Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Boys, Crime, and the Power of Right Desire Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Boys, Crime, and the Power of Right Desire Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

'Hey, lady, were you afraid to come here?" The young inmate flashed a grin, friendly, but discerning. To tell the truth, I had been a bit nervous as the time approached to meet about 20 boys confined in a detention center for committing serious crimes. I wasn't sure how they'd respond to a woman coming to talk to them about how God could make a difference in their lives.

For one thing, why should they listen to me, someone so apparently unlike them? For another, there was the insistent feeling that it might be too late. Most of them already faced prison sentences. In some cases, a few senseless moments had changed the course of their lives, not to mention the lives of their victims - apparently irreversibly.

Yet in the weeks since I'd been invited to come, my prayers had assured me of one thing. God had not abandoned them. The divine Mind and Love that originates and includes all identities had a purpose for each one of them. There was hope for these boys - to learn, repent, and lead productive lives of service, even within prison walls. But how could I convince them of that? It's a question most of us have asked - how to reach those who need help and yet seem so remote from our lives, or so lost in despair that they've apparently stopped listening or trying. Here's where it helps to understand something about the power of a right desire - such as my desire to help these boys. "Desire is prayer," wrote Mary Baker Eddy (who discovered Christian Science in 1866), "and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 1). A genuine desire to help has unlimited potential because its actual origin is divine, infinite Love, God. In fact, a right desire is evidence that we are in truth the manifestation of infinite Love. …

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