Is it possible to support efforts to contain the coronavirus without letting fear or distrust cloud the way we think about others? Here’s an article exploring our God-given ability to share joy and goodness – even when we can’t physically interact with others.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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The person who passed me on the other side of the road, as we each walked down an uncrowded country lane, gave me a look that said, “Stay away.” I understood. In a time when there is fear of contagion, there can be a tendency to view others – and even ourselves – as potential “carriers” of danger, or as vulnerable to something harmful.

While it’s loving and right to support efforts to contain the coronavirus, we can do so without letting fear or distrust cloud the way we think. In that vein, I’ve been thinking about some ideas Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, once shared with some church members in New York. These ideas can be beneficial and uplifting to all of us. Rather than dwelling on the question, “What am I?” she said to affirm, “I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 165).

Instead of identifying ourselves or others as nothing more than potential “carriers” of something bad, we can think of individuals as “imparters” – imparters of good, of truth, health, and happiness.

This isn’t about imparting just human goodness, although that’s important. It has to do with the deep good that is God Himself, and with everyone’s true, spiritual identity as children of God. As such, we are inseparable from the Truth that is God, inseparable from the health and joy God expresses throughout creation. And, because of this unity, we reflect and express these divine attributes naturally and continually.

To be imparters of God’s grace, to feel and express God’s love and care in our lives, we must first welcome in divine Truth. This Truth reveals that God, good, is the only legitimate cause of all that exists. Since God is good, that means the effect of God’s creating must be constructive and beneficial – never harmful. This realization inspires us to strive to exercise more patience, cooperation, and generosity, and to trust that God, divine Love, is providing for all of us, all of God’s family.

And here’s the best part: Not only are we created as imparters of good, but everyone around us can be seen this way, too. Each of God’s spiritual ideas, or children, is imparting truth, health, and happiness. That is our individual and collective rock, our salvation, and our reason for existing.

We can all be imparters of good today. It’s something we can do wherever we are, even when we can’t physically interact with others. And this spirit of love for others will uplift and encourage not only ourselves, but others upon whom our thoughts rest, too.

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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.