"Lord, ... open [our] eyes, that [we] may see,"
The mighty prophet prayed.
Send not armies great and strong,
Neither strength to battle wrong,
But lift [our] vision to behold
Your truth already here,
The legions of omnipotence,
The hosts of Your deliverance.
Awake, O man, and know
Love's all-embracing sphere.” [Hymn 527:1]
What is going on??? Every time we turn around the media presents us with purportedly new evidence of the everpresence and dominance of evil that only we humans can bring an end to, and there must be some group to blame and punish. Daily, we are being drawn into some new drama which is pulling on our heartstrings and appealing to our intellect and integrity, begging us to believe that evil—evil people, organizations, and politicians—is in control; demanding that we join our voices with the masses who cry, ‘There has been no progress. Injustice, hatred and corruption reign.’
And yet Mary Baker Eddy was led by God to write, “Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.. . .Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary. Without this lesson, we lose sight of the perfect Father, or the divine Principle of man.” (SH 71:2; 207:10).
She also taught, “Progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill.” (SH 233:60. Do we really believe there has been no progress over the last 50 years since the Civil Rights movement began—a movement that was based entirely on prayer to and trust in God? I was a college student in 1968 and witnessed first hand the rioting in Paris and Berlin, and in Chicago, the police brutality was so close to home. I promise you, things have changed drastically since then and there has been so much progress in racial relations. Perfect yet? Not by a long shot!
But look at the evidence that prayer does stop injustice, prejudice, violence and corruption:
- Over 2800 articles and testimonies in the periodicals with healings involving the police, in many cases written by the police themselves who were praying to heal the situation.
- In 1968 you could not have singled out officers who were being violent, because it was pretty much across the board. Today there are over 660,000 officers and one was caught in the act this month. Considering how many people have their phone cameras ready to videotape any sign of prejudice, violence or hate, that is saying a lot.
- Recent studies done by a Harvard economist and researchers at University of Maryland and Michigan State University surprised even the researchers. They found that police prejudice and violence is not systemic; the trend has been reversed; there has been phenomenal progress compared to most other countries.
Are we looking for evidence of progress or are we accepting the aggressive suggestion that evil is succeeding? If we accept the false belief that prejudice and violence are systemic, then we are saying that God’s law of progress is no longer in operation. If we accept this, we are undermining all of our prayers for ourselves and our family. On which side are we fighting?
Human sympathy for a particular person or group inevitably results in condemnation of other individuals or groups, and then, “love your neighbor as yourself” becomes “loves those you choose to love, and hate those you choose to hate. “Neither sympathy nor society should ever tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error's advocate.” (SH 153:31)
Christlike compassion embraces everyone involved and lifts everyone out of the belief that man, God’s man, the only man that ever existed, could be a sinner or could suffer.
When I was falsely arrested walking home from school during the Paris riots and put into prison where I witnessed brutality and violence towards innocent people, as well as to those who had been rioting, I saw right away that I had a choice to make. If I bought into the narrative that the 5 physical senses were presenting to me, and reacted with anger, indignation, or even hatred for the seeming injustice, I would have become a part of that dream and would have suffered too. Instead I lifted my thought up to God and affirmed, “God is the judge, God is the lawgiver, God is the king; He will save us”—all of us from this dream of dualism. (Is. 33:22).
I affirmed that divine Love alone governed the police, the riot squad and the jailers and so they naturally expressed mercy, compassion, and goodness. I affirmed that the divine Principle was governing the rioters, who had thrown pavés (large rocks) and Molotov cocktails at the police who were trying to protect the city and its residents, and that Principle was manifesting in them obedience to law, trust in good, compassion for all mankind. The all-powerful, everpresent Father-Mother Love was guarding and protecting the innocent, so there could be no counteracting influence or power to separate them or any of us from God’s care.
My prayers brought an immediate cessation of the crying and screaming in my cell and around the prison. The guards stopped taking people away to interrogate and abuse them. I prayed on into the night and the peace continued. In the middle of the night, the guards came back for me, but I knew I was secure in God’s keeping and that God was governing them as well. They released me without every having touched me, and soon released my friend as well.
If you have not watched recently my video lecture entitled, “Healing Violence through the Christ Love”, you might want to do so now:
It is filled with examples of God’s protecting power in the face of injustice, hatred and violence. Every single time that I or others have turned whole heartedly to God, divine Love, as the only source of government and recognized that all mankind is embraced in and protected by this divine law, every time the result was healing.
Or my daughter’s testimony of healing and protection for all involved, when she was caught between two warring tribes in Togo, West Africa, after a guard at the jail killed a young doctor out of prejudice towards his tribe:
For the last fifty years there have been many people from diverse backgrounds praying for the healing of prejudice and violence. If we listen to what the carnal mind is telling us every night on the news, we will end up believing that prayer does not work—whether for the belief of disease or violence or corruption. But if we look for evidence of the healing power of the Christ everywhere around us, I promise you, you will find progress. You will see evidence that prayer is effective, more than any human effort could ever be. And more than that, we will find healing taking place right now for all of God’s children.
Mrs. Eddy writes, “Human fear of miasma [a polluting, oppressive or foreboding atmosphere or influence) would load with disease the air of Eden, and weigh down mankind with superimposed and conjectural evils.. . . Science shows that material, conflicting mortal opinions and beliefs emit the effects of error at all times, but this atmosphere of mortal mind cannot be destructive to morals and health when it is opposed promptly and persistently by Christian Science. Truth and Love antidote this mental miasma, and thus invigorate and sustain existence.” (SH 176:17–19; 273:29–3)
From beginning to end, this week’s lesson addresses everything going on right now. “Say not, there are yet five months until the harvest” when these problems will be addressed in a new election. Thought is ready now for a Christly scientific answer to heal these aggressive lies.
“Jesus taught us to walk over, not into or with, the currents of matter, or mortal mind. ... He demanded a change of consciousness and evidence, and effected this change through the higher laws of God. ... Jesus stooped not to human consciousness, nor to the evidence of the senses. ... neither red tape nor indignity hindered the divine process. Jesus required neither cycles of time nor thought in order to mature fitness for perfection and its possibilities. He said that the kingdom of heaven is here, and is included in Mind; that while ye say, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest, I say, Look up, not down, for your fields are already white for the harvest; and gather the harvest by mental, not material processes. The laborers are few in this vineyard of Mind-sowing and reaping; but let them apply to the waiting grain the curving sickle of Mind's eternal circle, and bind it with bands of Soul.”(Un. 11:3–4, 10–12, 14–15, 23)
“Lord, open my eyes that I may see
Your presence everywhere,
My dwelling circled by Your might,
My mountaintop aflame with light,
The shining sentinels of Your love
Triumphant in this hour.
For You with me are greater far
Than all the seeming evils are.
Be still, O heart, and trust
God's omnipresent power.”
(The Christian Science Hymnal, No. 527:2)