A spiritual understanding of what we are leaves no room for conflict or division based on our uniqueness. 

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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The author’s name has been withheld at their request.

Recent headlines have brought up memories of my own experiences with racism. This includes being unable to find a rental house in a college town, being slugged by a passerby on a street in another city apparently due to my minority color, and once being vehemently told that people with my skin color were “the enemy.” The memories were disturbing and caused me to ask aloud, “When will it ever end?”

A somewhat surprising answer came immediately: when we realize we’re all children of light and that the colors of the rainbow aren’t at odds. The green band isn’t fighting the violet; the red doesn’t conflict with the blue. Each apparent color is part of the same clear beam of light, showing its unique wavelength as the light passes through water droplets on its way to our field of vision.

I pulled out a copy of the Bible to find the reference I recalled about “children of light,” and found the Apostle Paul saying: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

It reminded me that, even when experiencing color prejudices, I’d seen solutions through prayer, through lifting thought to God. Shifting thought from the “darkness,” or a limited view of ourselves as material beings of various human ancestries, to the “light” of God’s allness and the truth of what we are as God’s spiritual offspring, brings our common bond into clearer view. Realizing a bit more of our spiritual identity, created and forever sustained by our common source, Spirit (a biblical term for God), enables us to live or “walk as children of light.”

Following the rainbow analogy a bit further, I laughed to realize that we would never see the colors vying for different or wider bands, or fearing that another color would overrun them. An image of the colors fighting to hold their places in the beautiful arc seems silly when we know that they’re all of and sustained by the same beam of sunlight. Translating this analogy to our human scene can help us see that we don’t have to fear or fight, because all have a harmonious place in God’s creation.

I recalled, for example, that years back when my interracial family was blocked from renting available larger homes in our small city one mid-winter, we found a home in another city. The move blessed us and also blessed an interracial couple who had just arrived from a distant country to attend graduate school, and was grateful to take over our old lease.

As for the random slug and racist remark, while our responses to these kinds of situations may necessitate different actions at different times, I recalled that in both instances I’d quickly been able to move forward, that those incidents didn’t hold me back. Through my prayers at the time I had realized that the incidents were due to that darkness of thought, and that these individuals had simply yet to realize our common bond – a spiritual fact we are all equipped to realize.

I also remembered a statement from the Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy. Her words helped me then, and can help us now, to solve the fractious problems of the material scene by lifting thought and our communities into the light of God’s oneness:

“One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, – whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 340).

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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.