The unseen forces of divine Love

A Christian Science perspective: Divine Love warms the heart. It dissolves impasses, restores justice, forgives and forgets.

However conditioned we may be to look to the media for our impressions of what’s going on in the world, and however dependent we have become on computers and smartphones to give us the latest headline or viral video, we should always remember: There is something else going on.

It’s not usually grabbing our attention like an acrobatic sign-spinner on a street corner luring drivers into a car wash. It’s something felt more than seen. It’s divine Love.

Divine Love is breaking down walls, harmonizing discussions, unifying families, healing hurts, and blessing nations. Like the sun shining on a frozen pond, Divine Love warms the heart. It dissolves impasses, restores justice, forgives and forgets.

Some may have little faith in it or even doubt that it’s there. Sometimes there are attempts of evil to mock divine Love – troubles that loom so large they appear to dwarf any possibility of Love’s presence.

But when we come to understand this Love not as a mere personal sentiment but as the ever-operative law of divine Principle, or God, we’ll recognize it more readily. Love never changes, grows weary, or depletes itself. As the laws of mathematics are unerring and beautiful in their infinite nature, so the operation of divine Love, God, unerringly governs His own creation, man and the universe. Christ Jesus was so confident of divine Love’s control – his eyes were so open, one might say to the ever-present influence of Love – that he prayed on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

He received his reward for that on resurrection morning. We can be partakers of his reward in the measure that we lift our vision to the divine Love he felt and demonstrated. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science and The Christian Science Monitor, wrote: “Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus’ teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit, – the law of divine Love” (“Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures,” p. 19).

Because Love is the truth of all real being and underlies our true nature as God’s spiritual offspring, we know the love that has its source in divine Love when we see it. We just feel it. It transforms human experience above self-serving and materialistic pursuits to rarefied careers of giving and service and the joy they bring, whether we are teachers, executives, diplomats, barbers, artists, or day-care workers.

Mrs. Eddy noted the transforming power of Love reflected in human affairs when she wrote: “As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 250).

Above the jarring headlines of the day, Love is still having its good effect on our world. Peace is unfurling. The roots and tendrils of democracy are spreading and establishing themselves. More children than ever before are being educated, fed, and cherished in families and communities. As noted by Monitor Editor John Yemma, the “big picture” of global progress reveals falling crime rates in developed countries, safer work places, less war, and less poverty (“Editor’s View,” The Christian Science Monitor Daily News Briefing, April 19).

Not every child is safe. Not all oppressive regimes have collapsed. But the law of Love, which underlies all reality, is at work in human hearts and will ultimately neutralize these discords – even as the laws of harmony in music inevitably cancel out ill-conceived chords. St. Paul writes, “Love never fails” (I Corinthians 13:8, J.B. Phillips).

In the meantime, let’s pray that we may be luminous vessels of divine Love, “irrespective of self, rank, or following,” as Eddy enjoins. For when it is expressed in our lives – with little fanfare – it is “the greatest of all stages and states of being” (“Miscellaneous Writings,” p. 357).

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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.”

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