In support of our global family, near and far

A Christian Science perspective: Not only can the light of infinite Love uplift us in the face of tragedy, but that light reaches all, inspiring wisdom and strength.

Six thousand miles. That’s about how far away I live from the Iran-Iraq border, where the deadliest earthquake this year recently took place.

In such situations, it’s easy to feel a sense of disconnect, even as our hearts go out to those directly impacted and on the ground helping. It can seem as if there’s not much we can do.

But as I read about the quake in the Middle East, wondering what I had to contribute, I realized that there is in fact something we can all do to help, wherever in the world we are: We can humbly, sincerely embrace our fellow men, women, and children in our prayers.

This kind of prayer is about actively acknowledging that everyone is the immeasurably loved and cared for spiritual child of God. That God’s will for everyone is 100 percent good, and because God is supremely powerful, nothing can remove that goodness.

As Mary Baker Eddy, the spiritual pioneer who discovered Christian Science, puts it, “man cannot be separated for an instant from God, if man reflects God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 306). And man – each of us – does reflect God, because man is God’s spiritual reflection.

This is true for everybody, including those in Iran, Iraq, and beyond. Those who have lost their lives aren’t excluded, either; our relation to God, infinite Life itself, can never be severed. God’s goodness knows no bounds, and it encompasses all of us.

Heartfelt prayer sheds more light on this spiritual reality, even when events in the world or our own lives seem to contradict it. Through his many healing works – including quelling a storm that threatened to sink a ship he was on (see Mark 4:36-39) – Christ Jesus showed that this understanding of everyone’s true being can actually bring protection from harm as well as comfort, help, and healing. And that wasn’t a one-time deal. God’s truth, the supremacy of good, remains true for eternity.

It’s heartening to know that no matter where we live or what resources we have, we can each play a part in supporting hope, progress, and healing for humanity by opening our own thought to divine Life and Love, acknowledging the universal power and presence of divine good. Not only can the light of infinite Love uplift us in the face of tragedy, but that light reaches all, inspiring wisdom and strength. Our prayers affirming this for our global family can only bless.

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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.

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