A Christian Science perspective: How a resident of Turkey is praying for Egypt.
In a couple of hours I’ll be hearing the Muslim call to prayers as it echoes out over the entire city. I’m writing these thoughts in the safety of my home in Ankara, Turkey, but my heart is tossed with turmoil as I know that the same call to prayer will also ring out shortly in Cairo, where the crisis in government has reached extremely violent proportions. The bloodshed that erupted last week has resulted in the loss of more than 900 lives, mostly civilians, and injuries to many more.
My heart is with the people of Egypt, but I’ll not be marching in Cairo. I’m trusting in an infinite God, who is Love, to be on the scene. I’m praying for peace and mentally protesting against violence and brutality of any kind. There are many others offering such prayers.
As I start thinking deeply about the tense situation there, wishing to calm the fears of everyone and offer comfort to those who have lost a loved one, I realize that my prayers should seek and find peace for both the members of the interim government and all parties. My prayers are for stability, good government, and universal brotherhood for all.
The prophet Ezekiel records God as saying, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him” (21:27). God gives the right to rule. There will be much overturning to finally bring “whose right it is” to reign.
Interpreting that Bible verse literally might mean we are waiting in turmoil for just the right person to come along and take the government into his or her hands. Who would this right person be?
Rising from the literal meaning of that passage to the spiritual, however – in a kind of mental uprising – we can calmly ask not who, but what: What is being overturned? What has the right to reign? Here we’re dealing with divine government and spiritual ideas, not persons. God impartially gives the right idea to everyone to rule them with justice, mercy, humility, and peace.
Where exactly does the government of God, divine Love, reign? Christ Jesus assured us that “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, further explained, “This kingdom of God ‘is within you,’ – is within reach of man’s consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 576).
As we fill our consciousness with spiritual ideas and qualities such as love, justice, and peace, allowing them to reign within, we will find them reigning without in the form of a loving, just, and peaceful government.
Brotherhood and government are not mutually exclusive, but work together harmoniously. Knowing in our heart of hearts that “God is love” (I John 4:8) stills our fears and enables us to think clearly and know that true government is never interim – temporary – or human, but divine and eternal, governing with evenhanded justice, peace, and love for all.
True government and universal brotherhood are divine ideas that cannot be separated by enmity or strife. They are not limited to any one religion or group of people. God gives all of His sons and daughters the right idea of government and brotherhood, which overturns in consciousness any sense of despotic government and false brotherhood. God not only is Love, but God is Mind, giving wisdom and love to those in and out of government, guiding all to a lasting and loving peace.
Mrs. Eddy states, “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars;...” (Science and Health, p. 340). The next time I hear the call to prayer ring out, I’ll be thanking one infinite God, good, for the unification of men and nations, for the brotherhood and sisterhood of all humanity, and for the end of war in Egypt, in the Middle East, and the whole world over. My prayer is one of gratitude for expected peace.