In the Father’s hands

A Christian Science perspective: Who doesn't want to feel that they are in good hands?

Who of us doesn’t want to feel that we’re in good hands – that our family, our children, in fact everyone in the world, is in the best care possible? In the book of Isaiah, God speaks to us directly, saying: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (41:10).

We might wonder how we can take God at His word when innocent people fall into what appear to be the wrong hands. For instance, the 17-year-old British boy who was led to join a terror organization. According to his heartbroken family, the group carried out a “process of deliberate and calculated grooming of him” (“ ‘Britain’s youngest suicide bomber’ mourned by West Yorkshire family,” The Guardian, June 15).

In my prayers, I’ve found it immensely helpful to understand God as Mind – one of seven Bible-based synonyms Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, uses to define God. To know God as the one Mind, and man as Mind’s reflection, is to understand that God is truly the only presence and power governing our children. It is to be conscious that every child possesses spiritual wisdom and discernment from divine Mind and, therefore, has the ability to reason and act rightly. Because God is everywhere, His children are always with Him, wherever they are. God’s Christ, His message of Truth, is always speaking to them.

Mrs. Eddy once wrote: “God is our Shepherd. He guards, guides, feeds, and folds the sheep of His pasture; and their ears are attuned to His call. In the words of the loving disciple, ‘My sheep hear my voice, ... and they follow me; ... neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’ ” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” pp. 150-151).

Years ago, I began to grasp those ideas. I was engaged to a man whom I had dated for some months. As the wedding date approached, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong. I spoke to my fiancé about it and asked him probing questions that I felt might dissolve my anxiety. But our conversations only left me more confused, and I began doubting my own ability to reason. Not knowing what more I could do humanly, I prayed deeply.

Through a remarkable set of circumstances I learned he had lied to me about many things, like his real name and about having children, and a wife from whom he had been divorced only weeks earlier. When confronted, he never admitted he had lied. Yet it was clear that the truth had come out and I had been saved from making a terrible mistake. This never became so evident as when someone who knew this man well said that only God could have saved me from that marriage.

This was powerful proof to me that we are always in the Father’s protective hands.

This article was adapted from the Sept. 28 issue of 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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