Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

When You're Asked to Help

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

When You're Asked to Help

Article excerpt

The other day, the news was full of outrage at large companies and banks. All had a similar theme of someone feeling victimized. I'd spent the morning at my desk going through the daily newspapers and taking some phone calls from people asking me to help them solve problems through prayer. As I looked over the list of things I intended to pray about, I realized that every one of them involved some sort of reaction.

As I prayed, I started with what I understand God to be: the source of all action and of only good. I've also come to an understanding of God as pure divine Love. Putting these facts together gave me a good start: God, Love, is the source of all action. Therefore, every true activity, as the result of Love, must be loving. This gave me a spiritual premise from which to start.

Just then, the substitute postman arrived and was struggling to push a thick batch of mail through our narrow slot. The arrival of the post is a highly anticipated moment each day for our small dog, but the to-ing and fro-ing of the letters heightened her intensity to a new peak. And as I reached to help the mailman from inside, my dog took a mighty chomp at my hand.

We got the mail through, and I assured the startled letter carrier that I was fine. I washed and bandaged my hand and returned to pick up where I'd left off in my prayer. I couldn't help having a good laugh. It seemed my episode at the front door was the dramatization of the work before me in prayer.

When I started to type e-mail messages to people, however, some of the humor was lost on me. My hand hurt and was swelling, and I couldn't type with it. It was clear that I needed to address this injury, and my choice was to pray for myself. I saw I needed to do this, too, before I could be of use to others. I prayed to understand that there really isn't something called "reaction" in divine Love. There is response, though, and that is all that's needed: to respond to the all-pervasive atmosphere of Love, of God. …

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