Expressway prayer

Originally printed as an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel

Picture yourself costarring, as I did recently, in a drama you never intended to witness - much less be part of. As a movie script, it might read this way:

OPENING SCENE. 7:30 a.m. Rush hour. An aerial long shot takes in the whole 12-mile expressway from the western suburbs into downtown. CREDITS ROLL, as camera zooms in on thousands of cars/sports utility vehicles/trucks choking the eight-lane turnpike. Theme music fades into sound of blowing horns, blaring car radios, throbbing engines.

Camera focuses in on two cars, one just behind the other, inching bumper-to-bumper toward a tollgate. In Car A, an expensive black sedan, sits an attractive couple in business suits. In Car B, you sit - deep in thought about the coming day.

CUT to close-up of couple in Car A. Husband yells at wife, gesturing violently. Wife says nothing, but looks at him pleadingly. As his anger escalates, she reaches for a tissue - and softly cries.

CUT to Car B. You notice the altercation in Car A. As the traffic creeps toward the tollgate, the husband intensifies his verbal pounding. The wife cowers. You want to tell him to leave her alone - but aren't sure how you could do it. You're caught in a drama scripted for disaster - feeling helpless to help someone desperate for comfort and strength.

Comfort and strength??? Wait a minute. That takes you - CUT, CUT, CUT - to a whole new scene. A mental scene. A prayer scene. A place where you can help - where there's an infinitely more powerful direction than is being acted out in this drama.

God Himself is the All-in-all of this scene. God, who is comfort itself, strength itself. Safety itself. Didn't King David of Israel, the great military leader of the Bible, call God "my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer"? (see II Sam. 21:18-22) And he knew! God had saved David and his people from a family of bloodthirsty giants.

But being protected by God didn't happen only back in Bible times, between kings and giants. It's for now, too - even on the expressway. God takes care of every single one of His/Her children, forever. And God doesn't favor men over women, or women over men. Because the Almighty created man and woman absolutely equal. And loves them equally.

There's a reason God is so consistently impartial toward men and women. It's that God is both Father and Mother of creation. And His/Her fatherhood and motherhood - expressing the true male and female attributes of the Divine Being - couldn't possibly be antagonistic to each other. Or divorced from each other. They're aspects of Her/His oneness, like facets of the same diamond. Facets that enhance, and never detract from, each other. Facets that coalesce naturally in the resplendence of God.

And they coalesce naturally in all of us. Because we mirror the masculine/feminine qualities of Spirit. Mary Baker Eddy said, "Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 516).

That's glorified quality. Not bullheaded or hostile or violent quality. Just glorified. Even on the expressway. Always.... And that's your prayer.

CUT AND SLOW DISSOLVE TO CLOSING SCENE. 8:03 A.M. Car A is just emerging from tollgate, followed by Car B. Husband is still raging, but wife is looking away, out the side window. She's composed and thoughtful.

Later, in Car B, you pass Car A and drive the rest of the way into the city, still praying. In the rearview mirror, you see the husband's face soften. He relaxes. Peace settles in. And he steals a look at his wife, to see if she's OK.

As Car A and Car B exit on downtown ramp, DISSOLVE to long shot of twelve-mile expressway.

Let the CREDITS ROLL. And God be thanked.

In the day that God created

man, in the likeness of

God made he him; male and female created he them;

and blessed them.

Genesis 5:1, 2

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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