Collective hearts, one Mind

A Christian Science perspective: Each of us has the capacity to hear God's voice.

Author and spiritual essayist Anne Lamott is quoted as saying: “Lighthouses don’t go moving all over the island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

What is it about statements like this that make the heart soar? That cause us to nod our heads in agreement at the spiritual message – the “aha” moment that says “Yes!”

It seems to have little to do with sharing the same religion. In fact, a wonderful and unexpected aspect of such a response is that it’s a mental reach beyond any name, label, or classification. It’s a sincere and spontaneous glimpse into the universal presence of divine Love.

Today more than ever we have need of that soaring heart, which gathers us up together in the acknowledgment that we are – each of us – one with God. One with an infinite Mind, divine Love, that is the source of all good.

It is this sense of collective humanity that helps us heal what often appears as a wounded world.

William Sloane Coffin, Yale University chaplain for more than two decades, wrote: “It is bad religion to deify doctrines and creeds.... [D]octrines and creeds are only so as signposts. Love alone is the hitching post” (“Credo,” Westminster John Knox Press). The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, knew the vital essence of this divine Love. She knew of its transformative nature; it underscored all of her writings, and was the foundation of her lifetime of healing work. She also knew the patience that would be required. That even while understanding the reality of a timeless, infinite universe, it might very well take “time” for both the vagaries of daily life as well as the dramatic headlines of the day to collapse in on themselves and self-destruct – being no part of God, good.

When divine Love is felt as the dynamic force that drives the universe, division and misunderstanding recede and can disappear altogether. This is the much-needed unity that comes from knowing each and every one of us has the capacity to hear God’s voice. It is the clarity that overrides the frightening, intimidating images that flash before us in the name of “what’s happening” – whether it be in our daily lives or on the world stage. Instead of reacting, judging, or feeling helpless, we acknowledge divine Love as the one language that unites us – the one language that translates into compassion, blessing – and healing.

Mary Baker Eddy was a voice for the ages when she said, “To weave one thread of Science through the looms of time, is a miracle in itself” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 99). That “one thread of Science” is our embrace of spiritual wholeness that takes in everyone – family, neighbors, world leaders – and yes, even the driver in front of us.

It is an “aha” moment we can take with us for eternity.

From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.

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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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