As reports begin to surface about the problems that our campus faces regarding theft and student use of illegal substances, it has become increasingly important for us as Christian Scientists to take a stand for demonstrable Science in our daily lives. I know for myself that it is a big temptation to start running wild with worry and assumptions or even anger. “What kind of person would take all of this stuff? Am I next? How dare someone bring drugs onto this campus!” Indeed, the thoughts of those who are breaking these social codes are probably tormented by similarly counterproductive ideas. So, what are we to do? How can we demonstrate the healing power of Christian Science in this instance?
Something that I have enjoyed contemplating recently is the idea that being a victim is a state of mind. In our society, it is so tempting to take on the role of “victim” for our own when something evil is done to us. I have heard people say that these events and rumors are an attack on our campus. However, by believing that evil can be imposed on us or that we can be attacked by an outside source, we are believing that there is a power apart from God—we are giving power to “other Gods.” By believing that we can be affected by anything apart from God, we are accepting the “Adam Dream” and believing in the knowledge of good and evil.
It’s a radical concept, but we are never victims individually or collectively! There is no possibility of attack because there is nothing that is unlike good. This is not just a flowery way of dealing with the issue at hand, but is in fact the only way to look through the mist and see what is happening around us. By seeing these errors for what they are in God’s kingdom, we have taken a giant first step in the direction of healing.
I remember once when I was an underclassman here at the college and I remarked, “It is so nice to be able to just leave my valuables lying around in public without worry.” I once accidentally left an expensive graphing calculator on a bench at my public high school and never saw it again. My first reaction was one of anger toward whoever decided to take it, but then I got upset with myself for being so careless. This instance can apply to our current situation. How often do we leave our stuff lying around? How often do we leave our thought unprotected?
Sure, a computer is expensive and the comfort we feel on this campus is nice, but our thought is more precious. To make assumptions about the motives behind theft or to speculate about someone else’s motivation to do anything illegal is interesting to a point, but I think we could invest more of our time in the practice of Christian Science rather than get bogged down in human opinion.
Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that we should “Stand porter at the door of thought” (S&H 392:24). In this situation, our job as a guard is to protect our thought from the belief that we can be victims, the belief that our campus can be ruined, and the belief that anyone involved is less than perfect or is motivated by a lower power than that of Divine Mind. On Thursday when we had the campus meeting in the chapel, I found it helpful that we started the meeting with the “Daily Prayer.” What is more useful in protecting our thought about ourselves and our fellow man than knowing that the word of God, in the many forms it takes, enriches and governs the affections (wants, or motives) of man?
Finally, it is important to take away any thoughts that attempt to divide our community. “The haves and the have-nots.” “The trespassed and the trespasser.” “The moral and the immoral.” These are all mortal measurements imposed on man and have nothing to do with his Divine origin. To heal this issue is to understand what it means to find universal harmony. By healing our own thought, we help to heal the situation and bring our personal and collective experiences closer to harmony.
A practitioner I know once said: “The first law in the Kingdom of Heaven is harmony.” Shortly thereafter, I was reading Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and I noticed for the first time that “The Kingdom of Heaven” belongs to two different beatitudes.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (see Matthew 5).
This is no coincidence. To me, it demonstrates man’s universal nature. It is such a groundbreaking concept to know that both those who are most unsure in their relationship with God, and those who face adversity because of their strong relationship with God, find the same reward—the Kingdom of Heaven! Harmony! We will all find everlasting harmony at the close of this struggle.
All men have a universally right nature that motivates thought and action. We are tempted to think that we can screw up or not own up to our actions because we aren’t perfect. The thing is, we are perfect. We’re perfect now and forever because, as it’s said in first John, “Now are we the sons of God.” It is our scriptural right to think and act with humility, love and justice. It is that right which will enable our community to rise out of this challenge and support ourselves and all who have been involved in “One Grand Brotherhood.”