…those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection. – Mary Baker Eddy
A friend posted a great cartoon (by David Sippress) on Facebook the other day. It shows a man and woman walking down the street, and the woman is saying: “My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.”
I can really relate to this cartoon.
The desire to be a responsible and contributing citizen means that I want to be aware of, and informed about, the challenges my nation faces. But how does one stay informed about these challenges, without feeling overwhelmed by them? Sometimes the fear and hate that seem to permeate our atmosphere can seem impossible to overcome, and I find myself getting pulled inexorably into the brouhaha. I see inequity and unfairness, hypocrisy and bigotry, and it makes me really angry. And the angrier I get the more real and powerful the inequity and bigotry seem to me, and the less powerful I feel in being able to make anything better.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “We may well be astonished at sin, sickness, and death. We may well be perplexed at human fear; and still more astounded at hatred, which lifts its hydra head, showing its horns in the many inventions of evil. But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?”
I can imagine someone reading this quote by Mary Baker Eddy and shaking his head, wondering how anyone can write off all the hate and fear as “nothing.” And I can imagine someone reading this quote and comparing Christian Scientists to those three monkeys who “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.” But that’s not what Christian Science is about at all.
Eddy writes: “Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them. A sinner is not reformed merely by assuring him that he cannot be a sinner because there is no sin. To put down the claim of sin, you must detect it, remove the mask, point out the illusion, and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality.”
Note that when Mary Baker Eddy writes about exposing evil and removing its mask, nowhere does she say we do this in a spirit of anger. In fact, earlier in Science and Health, she writes, “The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love.”
I believe our purpose here is to love – love is what gives meaning to life. And so it doesn’t really make any sense for me to be angry about anger, or to be unkind in the name of kindness, or to feel hate about those who hate – because anger, hate, and unkindness defeat the whole purpose of it all.
I really like the thoughts Kathi Petersen, a spiritually-minded friend from Nova Scotia, sent me earlier this week: “Is there something wrong with wanting to concentrate your mind and energy on positive things? Are we shirking our responsibilities somehow, not being actively embroiled with the downward tendency of our society? Does it somehow help the planet if we spend our days alarmed and shouting about what is going on? I feel so much that the opposite is true … That what the world needs most is people who can spread some Joy … Maybe every village needs its Joy-spreaders, and we should be given some kind of stipend to concentrate on good and happy things …”
Isn’t that a wonderful idea?!
I want to be one of the Joy-spreaders. I want to completely overpower the feelings of gloom and doom, of hopelessness and anger and fear and hate, with joy and good cheer and love.
I started off this blog with a quote by Mary Baker Eddy. The one word that stands out to me, as I reread it, is the word cheerfully. She tells us that Christian Scientists will “aid in the ejection of error” and “cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection.” Isn’t it great that we don’t need to give up our joy to overcome evil? In fact, maybe the only way we can overcome evil is with joy and love.
At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. – Mary Baker Eddy
The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. – Mary Baker Eddy