Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

No One Is Marginalized

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

No One Is Marginalized

Article excerpt

My most recent visit spent in a medium security prison just 15 miles from the Ferguson, Mo., police station lasted less than two hours. But even in that short time frame I left there feeling profoundly changed and grateful for being able to spend time with some of the incarcerated women.

I was invited to speak, in particular, about the meaning of the line from the prayer given by Christ Jesus, commonly known as the Lord's Prayer, which asks God to "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever" (Matthew 6:13). But my prayers had been embracing these women long before I arrived at the jail.

My prayers as a Christian Scientist are based on an understanding of God as unchangeable Love, always present to help and heal. This concept of God is brought out through the inspired healing experiences in the Bible, and is consummately proved by the life and teachings of Christ Jesus. It is this spiritual view of God as Love, and of us as God's loved children, that helped me gain a new perspective on whom I was going to speak with.

You see, through prayer I was discovering even deeper ways to acknowledge God as the loving Father-Mother, who is always revealing to us our true nature as His children - whole, loving, honest, and good. I could understand that within this infinite Love, no one is excluded; no one is marginalized; no one is more valued than another. Instead, everyone's life matters equally to the Father of all.

In prayer, I was reminded of what Jesus said in speaking about the value and worth of each one of us: "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:6, 7). By this, I could recognize that to marginalize anyone or to accept being marginalized goes against God's purpose. As Jesus makes clear, the importance of each individual must be understood and appreciated.

It's not surprising then that my first words to these women were that I had been praying to God to hear what He wanted me to share with them and that I received this answer: "Remember your dignity as daughters of God. …

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