There are no bad carrots!

For one food bank volunteer, a tip about carrots helped her do more than package produce – it sparked a spiritual insight that led to the healing of a problem with her limbs.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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My daughter and I were on the way to the local food bank where our family regularly sorts, boxes, bags, and delivers food for members of our community. As we were driving, I was quietly wondering how I would be able to carry out my duties that afternoon, as I was experiencing some pain and mobility restriction in my arms and legs.

An answer came quickly: “How could I not be able to carry out my duties, to serve God and my fellow men and women, if God is the source of my being and action – if everything I do is actuated by God and God’s great love for me and each one of His children?”

This was based on what I’d learned in Christian Science about the true nature of everyone as the spiritual offspring of God, divine Love. Comforting words, which assured me God’s love was present to sustain me in my desire to be of service to others, came to mind from a loved hymn by 19th-century poet John Greenleaf Whittier: “Then, brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother, / For where love dwells, the peace of God is there” (“Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 217). And Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, states in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!” (p. 520).

Divine Love is enough. Infinite Love is more than sufficient to support our desire to serve – and in turn to supply needed nourishment for neighbors in our community.

Inspired by these ideas, I gathered with the other volunteers in the warehouse, where the volunteer coordinator announced that we would be boxing 22,000 pounds of carrots! Usually, when we sort and box any type of fresh produce, we are trained how to discern between a good fruit or vegetable and a bad one. On this day, though, the coordinator said in a full voice with a broad smile, “There are no bad carrots!”

I smiled to myself as another thought came to me: “Yes, and there are no bad children of God!”

There are no bad children of God because God made us in the pure, flawless, and spiritual image of the Divine. No spoils or imperfections, no pain, nothing wanting. All made to serve and bless, to freely express qualities such as love, compassion, and joy.

As we got to work in the warehouse, I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful attributes being expressed by the group. The volunteers putting carrots into boxes as fast as they could were expressing energy and joy; others working together to fill one box after another conveyed brotherly love. Efficiency was expressed by some who filled two boxes at a time, and artistry and order was shown by others who took care to arrange the carrots “just so.” Those who carried the carrot-filled boxes to the pallets expressed generosity. The staff who forklifted the filled pallets to the trucks for delivery exhibited orderliness and alertness.

The volunteer coordinator sent us off at the end of our shift with a tremendous amount of gratitude. And there was another happy outcome, too: I realized that I was free from the problems with my limbs – a wonderful example of the healing that happens when we realize that we are the unspoiled, flawless children of God.

To me this experience was truly a living, current-day example of what we read in the Bible: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:4). As we let a Spirit-impelled love for humanity motivate our thoughts and activities, we are empowered to express God’s love in a wonderfully rich mosaic of ways. Dedication, joy, care, orderliness, brotherly love, productivity, beauty, strength, generosity, health, gratitude – such qualities are God-given, ours to reflect in all we do.

In this way each of us can take a step toward proving that among God’s children there are indeed no bad carrots – not me, not you, not anyone!

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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.