There have been encouraging restorations of relationships between nations and peoples down through history. Countries that were once at war with one another are now living in a sense of respectful peace and harmony, sharing economic, cultural, and diplomatic relations. However, the peace that has been restored between nations is often overlooked and not fully appreciated.
The hostility that once existed between Vietnam and the United States has given way to normal and natural diplomatic relations, and the two countries now take part in joint projects, mutual financial investments, and tourism (see “A lesson of Vietnam,” jsh.christianscience.com). The recent anniversary of this reconciliation that occurred 20 years ago is an event to be celebrated. Such restoration signals, and is evidence of, the natural and normal harmony that can and should exist between nations. It brings hope that higher ways are possible, as was expressed in the teachings of Christ Jesus.
Jesus gave the perfect basis for restoring harmony – not only between individuals but between nations as well. He said: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:44, 45). The truth underlying this teaching is that everyone has one creator, one Father – the divine Mind, which includes no hatred, no evil of any kind.
As we understand that everyone in this global family has the same creator – divine Mind, which fills all space – we find no room for hatred and strife between people because we find the ability to see evil as no part of anyone’s true being as God’s child. Then, we can direct our attention to lessening, through prayer, the human conviction that evil is a reality and power, and instead work to bring out the good that is natural and real, in ourselves and others. Finding our spiritual common ground as brothers and sisters with one creator, one divine Mind, allows us to break down cultural and historic barriers; to truly love and respect others; to listen to their views and seek solutions that will bless everyone. This work begins with individuals and inevitably rises to the higher levels of statesmanship and genuine diplomacy between countries.
In 1898 Christian Science Founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote “Other Ways Than By War” to the Boston Herald newspaper in answer to a question about how to settle difficulties between nations. She said: “In reply to your question, ‘Should difficulties between the United States and Spain be settled peacefully by statesmanship and diplomacy, in a way honorable and satisfactory to both nations?’ I will say I can see no other way of settling difficulties between individuals and nations than by means of their wholesome tribunals, equitable laws, and sound, well-kept treaties” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 277).
The persistence and diligence that are required to uphold equitable laws and treaties take genuine care and effort from all parties – leaders of countries and even the people within them. We all must be willing to relinquish strongly held personal views and wounded feelings. We must humbly yield in prayer to the unifying, unselfish love characterized by Christ Jesus. This kind of spiritual love for God and man helps remove and replace bitter feelings, when we pray from the standpoint that good alone is real – because God, who is good itself is supreme.
You and I can help the restoration of brotherhood and relations between nations as we earnestly pray to know and feel that there is only one God, only one Father with His universal children reflecting this one divine Mind – a spiritual reality we can increasingly help prove for the world, and help tear down the seeming stone walls of the past. Our love for and respect of others, based on God’s all-embracing love, increasingly brings to light our divinely ordained and spiritually based harmony as the children of God’s universal family.