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How Love `gets through'

TELEVISION'S haunting picture of hunger in Africa has called the world's attention to the great need there. Many have been prodded to give generously of their time, money, and prayer. But on the surface it may seem to many people that in large degree the power of Love, of God, is not being felt, is not ``getting through.'' Concerned, praying individuals everywhere, mindful of the Bible's admonition ``Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,'' 1 long to improve their prayer and see a resolution to both the immediate crisis and the long-term needs. Christian Science maintains that this is indeed possible. What's needed is a clearer view of spiritual reality, of the truth of God's creation. And that involves going beyond the visible evidence. In fact, the acceptance of such evidence as inescapable truth is, in a fundamental sense, the root of the problem. It forces the conventional conclusion that evil is indeed powerful, effectively contending against God and those who are trying to be and do good. To acquiesce in this view, however, would be to support a concept of God that not only is unreasonable but is really an argument for hopelessness. It holds that God isn't all-powerful--in other words, that He is not really God. Or that He is far off, mysterious, and often unconcerned about the welfare of His creation. Or that for some unknown reason He actually desires that some of His children should suffer. None of these views could be considered hopeful or loving. And yet the Bible identifies God as Love itself.2 Accepting and proceeding from this powerful premise, Christian Science concludes that God is incapable of causing or permitting evil. Mary Baker Eddy3 writes, ``This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death.'' 4 Love cannot be deprived of its image and likeness, man. Our eyes and ears would have us believe that evil is fact--and certainly we can't ignore what they report and what clearly needs to be healed. But there's a higher source of truth--God Himself. He hasn't created man subject to suffering, and as we begin to glimpse this truth in prayer, to feel it as the ultimate and only reality, we help break the crippling spell of false belief in something other than harmonious reality. When a false view of existence has been thus discredited, something of the wholeness that characterizes God's spiritual creation must inevitably come to light. As we include our distressed brethren in other parts of the world in our prayer, a bit more of the burden of false belief is lifted. Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy reminds us, ``Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals.'' 5 So it's not unreasonable to expect the sunlight of Love to get through and dispel the clouds of false belief, no matter how thick they seem. The individual decisions and insights of thousands may be affected by the truth of God and man that we know, love, and radiate. For example, practical ideas for solving problems may emerge where previously there seemed to be a dearth of them. Perhaps more compassion will be expressed where intransigence seems to dominate; perhaps even more sharing will take place where this is the need; it's even possible for changed weather to contribute to the solution. As logical and right as this all may sound, it remains merely a promising theory until we implement these ideas through practical action. And the best place to begin is right in one's immediate world. We can actually live the Lord's Prayer,6 daily realizing that all are in truth the children of ``our Father which art in heaven,'' and treating as such those with whom we have daily contact. We can ``forgive our debtors'' on the basis that ``our daily bread'' comes to each of us in complete mea sure from that same divine source. We might also take whatever humanitarian measures seem right and appropriate to us, whether it's contributing money or skills, or sharing practical solutions with those who can use them. Rather than be discouraged by famine or by any other tragic circumstance we have the opportunity to accept the challenge it presents, confident that our prayerful efforts are founded on and propelled by the great fact that divine Love does get through, because Love is in fact omnipresent and supreme. 1 James 4:3. 2 See I John 4:8. 3 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 304. 5 Ibid., p. 13. 6 See Matthew 6:9-13. 30{et

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