Prayers for Minneapolis and beyond

It can too often seem that racism is a problem too big to heal. But nothing is too big for God, infinite Love, and we can each play a part in demonstrating that.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Social media has been buzzing since a black man, George Floyd, was killed by police and rioting and looting broke out in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the region where I live. Protests and expressions of support for the protesters have since expanded to other parts of the country and around the world.

As explosive as the anger has been, the demands for change have been just as loud and insistent. One Minneapolis city councilor called racism a disease, which needs to be recognized and healed.

All of us are needed to bring healing to this scourge, to prove the powerlessness of hatred, apathy, and complacency to win the day. I’ve found that an invaluable way to do this is through prayer inspired and informed by God’s love as the only legitimate power. Our prayers can affirm how God, as Love, deconstructs systems of animosity, indifference, and inequality; and how life lived with the understanding of God as invariable Truth and all-inclusive Love reconstructs, establishes, and builds up our love for one another, resulting in improved systems of justice, care for each other, and peace.

As I’ve been praying, I’ve been inspired by this passage in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science: “Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned” (p. 454).

Every unjust scenario highlights the need for change, for the harmony that expresses God’s law of Love to be restored. Progress happens when we make a conscious, deliberate shift in thought toward the equality, peace, and justice God has bestowed on all.

Mrs. Eddy once shared some ideas to encourage her household workers in their prayers, by repeating what they knew to be spiritually true and by defeating the doubt that would tempt them to feel they couldn’t make progress. These ideas also give direction to my prayers, helping them remain persistent and consistent beyond a single event. What Mrs. Eddy said was along the lines of “Never become discouraged, dear ones. This work is not humdrum, it is growth. It is repeating and defeating, repeating and defeating, repeating and defeating” (“We Knew Mary Baker Eddy,” Expanded Edition, Vol. 1, p. 263).

It’s not about a political victory, or defeating some person or party. It’s about a spiritual victory, defeating the notion that there is something more powerful than God, good. At times we may have the discouraging thought that the issue of racism is too big to heal. But it is not too big for God. God, infinite Love, is leading and guiding us. And when we love God and love one another, we will find practical, effective steps to take that help establish true justice and restore hope in our communities.

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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.