A city 'whose builder and maker is God'
A Christian Science perspective on daily life
There is great building and rebuilding going on in New Orleans. Many people are wondering, however, what can make this construction progress faster and smoother.
There's some inspiration in the Scriptures regarding rebuilding. The Bible records that Abraham "looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10).
As I pray for the reconstruction in New Orleans, I can see this city "whose builder and maker is God" as the prototype. All construction can employ ideas coming directly from the "eternal builder."
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, faced challenges in building her church, both figuratively and literally. She, like Abraham, sought a spiritual foundation for all her building. She wrote, "We should consecrate existence, not 'to the unknown God' whom we 'ignorantly worship,' but to the eternal builder, the everlasting Father, to the Life which mortal sense cannot impair nor mortal belief destroy" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 428).
As St. Paul explained God to those who were ignorantly worshiping an "unknown God," so Mrs. Eddy addressed any possible ignorance regarding just who the builder is. Explaining God to be the everlasting Father as well as the eternal builder, she made clear that this knowable God is Life itself, which is not involved in destruction and impairment. We find God to be the eternal builder as we recognize the presence and power of the everlasting Father.
I've yearned for my prayers for New Orleans to be more specific and helpful, and I find that as I understand God to be the builder, my prayers are more solidly based. God, the divine Mind, is always expressed in clear ideas. And since God is also Spirit, these ideas are not limited to human reasoning.
They are not inhibited by ignorance or lack of any kind. Ideas from God can flood human consciousness with inspiration that lights the way for the next step in any building project. These ideas are proportioned by God as divine Principle and are rightly related. There is no delay in spiritual building, because ideas indicate the very presence of God.
The "eternal builder" guides the hands of the architect and carpenter, the plasterer and plumber, the electrician and roofer.
Right where there may be confusion or lack of direction, there is the right idea from divine Love itself, which meets human needs. This Love supplies the patience and cooperation necessary when people work together.
God as Spirit is undeterred by merely material obstructions and leads through or around them. And, as Life itself, this builder is always constructive, always unlimited and infinite.
While my desire is to find my prayers more specific and effectual for this city, I realize that prayer is universal in its application. The "eternal builder" is present wherever needed. We can employ the spiritual truths given to us by our everlasting Father to every stricken area in our world. Whatever disaster has caused the destruction, building and rebuilding are enhanced by prayer that humbly seeks the city "whose builder and maker is God."
Except the Lord build
the house, they labour in vain
that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.