The power of the invisible

A Christian Science perspective: A lesson from flying kites illustrates divine power.

Remember assembling those colorful tissue and balsa kites on windy spring days, and the great expectation that going airborne promised? We assembled each part with precision and care. We took our flight plans seriously as our vision soared to new heights. With a brisk run to catch the breeze, we had liftoff.

The power that lifts a kite is invisible, but evident in the flying kite. Wind moves things.

My experience with kites reminds me of the relationship between the visible and invisible, when it comes to God and each of us as His sons and daughters. It has served as a complement to my study and practice of Christian Science.

The kite analogy helps me understand that even though we don’t see the power of God, it is evident in the effects for good that it produces in our lives. I’ve learned from my study of the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, that even though the power of God is not a visual phenomenon, it is evident in its healing and transforming spirit. This divine presence of Life, Truth, and Love is known and felt because of its impact on daily life.

This spiritual uplift can be seen in the blessings it brings and the motives it inspires. These are veritable blessings of improved health, harmonious relationships, and abundant supply. I’ve found inspiration in this verse of a hymn:

O blest is he to whom is given
The instinct that can tell
That God is on the field, although
He seems invisible.
           Frederick W. Faber, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 86

The power that lifted my kite was invisible, but I never doubted for one moment that the wind would do anything different from what I expected it to do. Expectation is an extension of my faith, because it meets me at the point of my need in perceptible ways.

Expectation is based on trust, and over the years when I’ve prayed, based on an understanding of the presence of God, good, everywhere, never doubting, never outlining, my need has been met in palpable ways. I continue to find God in His constancy “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Mrs. Eddy put it this way: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Science and Health, p. 494). What is invisible to the eye becomes the foundation of everything good.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.