Not long ago I went to Berlin with a choir I sing in. We joined well over 1,000 singers from around the world and the World Orchestra for Peace in performing “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace,” conducted by the composer himself, Sir Karl Jenkins. While in Berlin, I also visited the open-air art gallery of murals on the remains of the Berlin Wall. One message said “Many small people in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world.”
This reminds me of a recent experience I had along those lines. I teach painting and drawing for adults at a university. The room we first used for the classes was in an old building off campus and up steep stairs that were not easy to climb, especially when carrying all the equipment needed for art lessons. When the first term ended, some students could not face climbing all those stairs again and decided they would probably not enroll in class again for this reason. My colleague and the administration agreed that in the future, a room on the ground floor would be better.
I was looking forward to the new room, but on my arrival for the new term, the colleague who had previously authorized the use of that room denied giving our class access to it. An argument ensued. I felt I had been let down.
Later I realized I needed to get beyond my reaction, to find peace in my heart and let go of the resentment I was feeling toward this woman. I had learned in Christian Science that we are never justified in expressing anything less than love because that’s what we are made to express. As the loved children of God, all of us are harmoniously governed by God, who is divine Love.
This being our real, spiritual nature, we are fully equipped to let love, not anger, motivate us, even when it seems we’ve been wronged. Though we can’t change other people’s attitudes, we do have the privilege of correcting our own. In this case, I felt the need to quiet self-righteousness and instead to yield to the presence and power of God.
So I asked God, “How do You see this lady?”
My willingness to share God’s pure viewpoint brought answers. Speaking of God, the Bible says “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). God being entirely good, everything He creates must also be good – including all of us as Deity’s spiritual offspring who express His qualities. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” how Jesus was able to heal people through understanding this divine Science of our true relation to God. She writes: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick” (pp. 476-477).
With this in mind I was able to recognize that this woman had many fine qualities. For example, I genuinely appreciated the way she interacted with young people, showing kindness and generosity – qualities of divine Love.
A change came over me. I felt at peace and ready to apologize to my colleague.
A few days later, I was so glad to unexpectedly bump into this lady. We spontaneously threw our arms round each other! It was so beautiful.
The next week my class moved to a wonderfully spacious, easily accessible room with a sink and lots of good light, right on the college campus.
Each of us can feel certain of the love God expresses through us all, and we can reflect that love outward such that others can feel it as well. In this manner we can contribute to world peace in our own way, large or small.