The healing impact of knowing God's kindness

Pausing to affirm and feel that God is limitless Love, not vengeful and punishing, is dynamic prayer that transforms and heals.

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I was asked to give a speech to a broad audience – some were going to attend in person, but most would be joining online. The people organizing this event had done a remarkable job of reaching out to a wide-ranging, diverse group of attendees, and I knew this was going to be a very special opportunity.

A significant part of this talk was to be devoted to the nature of God. This is a topic close to my heart that I’d spoken on many times before. But there’s always more to learn, and so I prayed to know what to say this time to all of these people! For a couple of hours I became very still and quiet inside, striving to drop my own ideas about what to talk about and really listen for God’s direction: “God, what would You like me to tell them about You?”

As I listened, I sort of expected a very bold and complicated answer, but what I heard inside was clear and simple, and it changed me forever: “Please tell them that I am kind.”

As these words gently settled in my heart, more than ever I felt God’s embracing love for our world.

There are many views of God out there, and one is that there are times when God is vengeful and punishing, that God teaches us by sending evil to harm us. But one of many helpful ways that Christian Science inspires us to think of God contradicts that view. It makes it plain that God is pure Love – consistently kind and entirely good. This is in line with a reassuring statement in the Bible that says, “See what marvellous love the Father has bestowed upon us – that we should be called God’s children” (I John 3:1, Weymouth New Testament).

The nature of the Love that is God is one of pure, universal love. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” The Christian Science Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, observes, “The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father’s loving-kindness” (pp. 365-366). Opening one’s heart to God’s kind, consistent, limitless love can bring healing and redemption to any kind of experience.

As an example, a friend of mine had been educated to believe that, sure, God is all good, but this goodness is a distant reward. She felt that this present time was a time to suffer and that she shouldn’t be surprised when she became ill or, when trying hard, often failed.

She saw that I didn’t feel that way, and one day she asked why. I don’t recall my exact words, but I know I talked about the great Love that is God. I also talked about how the unrelenting, impartial love God has for all of us – His spiritual offspring – is not only a future thing, but is for right now and always.

God is always the same perfect Love and goodness. During all times and in all places, Love is unwavering. Could even one of God’s children be excluded from His goodness and care for a period? Never.

As I talked with this friend, I could feel God’s kindness toward her so tangibly. And she began to feel it, too. The change didn’t happen overnight, and there were some ups and downs, but like changing the direction of a big ship, the transformation in her thinking was steady and solid. As she saw more clearly that God’s kindness and love are always in action – timelessly – she felt a fuller, more palpable sense of peace and accomplishment in her life.

Filled with inspiration from these ideas, I gave the talk, which was well received. It was a great joy to tell those attending how kind God is.

Encircling the world, our divine Father’s lovingkindness is here at all times and in every place. God’s kindness and love are utterly consistent and abundant, and we can endeavor to be more consistently aware of this fact. Pausing to feel and affirm God’s limitless care is dynamic prayer that transforms and heals, enabling us to realize that, truly, “His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting” (Psalms 117:2, New American Standard Bible).

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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.