The Twitter feed can be a lonely place for an independent thinker during presidential debates and other campaign events.
Those 140-character missives could be shedding light. (Yes, they could! Most of Jesus’ timeless Beatitudes would fit in a tweet, and think how much light they have already shed!)
Instead, interweaving threads of partisan conviction grace an independent’s Twitter feed – often patronizing or even vitriolic. As I followed such dissonant discourse during a recent debate, I kept thinking, “We can do better than this.”
After it was concluded, a more hopeful thought came to mind: “God does better than this.”
That’s not to say politics or politicians are unimportant. I feel gratitude and respect for anyone willing and able to assume the responsibilities of sitting in the Oval Office. But this insight answered my need to see beyond polarized summations of who’d “won” a debate and who would win the election to recognize an America full of people each potentially open to God’s grace, irrespective of who is in power.
This was a spiritual “aha” moment of glimpsing that the divine Mind, God, has unconditional access to the thinking of all citizens at all times. Through the Christ – the spiritual message Jesus evidenced so completely in his own humble obedience to divine leadings – God, infinite intelligence, can constantly plant spiritual seeds into the beautifully diverse landscape of American thought.
These are the seeds of a thoughtful recognition of divine Love’s all-power and universal control, which come replete with individual and broader healing consequences. They are sewn through the spiritual humility that brings God’s eternally benign, universal authority to light one consciousness at a time and spills out from each spiritual perceiver in healing prayer and deeds of practical good.
I suspect an unnamed Bible hero who appears to have held no office of note exercised this kind of influence. According to the book of Ecclesiastes: “There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man” (9:14-15).
Besieged by economic concerns and foreign-policy fears, we certainly hope – and can pray – for our leaders to exercise political and diplomatic wisdom on our behalf. Yet the underlying need for spiritual vision that can best support them in doing so is one that all – including those in power and their political opponents – can play a part in.
In that respect, the United States is a nation of millions of potential points of healing and unifying light, whatever the outcome on Nov. 6, and every American, not just those with a vote, is one of them. We all have the capacity to nurture a more humble heart within ourselves that is open to a higher view of a God – that is, one which yields to an understanding of Him as wisely and fairly governing a universal family of equally cherished children.
Similarly, anyone can be a prayerful perceiver of the powerlessness of what the Bible calls “the carnal mind” – the material thought opposed to spiritual good – that wants to divide and (mis)rule God’s children rather than affirm and evidence the unity of all in God’s love.
Perhaps, then, some tweet-length counsel that could have been useful for debate-watchers feeling the future was hanging on a thread – and which will be helpful as the results roll in – would be the following: “Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God’s government.”
These words from page 393 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, belong in a passage on the restorative impact spiritualized thought can have on the physical body. Yet their sweet promise can embrace the body politic, too.
If God governs before, during, and after each presidential and congressional election – as an eternal God must do – then the opportunity is there for each citizen wishing to help bolster political stability, civility, and effective leadership to do so.
We can and should vote according to our conscience, of course.
But we can also mentally, prayerfully be firm in our grasp that the infinitely benign God loves and governs all.