Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

You can support diversity without fear   Leave a comment

“Scientists have made a powerful discovery that appears able to improve everyone’s life. Reports indicate it works on individuals, families, communities, economies, and nations. Interestingly, it appears that too little of this substance may explain the coarsening of language and the hardening of hearts so evident in politics and the media. Lack of it also might be responsible for everything from substance abuse to the anxiety many people say they feel despite the unprecedented security, better health, and affluence the world is experiencing. And here’s the kicker: It’s free, it’s abundant, and you can’t overdose on it.” (John Yemma, Christian Science Monitor)

And the often disregarded, but indispensable substance?

Brotherly love!

Evidence of this love is discovered in quiet acts of empathy and encouragement demonstrated by caring people from all walks of life. For instance, the mature gent in the queue at the supermarket checkout who steps up to pay the balance for the mother of two pre-schoolers who is caught short. Or the young female social media whiz who creates social change through her dedication to affirming the good while gently dismantling prejudice.

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Then there’s the hospice chaplain offering simple words of comfort and walking a patient or family member through a process that aims to help them find meaning according to their own faith, or no faith.

Brotherly love, you could say, is at the heart of chaplaincy, pastoral care and spiritual services. But chaplains are not alone in wondering how extensively they need to demonstrate that care.

That was the question asked at last year’s Spiritual Care Australia Conference. Practitioners representing the world’s major faith traditions, as well as many others, who work at the coalface in hospitals, hospices and prisons came together to grow in their understanding of how best to meet the needs of the diverse groups of people they encounter day-to-day, and to better relate to them and celebrate them.

Just as the broader community are questioning stereotypes and thinking differently about ethnicity, culture, faith, race, nationality, skin colour, age, sexuality and gender, spiritual carers are also challenged by new paradigms. Armed with a similar acknowledgement of a higher power as man’s common source, these carers have something in their toolbox that can help them prayerfully reconsider sincerely held beliefs that might prevent them from embracing diversity wholeheartedly.

In the Christian faith, diversity is championed by its followers. “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:” (I Corinthians, The Message)

Hearing the heart-felt stories of individuals representing the transgender, LGBTI community, as well as Multifaith and multicultural communities, greatly enhanced my empathy and compassion for those in the community who have different stories to tell.

In the wider community we may well seem to be different—by reason of race, gender, culture, nationality. But this is a limited view of how to see ourselves and others, when we judge identity from a predominantly material perspective. Beyond that, I’ve learned, we each have a spiritual sense through which we can more deeply feel and experience kinship with others as the offspring of the multifaceted, divine Spirit, and not formed after the pattern of mortal personality, passion and tribalism (as explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures).

Divine qualities and ideas are as infinite as their divine Source and so it stands to reason that they can be expressed in an endless variety of ways; yet never deviating from Spirit’s pure and good nature. In fact, we can’t help but express kindness, forgiveness and respect to everyone, as we learn that each individual uniquely reflects divine Love itself. And governed by this Love, we aren’t just safe in relation to one another; we can welcome ever more constructive and beautiful relationships with a broader array of fellow citizens.

The brotherly regard that can be offered at the supermarket, on social media or in the sickroom might best follow the principles of interfaith dialogue: to love our neighbor, regardless of their faith…culture… race…gender practices, and to build not just tolerant relationships, but respectful ones.

The writer of this article, Kay Stroud is working for the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Northern-Eastern Australia. More from this writer: www.health4thinkers.com

This article was first published on the Sunshine Coast Daily.

LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND   Leave a comment

The Commitment to love  

These words from a poem by Robert Burns, “Man’s inhumanity to man / Makes countless thousands mourn,” describe how hearts everywhere felt when they heard the news last month of a group of teens who taunted and laughed as they watched a man drown, doing nothing to help. Turning to prayer, contributor Judy Cole was reminded of Christ Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan, which so clearly illustrates Jesus’ words: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). To love – to be filled with a spiritual and pure love for our neighbor in a world where hate seems prevalent – is the only genuine way to contribute to the lessening of hate and brutality in the world. As the children of God, nothing can stop us from loving in such a powerful and healing way.

$ Bedouin in Desert What is it that enabled Jesus to love despite the heinous treatment he witnessed against others and that was directed at him? His works point to the profound understanding he had of God as divine Love itself, infinitely more powerful than all the hatred he encountered.

The founder of The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy – who faced much injustice in her life – once wrote: “I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 104).

Read the full article from The Christian Science Monitor’s : A Christian Scientist’s Perspective by Judy Cole here

“Dinner” with the enemy   Leave a comment

By Jenny Sawyer

My group of friends and I really didn’t like the way this one girl was acting. She was rude, and she put others down to make herself look good. She’d also singled me out for particularly bad treatment. …

IMG_1310Even though Christ Jesus lived two thousand years ago, I still think of him as my go-to expert on relationships. So in considering how I could think more constructively about this girl, maybe even learn to love her, I took a look at the New Testament in the Bible to see how Jesus treated people who weren’t behaving their best. What I noticed was that Jesus willingly spent time with these individuals whom the Bible calls “sinners.” He even had dinner with them!

Are we willing to sit down, really take the time, and be witnesses to the God-created, good, spiritual nature in those we feel we dislike, even despise? I’ve taken to inviting one person each day to dinner—metaphorically speaking—be it an authority figure I’m unhappy with, or someone I feel hasn’t treated me very nicely. Then, in that quiet place of prayer, I sit with my concept of them until it’s polished, transformed….

Practice ‘dissolving’ hate!   Leave a comment

By Luisella Jaques-Deraney

Hate is like sediment in water. It builds up layer upon layer to “clog” the natural flow of relations between individuals or groups till situations explode. There is, however, a way to permanently remove hate. It is to dissolve it with another element—to break it down to the point that, first, it can no longer resist, and then isn’t there anymore. This hate-dissolving element is the love that accompanies the recognition of God’s presence even in desperate situations.

I haDSCF2483ve seen it work over and over again.

At one point I worked as a delegate of the International Red Cross in countries where internal troubles existed. My main work was to visit political prisoners and to ensure protection to civilian populations according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.*

It’s not easy to cope with the stress of this kind of job. When potential danger and fighting become your daily bread, you can get caught in the circle of hatred.

How do you keep safe, sane, and helpful in such conditions?

Click here to keep on reading and find out more:

You can love your enemies   Leave a comment

 

A Daily lift by Kim Shippey

P1000589 (1)As Kim gives a fresh sense of the awareness

of an all including divine Love, the sense

of an enemy vanishes

Posted May 10, 2017 by cscanberra in Daily Lift, relationships, Resolutions

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