SOPHIE and Kim were good friends. They spent a lot of time together. They were both Americans living in an Asian country. The local people noticed them and liked to talk with them. Sometimes the Asian people asked Sophie and Kim if they were sisters. Sophie and Kim thought that was very funny. Sophie was tall and thin. She had short, straight, brown hair. Kim was short and round, with long, curly, red hair, and freckles all over. How could anyone think they were sisters?
Even though the girls thought it was funny, they liked to be thought of as sisters. It made them happy. In fact it made them feel like sisters, and that felt good.
Sophie and Kim didn't have the same parents. They didn't have the same last name or live in the same house. But you could still say they were sisters. Actually, you could say they were sisters of their Asian friends, too. After all, we're all in God's family.
Christ Jesus taught us that we all have one Father. He taught us a prayer called the Lord's Prayer. It begins, ``Our Father which art in heaven'' (Matthew 6:9). Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, gives the spiritual meaning of the Lord's Prayer in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. For the first line she says, ``Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious'' (p. 16). The Lord's Prayer is for everyone. ``Our Father'' is God, everyone's true Father-Mother. That means we are al l children of the same Parent. And that means we are all brothers and sisters! God loves all His children. He made us in His image. That means He made us good.
It's natural to love our Father-Mother. It's natural for us to love our sisters and brothers. It wouldn't be right to hate anybody, because we're all in the same family, God's family.
Sometimes people, even the ones who live with us, can be mean or hurt us. Then we may think it's all right to hate or to be mean back. It may be OK to talk about it. It's OK to get help if we need it. But it is not OK, ever, to hate. Instead we must know everyone is actually God's good child (even if he or she isn't acting like it!)
One time three boys in Sophie's class began to leave mean notes on her desk. They whispered and laughed when she was near. It hurt Sophie. These boys had been her friends. She knew she had not been mean to them. Sophie began to pray. She knew that God was her Father-Mother and the boys' Father-Mother too. They were God's children so they were her brothers. Sophie knew God's children are loving--not mean.
Sophie prayed this way for several days. It wasn't easy at first. But she kept loving the boys as her brothers, and they stopped being mean! One of the boys told Sophie he was very sorry. He didn't know why they had acted that way. He liked Sophie.
Knowing we're really God's family helps us in hard times. It helps us to love and forgive our friends, even when they say or do something bad. This helps to bring healing. This makes life more peaceful. There are fewer fights, fewer tears.
We obey God, our Father-Mother, when we love one another. That's what He wants us to do. And if we're supposed to love, we can do it if we try. Loving is the right way to live. That's what is truly going on in God's family--our family. But we have to prove this! Loving makes us feel that everyone is part of God's family--that we're all sisters and brothers.
This article originally appeared in the December 17, 1990, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.