Worldwide tension caused by what appear to be unstoppable hostilities in Syria was ratcheted up to a new level last week when an unarmed Turkish jet fighter was shot down by Syrian military forces over international waters. The wreckage of the plane has been located at more than 4,000 feet below sea level, but as of this writing, despite search and rescue efforts by Turkish boats and helicopters, the two-man crew of the plane has yet to be found.
According to its foreign minister, Turkey will respond to this act within international law, but “decisively.... It’s a fine line.” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended Turkey for the “restraint” it has shown. Turkey has sent a diplomatic note to Syria and has invoked its right to consult with other NATO nations.
So, just how should Turkey respond? That’s for the diplomats, politicians, and militaries to figure out. As an individual living in Turkey, the response I chose was to pray with the help of something Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, wrote: “Pray that the divine presence may still guide and bless our chief magistrate, those associated with his executive trust, and our national judiciary ...” (“Christian Science versus Pantheism,” p. 14).
Taking that thought and applying it to the situation here in Turkey, I prayed to know that “the divine presence may still guide and bless” all the leaders of the Turkish government, parliament, and military. And that this same divine presence will bring peace, justice, and freedom to all, including the suffering people of Syria.
My prayer also includes the families of the pilots, who are believed to have been killed in the crash. May they feel the divine presence with them, comforting them with the precious love of our one Father-Mother God. As the Psalmist knew and declared: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? ... If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (139:7, 9, 10).
This divine presence is the presence of God. God is divine Mind. Divine Mind is one because God is one. Divine Mind is ever-present and omnipotent. There is no time or place or individual consciousness where divine Mind is not present, exerting its supreme power over false character traits of anger, revenge, self-righteousness – evil of every sort. Harmony is the law of divine Mind, of “our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9).
God’s law of harmony is the basis for any human law, whether international, national, or local. It is all-powerful, ever-present, ever-operative, governing all humanity. Because God is Love, God’s law is loving, impartial, and universal. We can expect to see divine law reflected in human law in the form of righteousness, justice, and mercy for all.
Whatever response is given to the current Syrian-Turkish situation, anyone who feels called to do so can pray to know that God, divine Mind, is guiding everyone involved in the decisionmaking process and in the implementation of those decisions. May the actions of all be “the sign of Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’ – a divine influence ever present in human consciousness ...” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. xi).
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