Several years ago, while walking in the downtown area of a major city, I pondered the passage “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 571). At ﬁrst I thought of the traditional idea that I was protected by an armor of divine Love. Visually I imagined walking in a bubble where evil ideas bounced off, never touching or injuring me. I laughed at the idea of many individuals in bubbles protected from evil thoughts!
Then Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount in the Bible came to me: “Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:16). Letting my light shine was another way of saying, “Love—reach out and love!” It occurred to me that to hold “human hatred” in the panoply of Love was letting my light shine.
Just then, two young men walked up to me on the street. One stood directly facing me, the other behind me. I couldn’t move in either direction. The one in front moved closer and, pointing a knife, told me to give him my pocketbook. Looking directly into his eyes, I ﬁrmly stated the truth, “This isn’t who you are.” In that moment I knew none of us was separated from divine Love—but embraced in this Love, together, as God’s perfect and pure ideas. Moving the knife in a swooping direction, the man turned to one side and said to his companion, “We don’t belong here.”
As they walked away, I realized what had happened. Like the darkness that disappears in the light, human hatred had no place in the infinite outreach of Love.
and Wilmington, North Carolina
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