Joyful, capable – that’s us!

A Christian Science perspective: A more spiritual view of our identity lifts us – and others – in concrete ways.

I lay on the couch, reminiscing about a time I had felt happy, capable, able to help others. Now I was feeling sick and helpless, and the thought “How could that joyful, energetic person possibly have been me?” crossed my mind.

But of course it was me. In fact, I realized, even though it didn’t feel like it at that moment, health and joy constituted a much truer sense of me than illness and lethargy did.

Sometimes it can seem as if we’re stuck – with an injury, or sadness, or discouragement about what we hear in the news, or uncertainty about what the future holds. At times like this, I’ve found it helpful to think about the nature of God as infinite divine Love, and each of us as Love’s spiritual reflection, safe and cared for. This is the truest way we can identify ourselves.

What we feel or see at a given moment isn’t always consistent with the truth about our real being. But as we dig deeper, as we seek a more spiritual sense of our identity, we find ourselves – and others – lifted up in concrete ways.

Christ Jesus showed the profound healing effect of understanding that health and harmony are normal and natural to the creation of a God whose goodness “endures continually” (Psalms 52:1). We can grow in this understanding through heartfelt prayer to better know this infinitely good God that created us not as mortals doomed to periods of misery but as spiritual expressions of the divine Being, eternally reflecting wholeness and joy.

That day, when I felt so weak and unwell, the realization that God never made us to suffer lifted me out of my mental anguish, and my health was quickly restored, too. “Good is natural and primitive,” explains Christian Science Discoverer Mary Baker Eddy in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 128). We can all experience the deeper, more spiritual sense of peace that comes when we look beyond the surface and toward God’s reality and total goodness – right here and now.

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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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.