Only good can touch you

A Christian Science perspective: We can each experience good today, wherever we are.

Perhaps we can all recall times when we have been touched by something. We may be touched by seeing a child do something thoughtful to make a friend feel happy. Or, in another direction, someone might do something to hurt us emotionally or even physically.

But can you conceive of being so conscious of God’s goodness that you realize nothing harmful or disappointing can touch you? That you can only be touched by God, divine Love? To conceive of this reality takes spiritual sense – an intuitive way of discovering our innate spiritual identity as the reflection of the Divine.

Seeing spiritually in this way requires the boldness to defy what the physical senses would say: that we are at the mercy of things unfortunate and harmful, that the universe is set up to affect us adversely, or that through our misconceptions, mistakes, or simply in the normal course of being human, we can experience hurt feelings and much worse that we can’t do anything about. But all such concepts of life, though they may seem present and even inevitable, represent a way of thinking from which we have the capacity to break free. To do this is not to check out of what material sense calls reality, but to discover a reality that’s higher and more present, the actual spiritual reality that’s always waiting to be discerned in our own hearts.

The Bible brings out that God is all-powerful, ever-present Love (see I John 4:16). What possible motivation could divine Love have for exposing us to hurt? In truth, none. This Father-Mother Love holds us close, indeed at one with Him, Her. God and His image and likeness (each of us in our true, flawless being) constitute forever an unbreakable state of unity: perfect God united with perfect man, perfect cause inseparable from perfect effect, and perfect Principle forever at one with perfect idea. In this unity exists no possibility of anything touching us except that which is good and beautiful.

Confirming that it’s God’s will that we be touched by goodness alone, Jesus said, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). And he proved – by reforming the sinner, healing the sick, and raising the dead – that each of us is at one with the Father in His kingdom, safe under His supreme and benevolent rule.

This revelation of the supremacy of God and His pure goodness, and of the absolute safety of each of us as His reflection, is infinitely precious. And the practicality of this vision makes it even more valuable. Embracing these ideas gives us the courage and the insight to follow Jesus – to lift ourselves above human hurts, from the past or from the present, to our actual spiritual freedom as God’s own image and likeness. In this way, God brings us salvation today, allowing us to find liberation from all that would be harmful. To know this liberation is truly to be free – to be able to fully express our God-given talents and, as the Bible says, “enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23).

I have a friend who learned of this way of thinking while he was behind bars in a country he had entered illegally. While in prison he began reading “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, which explains in detail that God has only good for us today. And it totally changed how he saw himself. He saw that he was free, whether he was physically imprisoned or not. In contrast to what was expected, he was soon released and not deported, and this was the start of his establishing himself legally in his new country, finding a job, and starting a family.

In truth, all that can really touch you is good. God’s all-powerful love gives you the understanding and inspiration to prove this today.

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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.

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