FOR SOME TIME, YOUTH VANDALISM HAD PLAGUED our Christian Science branch church on the northeast side of London. In fact, the whole street suffered from this sort of vandalism in one form or another. Young people congregating in the street would break windows and doors repeatedly and write unpleasant graffition on our building. Gangs of boys climbed the drainpipes and rode their bicycles on the flat roof. Others in our neighborhood informed us that drug dealing even took place under the canopy of our church porch.
From the very beginning of these incidents, our congregation prayed to see a solution. As students of Christian Science, we knew that the correct identity of all people is their spiritual identity, since that's what God created. And because each individual is God-created, each is also purely good. As Mary Baker Eddy explained this concept in her book Unity of Good, "The divine children are born of law and order, and Truth knows only such" (p. 23).
Not that we were pretending to be unaware of destructive behavior. Rather, we knew that destructive behavior is not natural to anyone because we are all God's children. We realized that in order for the behavior to stop, we would need to see this spiritual fact. We also asked for prayer from a Christian Science practitioner, who supported us in our efforts to see these, and all young people, as the beloved children of God, who, because of their innate spiritual goodness, could not really want to do harm.