God cares for all of us

Especially in light of efforts to contain the coronavirus through physical distancing, it can seem that we’re being cut off from means of support and comfort. But as one woman found during a time of uncertainty about her future, we can always turn to God for comfort and guidance that light the way forward.

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I love that the Monitor Daily so often celebrates victories in the introduction. Like the one in the April 17 edition that tells about a woman whose house burned to inhabitability when it caught fire during preparation for a Passover meal. But by that evening, her friends had an apartment and food for her, and she continued with a virtual Passover meal for friends and family across the country even in the midst of her own needs.

Evidence of the kind of caring expressed by this woman and her friends is so encouraging, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when it can seem that we’re being cut off from familiar means of comfort and support.

Over the years, my prayer and study of the Bible-based teachings of Christian Science have strengthened my awareness of God as the source we can always depend on for comfort and support. My understanding and experience has grown of God as our divine Father and Mother, protecting and nurturing all of us as dearly loved children. This care and uplift is inexhaustible, and it’s the divine right of everyone, in every moment, to feel it.

This truth is voiced so simply, using everyday images, by Christ Jesus, whose every healing thought and act was animated by his perfect clarity of God’s supreme guardianship of creation. For instance: “Five sparrows are sold for just two pennies, but God doesn’t forget a one of them. Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don’t be afraid!” (Luke 12:6, 7, Contemporary English Version). This says so much about the inestimable worth of each of us and the courage we can take from this.

I experienced this years ago when, in my mid-20s, I moved a couple thousand miles away to another part of the country. When I look back at that year, I am still in awe as to how God not only took care of me day by day but also showed me more about the real meaning of caring.

During that time, which was filled with uncertainty about my future, I prayed to grasp that, as the Bible puts it, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). In other words, God, Spirit, who is all good, made me (and everyone) spiritual and complete in His likeness. Our true, spiritual identity already includes all that is worthy, useful, and purposeful – all that is good. God’s plan – divine Love’s plan – leaves no one out. It unfolds more and more of what is beneficial for His creation.

As I affirmed in my prayers this divine design of all-powerful good that holds each of us uniquely treasured, anxious thoughts lessened. I saw they did not come from God and were never a part of God’s plan, the only true reality for me or anyone else.

Every page of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this news organization, is filled with the benevolence of infinite Love that Mrs. Eddy perceived through Bible study and divine revelation. In one instance she wrote, “Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear” (p. 506).

Although the circumstances often suggested I was separated from good, the Christ – described in Science and Health as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332) – was telling me something different. Taking to heart the Christly message of God’s love for me removed worry and empowered me to discern and more selflessly take productive, inspired steps forward.

For instance, over that year, kind and supportive friends both new and old let me live with them, and I was able to help and give back to these really caring people. At the end of that year, work opportunities opened up for me in ways I never could have mapped out. They gave me an authentic sense of purpose and enabled me to serve others in a particular capacity for many years.

How simple yet powerful is God’s deep love for each of us! Recognizing and accepting this universal love can empower us profoundly. Prayerful listening for God’s messages of love and guidance, which are present under all circumstances, brings a comforting serenity and an assuring guiding light that meets the need, even in the most difficult times.

Editor’s note: As a public service, all the Monitor’s coronavirus coverage is free, including articles from this column. There’s also a special free section of JSH-Online.com on a healing response to the global pandemic. There is no paywall for any of this coverage.

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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.