People in over 170 countries are uniting today in this year’s World Day of Prayer. The focus is on women and children. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, loved them both. And she loved to pray. She wrote, “True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection” (“No and Yes,” p. 39).
Twelve days before my wife, Joanne, and I were married, Joanne agreed to babysit a friend’s two children. Joanne’s two small boys played with her friend’s children, and in the evening she tucked them all in bed together.
A few days later, Joanne’s friend anxiously let us know her daughter now had chicken pox. This friend offered to care for Joanne’s boys during our wedding if they became ill. Joanne assured her that her offer was generous but that all was well. She told her not to feel guilty or be afraid; we would see her at the wedding.
Then Joanne and I prayed together, affirming that God, who is infinite Spirit, never created or allows suffering. There were anxious moments when fear tried to sneak into our thoughts. Yet the fear of contagion only forced us to go deeper in our prayer to discover spiritual laws upholding our health and God’s unending goodness and love. Divine Love had motivated Joanne to babysit, and divine Love embraced this precious little girl as well. And as the Bible says, perfect Love casts out fear (see I John 4:18).
To us, then, it was no surprise that the wedding took place as planned. Joanne’s boys participated in the wedding, untouched by that contagion. Joanne’s friend and her family were also at the wedding, and her daughter looked great.
As we pray, today and every day, let’s learn to love more, “and to include all mankind in one affection.”
This also aired on the March 6, 2020, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.