Cuba seems to be approaching a cusp in its history. Fidel Castro, who acted the role of a strict communist leader for a half century, now appears to be repudiating that Marxist ideology. Cuba itself may be entering a potentially painful period of market reform.
Itâ€™s just possible that more normal relations with the United States, while not imminent, are no longer a pipe dream. Certainly Cubaâ€™s economy would benefit from increased tourism and commercial relations with the US, but itâ€™s unclear what a newly accessible country with thousands of people out of work would mean to the US.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, wrote a short piece for the New York World in December 1900, in which she enumerated what she believed to be the â€śmost imminent dangersâ€ť in the 20th century. Two of these dangers were â€śthe claims of politics and of human powerâ€ť and â€śinsufficient freedom of honest competitionâ€ť (see â€śThe First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,â€ť p. 266). Perhaps one could say that Cubaâ€™s experiment with communism has illustrated these imminent dangers, and that political freedom and a normalized relationship with the US are goals to be cherished.
The road to achieving these goals may be rocky, however. There will probably be as many theories on how to achieve them as there are political economists, specialists in market development, and entrepreneurs. Above the cacophony of these sometimes disagreeing voices, though, is the one God. Here, all of us can play a part in recognizing and affirming the presence and power of divine Mind, the source of all good.
God, infinite Mind, is capable of inspiring those involved with coordination and planning for change in both Cuba and the US. Prayer that affirms this spiritual fact can guide implementation in such a way as to bring blessings to all concerned. Whether we are personally involved with Cubaâ€™s development or just interested observers, such prayer is both possible and effective for any of us. It can lift institutional reform objectives from the merely idealistic or ideological to the Christly standard of service to our fellow man.
The Bible provides a platform for this kind of prayer. The 23rd Psalm, for instance, has inspired and comforted people going through individual crises for thousands of years. The promise of God as the tender Shepherd whose people cannot lack good can also be applied to a nation seeking to find its way. In the middle of uncertainty and restructuring, the words â€śI will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort meâ€ť express the confidence to go forward. Supportive prayers that affirm Godâ€™s presence and effective guidance, given by people of faith throughout the world, do have an effect.
The psalm also includes the joyful declaration â€śMy cup runneth over.â€ť The abundance of good, proceeding from God, is indeed sufficient to bring Cuba more completely into the world economy from the basis of blessing, enriching all the nations of the earth.