Halting hatred

A Christian Science perspective: An illuminated understanding of Love conquers the darkness of hate.

How we see the world around us depends on our view of reality.

When an average person looks across a room, they may say they see mainly empty space – except for some furniture and a wall on the other side. But if a natural scientist puts on their “physicist hat,” they “see” much more. Their background and training enables them to see or understand “particles and fields,” for example.

I’ve often wondered what Christ Jesus must have seen in the environment of his day. The four Gospels indicate he saw a world far different from what we see with the physical senses. He saw deeply into the reality that is spiritual. The Bible says that “God is love” (I John 4:16). And the evidence is clear that Jesus saw the omnipotence and allness of God, divine Love, everywhere.

This understanding enabled him to heal lepers and those who were blind or paralyzed and to rise from the grave after forgiving those who put him on the cross. The great fact that God is Love is a revelation, a dawning of reality in consciousness. And it enables us to see more of the spiritual truth that can result in healing, even of hatred.

Here’s a very modest example: A friend of mine realized that a co-worker was developing some deep hostilities toward her. This reached the point where it appeared she might have to quit her job. But as she prayed to bring a sense of peace to the workplace, the revelation that God is Love entered her thought in a way that radically transformed her thinking: She saw herself and her co-worker as loved by God, ever-present divine Love, and that two individuals created by the same God were naturally made to express God’s love by loving one another. It was the normal state of their being.

One day at work, when it appeared events had reached a crisis point, she gave her co-worker a loving hug and said, “Let’s please be kind to each other.” The hatred melted into nothingness and soon they became genuine friends.

As small as this example may appear, it does illustrate a very large truth: If one is able to recognize the power and presence of universal Love, hatred can be halted. Does this mean we must simply ignore hatred? Far from it. But it does mean we can confront and begin to dissolve hatred in the world by adequately discerning this revelation of Love. As we glimpse Love’s allness through prayer, it has an impact similar to the effect of turning on a light in a dark room. It eliminates anything unlike itself.

The fact is that we aren’t helpless even against the aggressive examples of hatred that seem so prominent in our world today. Through prayer we can affirm the reality of Love’s light right where hatred’s darkness asks to exist. We sometimes hear of people doing terrible things that may appear unexplainable. One way to help prevent such acts is to take a hard look at how hatred, which is often hypnotic, seems to operate. One example, almost daily in the news, is the mentality of those associated with the Islamic State group. The acts of hatred have been shocking to peace-loving people around the globe. The impact of these actions by relatively few has taken root in the thought of vulnerable individuals – especially in Western society. And it has led them in turn to actions destructive to many innocent individuals. This kind of darkness can spread only if there is no light.

The conventional response has been to kill the haters. But Christ Jesus showed that the revelation of Love coming to human consciousness kills hatred. Light instead of more darkness. You can make a difference with the healing prayer that sees deeper than the surface mental environment of fear and hatred. Right here and now you can begin vigorously to perceive the atmosphere of God’s allness and light as ever-present Love.

The founder of this publication, Mary Baker Eddy, proved time after time in her own healing work, following Jesus’ teachings, that divine Love prevails. She wrote of Love: “What a word! I am in awe before it. Over what worlds on worlds it hath range and is sovereign! the underived, the incomparable, the infinite All of good, the alone God, is Love” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” pp. 249-250). An understanding of Love can change our view of the world. Hatred can be halted. The light of Love does conquer the darkness of hate.

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