Love that leaves no one out

Maybe we’re feeling unloved or excluded – or treating others that way, unconsciously or otherwise. But recognizing that everyone is included in God’s love brings joy and healing to our hearts and to our interactions with others.

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A couple of years ago, when I logged on to Facebook one day, a photo immediately caught my attention. It was of a six-year-old boy named Blake wearing an orange T-shirt with a message in green letters that said “I will be your friend.” The article accompanying it explained that Blake had asked his mom to make him this T-shirt, which he wore on the first day of school so anyone who needed a friend would know they had one already. His story even went viral, inspiring other kids and adults to wear T-shirts like it.

This spirit of loving inclusion is so needed in our world. Too often, things come up that make us feel unloved, excluded, or alienated – or, on the flip side, that pull us to think or act in a way that isn’t loving or inclusive of others.

What I’ve been finding through my study and practice of Christian Science is that there’s a powerful basis for addressing such issues. At any moment, in all kinds of situations, we can pray to really realize we are all included in the love of God, who is infinite Love itself. Then we feel more strongly the divine loving presence that is God, expressed throughout existence, filling every moment.

Praying in this way not only elevates how we think and act, but also goes out to touch the hearts and lives of others as well.

New Testament accounts of Christ Jesus reveal he embodied the all-inclusive nature of God’s love without limit. His healing ministry included those on the outskirts of society, those who were shunned, those no one else would touch, those whose lives seemed ruined, and even those who hated him. The consistent result was healed and transformed lives.

Jesus’ example of living in unity with divine Love can help us recognize our inseparable oneness with Love, too. As it says in the Bible’s book of First John, “If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us” (4:12, New Living Translation).

An experience I had has helped me see this more. I was in tears because some folks had left me out in ways I felt they were unaware of. But I began to pray, asking God to speak to me in a way I could genuinely grasp.

Then a tender feeling of love flooded my heart as I realized these individuals were designed to express God’s all-inclusive love. And this feeling of love expanded even further as more people came to thought, from my community and around the world. I found myself cherishing them as inseparable from divine Love, too.

This was so uplifting and joyful! I felt full of love – so at one with divine Love – where just a short while before I’d felt sad and excluded. I felt a closeness to everyone as I mentally honored our inseparable relation to God. Nothing in the world can stop the love that flows freely and impartially from God, divine Love, to all of us.

The sadness lifted completely. And it was lovely, too, that in the coming months several of the individuals I’d felt excluded by reached out and expressed a more thoughtful awareness about the situation.

The textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, shares this insight on divine Love’s all-inclusive nature: “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters’” (p. 13).

When we think there’s a limited amount of love to go around, we run into all sorts of blocks regarding how and when love can be felt and expressed, who is worthy of love or not, or who is included or excluded. But the more we realize, through prayer, how infinite divine Love is, the more we see that no one could ever be excluded from the boundlessness of God’s loving embrace – and the more consistently our own interactions toward others reflect that.

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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.”

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