Light that uncovers crime

A Christian Science perspective: The light of divine Truth is here to break through the darkness of malice, injustice, and fear.

Recent global hacking events have shone a spotlight on illegal activities that thrive under cover of digital darkness. Law enforcement officers are working diligently to catch the perpetrators of such crimes.

I had an experience years ago that hints at the ability of a different kind of light to solve a “hacking” crime of a more primitive sort. Well before the age of cybersecurity, I discovered that my phone bill was unusually high one month, and there were several outgoing long-distance calls itemized that I had not made. It turned out that someone was tapping into phones throughout the whole apartment building. When the police were brought in, they soon felt they had found the man responsible, but since they were unable to determine how the tapping was being done, they were unable to make an arrest and bring charges.

The problem continued when we all received our next phone bill. Mine was even higher than the previous one. As I am used to praying when problems occur, I turned wholeheartedly to God. Through my study of Christian Science I’ve come to understand God as divine Truth, universally present, and that everyone is naturally designed by our creator to express honesty. The inspiration came to me that I could trust divine Truth to reveal whatever wasn’t true that needed to be seen and corrected. The Bible records Christ Jesus urging his followers to trust that evil could not remain veiled. He encouraged them not to fear those conspiring against good, because “There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known” (Matthew 10:26, New King James Version).

Soon after that we got a call from the police telling us that they had been able to arrest the person responsible for hacking our phones after a far more dangerous criminal intent of his had been brought to light. When they’d questioned him about that, he had also confessed to the phone tapping. There were no further fraudulent long-distance calls.

The crime of hacking computer systems is far more complex than this modest example. But a similar understanding of Truth’s universal presence can surely shine into the darkness of any kind of illicit activity, bring to light man’s innate honesty, and so enable opposite traits to be exposed and addressed. The irresistible power of Truth can break through the darkness of malice, injustice, and fear, and finally reveal the forever fact that all truly are “children of light” (I Thessalonians 5:5).

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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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