A WOMAN was walking down a busy thoroughfare one day. She was feeling lonely and sad and far from her home on the other side of the world. She passed a Christian Science Reading Room and felt impelled to go in and talk to the librarian on duty there. Many years earlier her father had traveled abroad and had brought back a new sense of God as caring for all of His offspring equally. He had tried to teach his family the Christian concepts of universal love and willing forgiveness. Now she was being called upon to practice them when, as a foreigner, she suffered from cultural shock at finding herself discriminated against in jobs and housing and friendship.
She persisted in visiting the Reading Room regularly and studied the Bible and the Christian Science literature she found there, all of which were quite new to her. Through this study she gained a new sense of God as universal Principle, and as ever-present, all-embracing Love. And she learned that Christ Jesus came to explain God's nature to us, calling Him ``Father.'' She began to glimpse some of the implications of this universality of good, and this brought her great inner peace. Since that time her circumstances have steadily improved.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, puts it this way: ``God is universal; confined to no spot, defined by no dogma, appropriated by no sect. Not more to one than to all, is God demonstrable as divine Life, Truth, and Love; and His people are they that reflect Him--that reflect Love. Again, this infinite Principle, with its universal manifestation, is all that really is or can be; hence God is our Shepherd. He guards, guides, feeds, and folds the sheep of His pasture; and their ears are attuned to His call.'' 1
So a more universal concept of God brings in turn a more universal sense of man, who is the expression of God, reflecting all the qualities of divine Love. Man, as God has created him, isn't really a mortal, separated from other mortals by background, nationality, race, color. And understanding this enables us to discern more clearly the actual, Godlike nature of people, wherever they may live.
But what about the animal propensities that foster racism, hatred, jealousy, anger? These are no part of man as God created him. They are impersonal evils to be rebuked. Clearly, we must refrain from indulging in any of these ourselves; but we should also refuse to react to them, and thereby build them up, when they are evident around us. Doing this isn't just an arduous personal struggle. We always have access to divine power to support us in our stand, and this in turn helps to bring us all together in willing co- operation.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians: ``Now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. . . . Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.'' 2
So people and places don't ultimately determine the nature of man or the quality of home. The household of God isn't a place. It's a spiritual state of consciousness that we can experience wherever we are as we feel the divine presence through prayer and express the divine qualities we want to see around us. Then the sense of isolation and aloneness dissolves. We begin to glimpse the possibility that everyone everywhere can be loved and cared for. And this is a possibility, since nobody is ever excluded from the universality of God's love.
1 Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 150-151. 2 Ephesians 2:13, 18-20. DIALY BIBLE VERSE Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalms 23:6