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`The kids at school said...'

FEW things tug at a parent's heartstrings more than a child coming home in tears because of cruel, mocking remarks made by other children. Even if the comments and name-calling were made in ignorance, and were not meant to hurt, it can be hard. A short while ago my daughter was the target of some racial taunting at school. It wasn't the first time she had encountered this type of thing, and usually in the past her sense of dignity and self-esteem and her general cheerful, forgiving nature had freed her quite quickly from this form of ignorance.

She had attended a Christian Science Sunday School since she was a little child and had learned that all of us are, in spiritual fact, God's children, equally loved in His sight, having every God-derived quality, expressing only good. Knowing that has been such a help! When the issues of parenthood and race have come up in conversation, she hasn't been shy or defensive, and she has found wonderfully graceful ways to express her identity as God's child. She has a lovely sense of humor, too, which always comes in handy. I admire her trust in God's goodness and in the inherent goodness resident in everyone -- even when harsh or thoughtless words coming out of someone would seem to contradict his or her true, spiritual nature.

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On this particular day, a number of things had just piled up to make it, in her words, ``one of the totally worst days in my entire life.'' In years past, such an outpouring would have had me nearly crying with her, but we've both come far in our understanding of God's love and these sympathetic pangs didn't come. I did feel tremendous compassion for her, and we sat on the sofa with our arms around each other. I felt God's love embracing us both as I turned to Him for ideas of comfort and healing.

Wonderful healing thoughts did come. The idea of God's love being all-powerful and always present. The idea that no influence could be stronger than God's omnipotent, intelligent love. This idea of the Apostle Paul's: ``We have the mind of Christ.''1

We reasoned that God, divine Mind, is infinitely just, as Christ Jesus proved, and that in absolute truth there is no lesser mind or minds with power to remove that justice and love from our lives. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if mortals claimed no other Mind and accepted no other, sin would be unknown. We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite. We bury the sense of infinitude, when we admit that, although God is infinite, evil has a place in this infinity, for evil can have no place, where all space is filled with God.''2

We considered how God's children aren't really mortals with fragile fears and egos but in fact are immortal expressions of His own nature. Knowing the true selfhood of ourselves and others, we could avoid being pressured into resenting or fearing those who might have wronged us. We could come to love them.

Did that mean we had to love prejudice, insensitivity, and hate? By no means! Who could love those false traits? No one. But we could see that these miserable traits had nothing to do with the real, spiritual identity of any of these young people. We decided to separate from our view of them any notion that they could be influenced by fear, ignorance, or group pressure -- by an element contrary to omnipotent divine Mind or to their own true nature.

After a while the tears let up. We remembered the many other times sticky situations had been healed and wonderful things had happened. With her brother joining in with his own inimitable words of support, my daughter felt that the next day would be good, even the scheduled after-school dance. When I picked her up after the dance the next day, I could see that the day had been good. There were no further detrimental comments among the students.

My daughter had come to see that her identity wasn't limited to narrow racial labels but was spiritual and complete. She felt happy, satisfied.

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We concluded that this Bible assurance provides a true sense of who identifies and names us: ``Now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.''3

1I Corinthians 2:16. 2Science and Health with Key to Scriptures, p. 469. 3Isaiah 43:1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16

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