Iran hurtles ahead with its development of both a nuclear weapon and a delivery system for the device. When might it succeed? Pakistan aims to keep its weapons safely locked up. What if it fails? North Korea continues its nuclear grandstanding. What if it miscalculates? Al Qaeda thirsts for a nuclear device. What if it gets one? The unnerving questions spill out in fearful discussions everywhere.
The good news? The spread of fear is actually overmatched by a spiritual reality – the spread of God's care. Could that also be true of the weapons themselves? Could their spread also be overmatched by a spiritual reality – by the divinely impelled spread of God's presence and power? Consider this. The one Mind and Love of all, the one God, comes with a message of safety and calm to every scene of explosiveness, in every time of uncertainty. That message, which is the Christ, comes with irresistible authority, and keeps on coming to humanity until explosiveness and uncertainty begin to give way to the safety of Mind and the calm of Love. In other words, the spread of God's care is made practical and tangible. To affirm this in prayer is not reckless idealism. It is divinely based realism. It is pragmatic spiritual action.
The book of Deuteronomy states a spiritual fact with poetic simplicity. "As an eagle ... spreadeth abroad her wings ... so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him" (Deut. 32:11, 12). It is in God's nature to extend His care, to spread His protective presence across all His nestlings, all His offspring. It is in our nature to be His offspring and to be aware of that divinely protective action. It is in our interest to become more conscious of God's shielding and sheltering presence. Then the spiritual truth of God's ever-spreading care begins to counter all sorts of dangers, including those that are nuclear.
Does this mean that, when it comes to reversing nuclear proliferation and the spread of fear, prayer should substitute for diplomatic endeavor? No. But prayer, infused with the awareness of divine power, can serve as an underpinning to diplomatic efforts. Then things such as patience, restraint, watchfulness, and readiness gain reinforcement. They find their place not just in our hopes for the future, but also in our policies for the present. Dangers recede. Threats get dialed down. Brinkmanship loses its appeal. Opportunities for negotiated settlements that are verifiable and enforceable open up.
God's care is so certain that it's accurate to say there is a law or Science of His care. Like gravity, which operates according to law, the care of God functions with scientific consistency. Mary Baker Eddy, in a phrase that describes the Monitor but has a usefulness beyond that description, said this newspaper was designed "to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent" ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," p. 353). Think of that. It is Science, the law of God, that spreads. It is Science, the Word of Love, that knows no divides, accommodates no antagonisms. It is Science, the truth of being, that ultimately never gets walled off from any region but spreads to every corner of consciousness and buttresses common ground. It is Science that declares God's care as, in truth, already ever present, even though it appears to us as spreading throughout the human scene. The law operates ceaselessly. It imparts the safety of Mind and the calm of Love endlessly. They reach where they're needed most unfailingly. Evil endeavors get uncovered and thwarted more consistently.
But the spread of His care is not just a defensive action. That is, God's law doesn't just defend against extremist views bent on unleashing nuclear nightmares. Nor does it just defend against catastrophic mistakes that might trigger unplanned horrors. The Science of God's care goes on the offensive and enters into the inner parts and human hearts of key players, including would-be evildoers. God's law operates powerfully, spreads limitlessly, remains unspent. Ultimately, no one can completely shut out its influence. Yet, it is not quite enough for all this to be true. It has to be known as true, realized in prayer as true. Then it is enough. Then the prayer makes a practical difference.
The spread of God's presence and power, impelled by the Science of His care, overmatches and reverses the spread of any danger. A calmer and safer world begins to dawn.
Adapted from an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.