements of fear and anger and self-will were replaced with a strong presence of peace. I felt it, and I know my son felt it. I saw that the need was not for me to try to control my son. The need was to be a peacemaker - by praying for God's control.

As I strove to do this day by day, I saw my son expressing his own desire to do the same. He started reading the Bible and the Christian Science textbook (which is "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy). I was so grateful for this. It was a strong proof to me of how powerful the Beatitudes are to all of us, and how very practical they still are. Not only was I assured by the reading my son was doing; we also shared meaningful spiritual discussions. My heart was singing for this new bond of friendship in Christ's name. We were a team for God, for good, and good was felt so strongly in the home.

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." This was another beatitude that meant so much to us. We felt that heeding it was in direct line with making peace and being called a child of God. I knew that as we felt these qualities in our hearts, and acted them out day by day, we would see more of God. We were understanding God better.

How did we see God's goodness? Well, it was my son's senior year in high school. And he finished with A's instead of F's. But even more dramatic was his expression of artistic ability, something we were not aware he had. He drew a "masterpiece," if you will, which I hung in my bedroom. I also treasure a beautifully restored piece of furniture, as well as other handcrafted items. These are reminders of the power of following the Beatitudes.

It was a joy to have his teachers and school principals thank me for the dramatic turnabout. Even his police-ordered probation was a learning experience. We had to go to many drug and alcohol programs, until my son told his probation officer, "I'm going to rely on prayer alone." And they agreed.

My son has remained free from drugs. And I continue to feel great humility before God and gratitude to His beloved Son, Jesus. I am so grateful to see how the Beatitudes are practical, healing "be-attitudes" in our lives.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

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