Weapons of Peace
TURMOIL around the world certainly points to a need to work toward establishing a basis for lasting peace. While each of us, at one time or another, may have felt a love for others that transcends differences, such experiences are often short-lived. Is there any way we can build these momentary perceptions of universal brotherhood into long-term unity?Yes! A prayerful understanding that man is spiritual, created by God, will help bring lasting peace to mankind. A good place to start our prayer is where Christ Jesus did in the Lord's Prayer--with the premise that we all have one Father, "our Father. With this recognition of our one Father, God, we also begin to see that we all have a common heritage, a heritage that is wholly spiritual. Christ Jesus cited as the first and great commandment the instruction to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind. And the second commandment, he continued, tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. He certainly lived this love. Such spiritual love, therefore, must be fundamental to our efforts truly to understand God and man. Understanding deeply in our hearts that there is only one God is a powerful weapon against the hatred and misunderstanding that would divide us. The New Testament, in II Corinthians, speaks of the Christian's weapons: "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. We can acknowledge that the one God, who is divine Love, is the only power, as the Bible says, and pray to feel Love's presence instead of any desire to hurt or blame or be afraid. Our own efforts to reflect Love need to be cultivated in our prayers and day-to-day lives if we are to see war cease to be an option in mankind's attempt to settle differences or to deal with aggression. Cultivating love is something we all can do. I had the opportunity to see the effects of Christly love in action while helping to deliver Christian Science literature to commercial ships docked in the harbor of the city where I lived. One evening we were invited to talk with the crew. When we met the crew members, who were from Africa, the first person who spoke said he was a Muslim. He asked, a little confrontationally, why we were there. I don't remember all that was said, but I do remember that the other woman of our threesome spoke to him w ith conviction and love about God's love for all. Her words conveyed respect for his faith and an acknowledgment of our common worship of one God. I could feel the presence of God, Love, right there with us. Soon there were many from the crew, Christians and Muslims, gathered around in very animated discussion, hungering to hear about, and to understand, God's love. There was no feeling of being of different religions or countries but only the feeling of brotherhood, of sharing a common desire to know m ore of God. Though it was a small experience in view of the great needs confronting the world today, it gave me a glimpse of the fact that we are all the children of one Father, God, who loves each of His children. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, makes this strong statement about the liberating power of Love in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon's mouth. Love is the liberator. We have the ability to help make peaceful, just settlements a reality, worldwide and in our own lives, through our deep prayer and our striving to understand more of God, universal Love.