A Christian Science Perspective

When Mary Baker Eddy founded The Christian Science Monitor in 1908, she gave the directive to publish one article on Christian Science every day. Each article delivers a response to a topical issue in the news from a Christian Science perspective. These articles inspire readers to look through a spiritual lens when responding to the news and focus their supportive prayers toward an issue facing the global community. For more articles than the ones listed below, visit the Christian Science perspective section on csmonitor.com.

As I read about the thousands of people affected by the flooding in Germany and in other parts of Europe, I can’t help thinking of a hymn by Martin Luther, which begins:

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing,
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.

Is it possible for developing nations to obtain peace and prosperity, and to create a solid basis for long-lasting democracy and steady growth? Since the 1990s, efforts to establish democracy in Africa have been characterized by political unrest, but ongoing efforts have brought progress, including increased freedom of expression and better conditions for women. But there is still a long way to go to overcome major challenges resulting from the lack of transparency of some governments in the management of their affairs. Also challenging is their indifference to the well-being of their people, which fuels poverty, injustice, and corruption.

... praise the Lord! Did you think I was going to say, “Clap your hands”? Many of you may now be singing to yourself that children’s song, often popular at summer camp or on the school bus. This article however is not about that tune, but about true happiness found in and caused by God.

The news of businesses, cities – even countries – on the verge of bankruptcy, accompanied by interviews with desperate people who have lost hope, can be disheartening. Expecting failure and poverty and dwelling in a mental miasma of demoralized self-confidence is also disheartening and furthers more of the same. The good news is that there is a remedy.

Nonstop honking of horns. Incessant banging on pots and pans. This has been the nightly mesmeric din heard from my home in AnkaraTurkey, for almost a week now. Television, Facebook, and Twitter are inundated with reports and images of people throughout Turkey protesting the force used by the police against a peaceful sit-down in Taksim Square.

The way decisions are made can be pretty interesting. Here in Canada where I live, all proposed legislation needs to pass through two houses in Parliament: the elected House of Commons (lower house) and the appointed Senate (upper house). Then it’s signed by the Governor General and becomes law. The upper house has been dubbed a place of “sober second thought,” where proposed legislation is given a careful second look to see how it would affect all sectors of society before it can be passed into law. I love the idea of allowing room for “sober second thought” before making decisions. It has kept me out of trouble more than a few times.

I boarded the airplane feeling depressed and heavy-hearted. I was unhappy over several thorny family issues, and to top it off, our dog was sick. So when the pilot’s voice came over the loudspeaker announcing there was a mechanical problem and the plane would be stationed at the gate while they tried to fix it, I mentally groaned and thought: “Great! Now I’ll probably miss my connecting flight. Can’t the airlines get anything right?” My mood got even darker.

I heard a whale breathe. It was this incredible sound. My husband and I were in Antarctica. It was 10:30 at night in the deep twilight of an austral summer evening. We were on our balcony as the ship slipped noiselessly through waters as still as glass. Right in front of us a humpback whale surfaced and blew. She glided instead of submerging, and in the profound stillness we could hear her breathe. There was no visible sign. No water spouted, she just breathed.

Standing still

When the people who had followed Moses to their freedom were resting beside the Red Sea, to their surprise, they suddenly saw the Pharaoh’s chariots coming over the horizon and bearing down on them. They were terrified, fearing that this meant either recapture or death (see Exodus 14:10-13). In the midst of all the panic, Moses’ words to the huge group were: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”

No one knows who first said “Stop and smell the roses,” but most of us have been urged to do it. Ringo Starr even wrote a song about it. Like the allure of roses, my study of the Bible stopped me from rushing through life and has helped me pause to savor more of my spiritual selfhood as a child of God, to listen more to that “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12), and see that the Christ, the true idea of God, always leads the way.

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