"It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it," declared the official news agency of North Korea. The assertion referred to the nuclear bomb that they claimed to have successfully produced and tested.
I read the quote over a few times and try to imagine anyone buying the notion that this contributes to peace and stability. Each time I conclude the same thing: a gap about the size of the Pacific Ocean yawns between the statement and reality.
This nation of 23 million is so impoverished that, while it diverted desperately needed resources to develop nuclear technology, 2 million of its citizens starved to death in the 1990s. This nation calls itself "prosperous" in its official news agency pronouncements. I begin to suspect gaps between statements and facts.
It's not that I'm expecting credibility. It's that I'm yearning to pray – effectively – but can't imagine how to reach them. How does one reach leaders who hold notions that, to me at least, seem so completely wrongheaded?
Then I remember one of the basics of prayer. I don't have to reach them. I have to reach out to God, turn to Him, recognize His intelligence, His presence, His power.
I have to let my consciousness become so convinced of His control of the largest of issues and the tiniest of details that nothing and no one is left out. I have to so completely yield my prejudices that I begin to glimpse a globe-sweeping peace is genuinely possible, is consistent with His design, even if not apparently consistent with the design of certain world leaders.
This description of a peaceable kingdom comes to mind: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (Isa. 11:6).
The lamb didn't first have to "reach" the wolf with the idea of nonviolent coexistence; the kid didn't have to "convince" the leopard that weapons would be destabilizing; the calf had no need of speaking "lion-language" before the two could live in peace. Why not? Because the little child was there to lead them all. The little child, which I understand to be Christ, the healing message from God to humanity, was, and is, on the scene.
That makes all the difference. Christ speaks to human consciousness – and here we might consider human consciousness as a universal rather than a collection of billions of individual minds. Christ voices a message of truth, of assurance, of calm, and of little-child innocence. The same Christ, Truth, that stilled violent storms in New Testament times is still present, still powerful, still speaking.
When I remember God's message, I no longer wonder if it's a message that will reach someone I thought unreachable or that will convince someone I thought beyond convincing. God, the one divine Mind, speaks, transforming human consciousness. The scene changes. The outcome improves. The impossible draws within reach.
Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established" (p. 467).
Suddenly I don't feel so hopeless. I realize that I don't have to personally get through to someone. I have to know that God's message gets through. And there's no more honest way to know that than to let the Christ message get through to me, transform my outlook, cleanse my thought of cynicism and distrust, plant the conviction that the Almighty is at the helm, governing completely, harmoniously, surely.
There is a way forward, a way to see healing of nations, to see, at least in some degree, Christ's peaceable kingdom here and now.