A relationship restored

A Christian Science perspective.

I often record spiritual insights and related ideas in a notebook. I jot down a specific problem I’m facing, along with what my prayers are revealing about how to approach it from a spiritually enlightened standpoint. A recent experience turned me to my notebook again. It concerned an individual, who, I was told, disliked me intensely. This wasn’t the first time I’d faced this charge about her feelings toward me.

I was tempted to ruminate over past incidents. Instead, I decided to turn to my notebook. The problem could be summed up in three words: “discordant personal relationship.” With that identification made, I wrote, “What I know is true about her as a child of God:...”

If prayer was to produce constructive results, I needed to bridge the breach between the individual and me with God-inspired concepts that heal. I felt impelled to eliminate the negativity toward her that I was harboring, with a deep, cleansing prayer that revealed her identity as God’s loved child.

I picked up my pen and wrote one significant fact that I knew was true about her: “Because of her relationship with her Father-Mother God, she could not be a conveyor of ill will or hateful intent.” I continued to record what was coming to me.

When I found myself thinking of her as having an unpleasant disposition, I countered that thought by holding to an enlightened view of her as conceived by a perfect Creator, which nullifies any suggestion to the contrary.

When I thought of her as indulging in negative thoughts, I struck down that misidentification, declaring God as the source of her spotless and undefiled identity.

I was encouraged by where this reasoning took me. My “What I know is true ...” entries were growing, each one a rebuke to the ungodlike thoughts I’d initially entertained. My heart was softening as the divine facts took hold in my consciousness. I jotted down a quotation by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. She wrote: “Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” p. 71).

Instead of justifying what I saw as oversensitivity, low self-esteem, thoughtless disregard, I began to reidentify her with what I’ve learned is true of the sons and daughters of God’s creating. Seeing her as created to express Him, and not as a host for harsh thoughts, cleared the way for me to pray more effectively.

I could now view this individual as embodying thoughtfulness, caring, benevolence, and lovingkindness. Identifying her in this way brought to mind specific instances when I’d seen her express these qualities. The hardened perceptions that had obscured a clear view of her true spiritual selfhood were melting away.

Sometime later when I was sending my new address to my e-mail contact list, it never occurred to me that this individual’s name was probably on it – and I wouldn’t have deleted it had I thought to check. Happily, I received a friendly acknowledgment from her, opening the door of communication. Gone was the rancor that had tainted our relationship.

My prayers had prepared me to welcome her back into my life. We now enjoy frequent amicable exchanges. Prayerfully reasoning on paper had helped me think about this person in a more benevolent light, and I’m grateful that our relationship was restored.

Whenever negative thoughts about someone come to mind, refusing to indulge in those thoughts is a blessing to all. Turning to God in this endeavor, we will receive His loving support. There are no divisive traits in the one Mind, God, and each of us is tenderly embraced in His oneness.

Refusing to indulge in negative contemplation of someone who has treated you rudely or cruelly can seem impossible. But inviting God’s all-encompassing love to go before you clears the path for wholeness to be restored.

To receive Christian Science perspectives daily or weekly in your inbox, sign up today.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.