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.