Over the past few months, Dubai blazed itself onto my radar screen. I'd been reading about it in books, magazines, and newspapers. I felt a deep desire to understand the situation there more fully and compassionately. Then a friend who had been there recently urged me, "Go to Dubai." A series of circumstances occurred that made it possible for me to fulfill that desire.
One word sums up for me my experience: "Staggering." There's the remarkable architecture, the expansiveness of thought, the acceptance of possibility, the "can do" attitude. There's the year-round inside ski resort reaching up into the sky at the Mall of the Emirates. There's the retirement home on a man-made island in the Gulf that looks like a yacht under full sail. There are real estate developments that boggle the mind.
If there is one syllable that you hear, it is "est." The tallest, the newest, the biggest, the cleverest. The rich seem to have it made.
Yet to some of the expatriate workers who swarm the numerous building projects, or who provide exquisite service for the many tourist attractions, the "est" may voice itself as dishonest. They resent the working conditions they say they must endure in order to participate in this paradise on the Saudi Arabian peninsula. They feel exploited.
So, as I returned, wanting to pray more effectively for this as for other parts of the world, I asked myself, "What do I know as the real Truth?" This: God is good, and the creation of this Father-Mother God naturally manifests goodness. That is what is the truth for all of God's children. God, or eternal Truth, can only be represented by integrity, wholeness, balance, and equity.
To accept the Christ-message, that we are all the children of God, prompted me to turn to an inspiring passage in the book "Miscellaneous Writings" by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. She expanded on this biblical message about Jesus: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God" (John 1: 12, 13).
Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "Self-renunciation of all that constitutes a so-called material man, and the acknowledgment and achievement of his spiritual identity as the child of God, is Science that opens the very flood-gates of heaven; whence good flows into every avenue of being, cleansing mortals of all uncleanness, destroying all suffering, and demonstrating the true image and likeness. There is no other way under heaven whereby we can be saved, and man be clothed with might, majesty, and immortality" (p. 185).
A surge of compassion swept over me - an appreciation of God's children. Not as merely sheikhs, laborers, money managers, moguls, and servants. Just God's wonderful children manifesting Mind-faculties - intelligence, wisdom, vision, insight, perception, judgment, clarity, reason. Those faculties of Mind are inherent in everyone living in Dubai as well as all those involved in the current controversy over the ownership and governance of ports.
Here is a country faithful to its religious persuasions. Yet, finding itself unable to count on oil revenues, as its oil resources are drying up, it is accommodating itself to the West. Having no water resources, it desalinates over 2-1/2 million gallons of seawater every day.
I could appreciate that the Mind-faculties are indeed at work. They are being gainfully employed. So, I think I know how to pray more effectively for this small country in the very epicenter of swirling world events.
Now, as I ponder various news reports and consider my response, I can "Go to Dubai" in a very different way than by spacious aircraft to spacious and beautiful airport. I can tangibly know the Truth. And I can feel all humanity enveloped, wrapped in God's love, all of us the children of God.