Potential robbery avoided

A Christian Science perspective: We are all created to do right, not wrong, and we are safe in God’s love.

One day I was alone in the antique store I owned in New York City when five young men walked in. There had recently been a number of robberies in my neighborhood, and the police had advised local business owners on how to identify a potential robbery situation. The behavior of these men was just as the police had described. It seemed they were positioning themselves in my store for a theft.

I decided not to see this as a frightening situation. That might seem counterintuitive, but my basis for this choice was a spiritual conviction I have gained that turning one’s thought to God and our relation to Him can have a very practical impact in times of need.

In this case a familiar passage from the Bible came to me. Saint Paul said: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). His words suggest to me that we are always safe because we are always enveloped in God, divine Love.

I also thought of the following idea from The Christian Science Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy: “Everything in God’s universe expresses Him” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 331). That “everything” includes each one of us, as God’s spiritual creations. What a comforting thought to know that in spiritual reality, everyone is an expression of the Almighty God – an all-loving God.

I saw that from this spiritual perspective, a desire to do wrong was not in keeping with the nature of these young men. I silently prayed that as children of God, honesty, love, intelligence, and kindness were inherent in their real nature. This prayer allowed me to listen for the wisdom of the divine Mind, God, which is immediately available to all of us. Over many years, I’ve found that acknowledging God’s presence helps overcome the fear that would keep us from discerning inspiration and ideas always coming to us from our divine source.

Then it came to me that these young men might be interested to learn about a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty terra-cotta warrior I had in the store. So I went over to the man who seemed to be the leader and stood shoulder to shoulder with him. I asked with a big smile on my face, “Do you realize what you’re looking at?” Surprised, he asked me to tell him. He became so engrossed in my story that he called for the others to come listen, too.

When I was done, he thanked me and said they were leaving. I told them they were welcome to come back anytime to learn more about these wonderful pieces.

It seemed clear to me that a potential crisis had been averted, but more important, I understood more clearly that we are all created to do right, not wrong, and that we are safe in God’s love.

This article was adapted from the July 6, 2017, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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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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