A Christian Science perspective: Everyone is valued equally.

It was 5:38 a.m. as I looked out my hotel room window on the edge of downtown Los Angeles. Already there were eight people briskly walking on the street below me. By 6 a.m. I could count 25 people scurrying off to start their day. And a few minutes later, when I looked again, the next batch was getting into cars, walking, biking, or waiting for the city bus, which I noticed was full as it passed. 

My heart was so touched by the industry of people who were up that early on their way to their jobs. Based on their clothing, it was clear that there were painters, trash collectors, gardeners, cleaning people, fast-food workers, and prep cooks. It occurred to me that they probably work long days, every day.

As I watched them, I wondered if they felt noticed and valued in this city, where not only money but also influence is the currency that is most commonly valued and respected. The thought came to me, “But I see you and value you. You are not hidden to me.” At first I thought of this as merely my own commitment to cherish each individual who passed by, respecting each one’s unique contribution. But then I realized there was a higher source for those thoughts. I was hearing God’s thoughts!

The study of Christian Science has taught me that God knows each of His ideas, and values them. They are not hidden, but known to God! As I watched the city awaken, I was inspired by how loved we each are by God, Love itself. No one is invisible to God. He knows each one as the unique, individualized expression of His infinite nature, and He tenderly embraces and directs all of us, without exception. He holds us all up and rejoices in the truth of our being, as His individual creation.

This reminded me of words found in the Bible, where God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3, New King James). Just as God had been speaking to Jeremiah in that day, I felt as if I was hearing God’s words shining a fresh light on my day.

In the quiet of communion with God we have the opportunity to see with new eyes. Preconceived notions, judgments, and fears about others wash away. We see others as God sees them, whole and complete, spiritual and harmonious, vitally important as the manifestation of God. This spiritual insight comes as a result of the touch of the Christ, God’s divine message to man, speaking to human thought, and it brings healing. 

Each one of us, without exception, is of value, a loved idea of God, and as we understand this, we discover that each of us has a unique contribution to make. You can liken it to numbers in the number system. Who can say which is more important, a 7 or a 7,000,707? If you were to try to compare the two, neither is more important, because when you need a 7, or alternately, you need a 7,000,707, nothing else will do! Without that unique number the entire number system would fall apart. So too with us as individuals. Each one is unique and vitally important. No one is without worth or redundant. Our creator values each of us as the specific, individualized expression of all that pours forth from our magnificent source, God. 

As my day proceeded I found myself seeing all those with whom I came into contact through new eyes. Frequently I was walking in areas that previously had made me feel uncomfortable. In the past I had intentionally walked with purpose on these same streets, looking straight ahead. This time that feeling of love, valuing each one with a whole heart, changed my posture. I still walked with purpose, but I looked in the eyes of those I passed with respect and appreciation. At one point I walked through a group of young men who had the appearance of being gang members, and still I felt nothing but respect as I consciously valued each one we peacefully passed on the street.

In a letter, Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, extended this embracing sentiment to another, “I hope and trust that you and I may meet in truth and know each other there, and know as we are known of God” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 120).The dawning sense of appreciation I had that early morning has not left me. It keeps coming to my thought interwoven with the words, “known of God.” We are each known and cherished and valued by God. What a transforming thought! Accepted, we can see all mankind with new eyes that see as God sees.

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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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