Inspired by the courage of those fighting the raging wildfires in California and elsewhere, today’s contributor considers how even a glimpse of the power of divine Love arms us with a strength not our own, even when things seem hopeless.

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As I sit in the comfort of my home, watching on television the incredible scenes of horrific wildfires in California and elsewhere, engulfing hundreds of thousands of acres of forest along with people’s homes and everything else in their path, a feeling of hopelessness knocks at the door. I’m tempted to think, “There’s nothing anyone can do; these fires are uncontrollable, and nothing will stop the devastation.”

And yet, there are those who are risking their lives to do exactly that – to control the uncontrollable and stop the devastation in its tracks, no matter what it takes. When it all looks so hopeless, what keeps these amazing firefighters and first responders going?

I believe the answer, at least in part, is undaunted courage, a courage that recognizes no destructive force should ever go unchallenged. There is within each of us an ability to recognize that there is a force for good, a power that is ever present and able to extinguish every claim that destruction is inevitable.

Christian Science teaches us that this power is God, divine Love. It teaches us that divine Love is all-powerful, ever present, and ever at work, touching and animating our hearts and minds, causing us to want to be and do good. When we begin to get even the smallest glimpse of this wonderful truth, we are armed with a strength not our own and a courage to use this strength to defeat every destructive force, no matter how daunting it appears to be.

The prophet Isaiah must have had such a glimpse when he wrote these profoundly comforting words to his people as they faced what looked like hopeless conditions: “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isaiah 43:2). Surely this is the nature of undaunted courage.

This article also aired on the Aug. 13, 2018, 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.”

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.