I answered a phone call at 5:30 in the morning. A friend who was having a difficulty asked me to pray with her, which I did immediately.
As I prayed, I felt filled with inspiration, but I realized that since I was spending the night with my two youngest grandsons while my daughter was traveling, the home would soon be filled with morning activity and demands on my attention. Indeed, too soon my quiet time for prayer was competing with the needs of these dear children as I shuffled from one room to the next washing faces, putting on socks, and getting breakfast together. Then, out the door we went to drop off one of the boys at nursery school.
When the other grandson and I returned to the house, he went up to play in his room. I sat down in the quiet to regain a sense of spiritual balance. My prayer was just to love—to have such a sense of God as Love as to not lose sight of my love for God and my love for others (specifically the dear friend who had called) in the midst of the day’s activities. My desire was to keep alive the wonderful inspiration I’d felt earlier.
In Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Spirituality is the basis of all true thought and volition” (p. 156). The cares of the day cannot disrupt the divine Mind that inspires prayerful and loving thoughts, enabling us to bear witness to the good going on. I saw that I couldn’t lose good, despite the day’s busyness.
Burdensome memories of feeling rejected, overlooked, or slighted, and even feelings of self-hatred from long ago, lifted off my shoulders.
I experienced this firsthand in a surprising way. As I prayed quietly, the following unavoidably clear thought came to me: “You have never been hated!” I was startled—this hadn’t been anywhere near what I was praying about, but there it was. I felt as though I were being washed clean. Mental images of bullies from my childhood, sibling rivalries, and other scenes of hatred from various corners of my memory were being shredded in one way or another.
Sometimes the brutality of an unpleasant memory can tempt us to withdraw from the joy we are entitled to: to withdraw from church activities, from family, or in very extreme cases even from life itself. But God is Love, and Love includes joy, and God is everywhere. Divine Love shelters us from harm, from hatred, at every moment. God’s infinite love reaches all of us. I guess that morning it was my turn to more fully open myself to that Love.
Following this beautiful moment came the thought, “And you have never hated anyone!” I’m not saying I hadn’t ever thought or acted harshly toward anybody. But the spiritual fact is that as the creation of God, Love, we are entirely loving and loved. Divine Love is always maintaining an infinite store of happiness and health in His creation.
This realization brings reformation and healing where it’s needed. And not just for ourselves. Our willingness to yield to this Love blesses everyone in our “atmosphere of thought”—including, I realized, the friend who had called earlier. Eddy uses these three words together in her article “Love Your Enemies.” The full sentence reads: “We should measure our love for God by our love for man; and our sense of Science will be measured by our obedience to God,—fulfilling the law of Love, doing good to all; imparting, so far as we reflect them, Truth, Life, and Love to all within the radius of our atmosphere of thought” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 12).
The book of First John in the Bible affirms, “We love him [God], because he first loved us” (4:19). I began to understand more clearly why it’s inherent in us to love: because God created us, His spiritual children, as the reflection of His own infinite love. The only voice in the room at that moment was this truth speaking to my thought with absolute authority.
As I thought more about these ideas throughout the day, more inspirations came, helping me let go of hateful thoughts that had been clamoring for my attention for far too long. I realized there were so many opportunities to see evidence of the supremacy of divine Love! My eagerness to express this revitalized understanding of Love was accompanied by a full measure of peace.
Most remarkable to me was the healing associated with memories from high school of a group of teenagers who beat me with a knotted rope as several others held me down, simply because I didn’t look like them and was not part of their crowd at school. In that morning’s revelation of pure Love, even this memory lost its hold in my thought—and with no argument from me! I was happy to let this image fade too. Other burdensome memories of feeling rejected, overlooked, or slighted, and even feelings of self-hatred from long ago, all lifted off my shoulders.
Elsewhere in the article “Love Your Enemies” is this example of forgiveness: “I would enjoy taking by the hand all who love me not, and saying to them, ‘I love you, and would not knowingly harm you.’ Because I thus feel, I say to others: Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last. If indulged, it masters us; brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, throughout time and beyond the grave” (pp. 11–12).
Wow! This wasn’t just about healing, as grateful as I was that both my friend and I had beautiful healings that day. This had become a true revelation, and is one whose warm embrace I still prayerfully climb into. Never hated, never hating. Sounds like heaven. It is heaven. And here we are, every one of us, residing in God’s kingdom and right in this moment completely at peace. Realizing this spiritual fact and letting divine Love lift our thought removes burdensome memories and brings healing.
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