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What does love have to do with ending a pandemic?   Leave a comment

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In the context of the current pandemic, I’ve been asking myself if it’s not only our love for God and a deeper appreciation of His love for us that hold the key to ridding the world of this disease, but also a more consistent commitment to love one another—that is, to be sure that our thoughts of others reflect God’s thought of us. Jesus said: “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Matthew 22:37–39, New Living Translation).

Of course, conventional wisdom would argue that it’s going to take a lot more than a group hug, no matter how heartfelt, to rid ourselves of something as challenging as a pandemic. I would agree. But conventional wisdom is also reluctant to recognize the mental nature of disease—to acknowledge the significance of Jesus’ practical demonstration and Mrs. Eddy’s explanation of that Christly love that strives to see only the goodness that God, good, sees. After all, if “unselfed love” heals disease, then it stands to reason that any opposite state of mind, such as fear, anger, hostility, and so on, would tend to precipitate disease—or rather, present itself physically as disease, as Christian Science teaches. Conventional wisdom also refuses outright to admit the all-power of God, divine Love, to heal disease. 

What’s required of us, then, is to not only acknowledge Love’s allness as the ultimate antidote to disease but also to see others and ourselves as Love’s essential expression, naturally and inevitably inclined to love. As it says in the Bible, “We love because [God] first loved us” (I John 4:19, New Revised Standard Version).

This doesn’t mean that loving others is always easy. For instance, there are times when we find ourselves falling for the devilish lie that someone or some circumstance—our neighbors, our coworkers, our politicians, a pandemic—has somehow managed to deprive us of God’s goodness; that there’s some legitimate reason for our being unable to express all that God has given us to express, to enjoy all that He has given us to enjoy. When this happens, we face a crucial choice between accepting or rejecting the notion of a power opposed to God.

Ironically, it’s at moments like this that we are perhaps most receptive to Truth, a synonym for God that Mary Baker Eddy in her writings often couples with Christ. It’s this ever-present Christ, “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness,” as Science and Health describes it (p. 332), that reveals God, divine Love, as the only true power. We especially need to know this in regard to the powerlessness of hatred, a state of thought that Mrs. Eddy associates with the virulent nature of contagious disease. Her Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 emphatically states, “… 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” (p. 12). 

Whether we feel a temptation to hate other people or are seeing hatred in others, this claim of a power apart from God needs to be met head on……

The conviction of God’s love for us is often what motivates our love for one another. And on the flip side, it’s our love for one another that opens the door more widely to feeling God’s love for us. This ceaseless cycle of Love—“Love is reflected in love,” as Mrs. Eddy puts it (Science and Health, p. 17)—inevitably lessens fear, dissolves hatred, and enables us to do our part in bringing an end to this pandemic.

Eric D. Nelson also shares a personal healing in this article from the Christian Science Sentinel which you can read or listen to in its entirety when you click here: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/pe971zapv8?s=e

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