Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Love That Never Runs out ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Love That Never Runs out ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

When an emergency happens, people are often quick to respond. Their hearts naturally go out to those in need, and they begin to think of how they can help. Some emergencies are dealt with quickly, but others, by their very nature, require persistent, ongoing effort.

National or worldwide disasters, epidemics, entrenched hunger and poverty, prolonged conflict, even chronic illness, may demand continuous and patient attention in order to achieve resolution. So how can one keep from wearing down?

A good place to start is to elevate one's sense of compassion. Compassion actually has a spiritual source and is something more than the mixed human passion of love and sorrow. Another term for compassion is mercy, and true mercy is actually a divine attribute. The Psalmist spoke of this kind of mercy in the 23rd Psalm, where God is compared to the dedicated shepherd.

That psalm ends with the assurance, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life...." The verb mildly translated as follow can be translated to the more demanding verb pursue. Realizing that a divine animus is "pursuing" each of us with goodness and mercy has strengthened my compassionate efforts. The way I see it, divine Love actually pursues us with mercy; Love never lets up or wears out or gives up. Seeing compassion as a relentless, caring attribute of God reveals that there is much more behind our desires than mere human effort.

Compassion is a healing response, and as with all healing, it is much more effective when it's seen as divine grace, rather than a factor of the human mind. Divine grace, or the divine influence in the heart and mind, is what lifts us up, preventing us from wearing down. Grace is actually God working through us. Here is the perfect model for compassionate action: realizing that one can do whatever is demanded through the strength and grace of God.

And to accomplish that requires keeping one's thoughts, motives, and desires in relation with the Divine. …

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