The unleashed presence of God's goodness

A Christian Science perspective.

I can still see a film we watched in third grade – still see my small self reacting to the vivid scene of a river bursting through a dam. As if alive, water took everything in its path, barreling over fields, leveling barns, rushing through city streets, as if somehow unleashed. Not knowing about a caring God, I was terrified by the pictures. I’m not sure if our teacher used the word “unleashed,” but I do remember her satisfaction at the effect the film had on us, no doubt to alert us to not be foolish, particularly since we lived near the great Hudson River.

Yet now, having felt a hint of real power, spiritual power, I love picturing rushing water because it in some way images the unleashed presence of God’s goodness. And my third-grade teacher’s reaction makes me think of how Mary Baker Eddy’s book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” references the ambiguous nature of mortality’s noble cautions to guard and save from pain and danger, disease and death. They begin incorrectly; materiality cannot save us from materiality.

It seems to me the word unleashed should be used exclusively with words that suggest God – goodness, happiness, grace, joy – never hate or fear. Not negative power as in floods and fire.

So this is about God – about His Christ and all that implies being unleashed.

Any given day our list of to-dos might include going to work, going shopping or for a walk – or finding a cure from aches or helping someone else find a cure. God’s light actually undergirds and runs ahead of each intent, paving our eager or not-so-eager paths. The world glimpsed that light with Jesus – and felt God’s light more fully with works of enlightened thinkers.

Mary Baker Eddy was one such thinker who wasn’t afraid to take Jesus’ words to heart, to see his works as a Science to be demonstrated, to see that God is Life itself, already being seen, felt. God, who is all good, revealed, exposed, illuminated. Unleashed. After all, isn’t that the world’s hope – to find the God who is all goodness? To see that good, after all, is the only power, loving and guarding each of us, wherever we are.

That’s something to revel in.

So just think, the gift of the Christ unleashed – never to be bound again. Mrs. Eddy tenaciously clarified and broadcast Jesus’ radical message of God as Love, explained scientific spiritual healing, declaring joy, deep peace, satisfaction, and health to be natural.

So yea! Love-alone, the Divine, unleashed, without antagonist – happiness, joy, good health running rampant.

Last summer I began to keep a second journal to record a specific idea to live with each day. The facts – that God was here first, that Love is not laborious, that for me to be isn’t laborious either – have felt like anchors holding me in place. Yet the tangible feeling of joy and all things spiritual being unleashed seemed to underlie everything – as if I’d actually consented to spiritual reality.

And when I wrote on the journal’s front cover, “These ideas are not about my seeing my way, but rather about the truth of the Christ message being seen, loved, delighted in, evidenced...,” my consent deepened, giving me a bigger purpose: to see Life itself unleashed. That I live off Life – not off a physical body, healthy or not; not off a check or employer, or sunshine, friendship or family – but off Life itself. That’s a powerful reason to get up each day: to live to acknowledge that everyone exists off Life, God ... the powerful feeling that Life simply is.

I realized this more deeply the day of a post office errand. On the drive downtown, I decided to companion with the Apostle Paul’s words “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). By the time I got to the post office, this is what I heard: We’re all together seeing God together; wrapped ’round by Love divine, together; laughing, delighting together that He is our God, the only God. Clearly the trip to the post office might initially have been just another task to check off. There had been no long line that early Monday morning, and my exchange with the clerk was really pleasant, yet I knew I wasn’t there just to mail that package but to see myself and everyone there wrapped in Love, delighting together that good is the only God, however named.

It seems to me that every situation needs to be seen as evidencing the unleashed power of joy and good – of spiritual reality being seen, felt, by each person, place, thing, whatever appears to be, spoken or unspoken. I asked myself, With the launch of Christ’s message of spiritual scientific healing, what else is there to consider? Somewhere along the way, my days were becoming a reveling that all is about God – not how clearly I may see His truth or how hard I try to see and express Love’s love or how earnestly I wish to understand God. It’s not a matter of whether Soul’s grace comes to my thinking in sweet peace, or if Life’s power shines on my face. No, it all comes back to God and His Christ unleashed on the world, dissolving materiality’s claim to power.

Divine Love, the already, the only – unleashed. This is something to revel in indeed.

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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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