The Promise of a Vibrant Healing Atmosphere
Every time I fold laundry, I think about the vibrant healing atmosphere of home. Does that seem strange? Well there is a reason behind it.
Click here to read more on this topic and other similar topics on the blog of Beacon Haven, a Christian Science nursing organization in the heart of Minnesota.
Inspired by this week's news report on Saudi women making a stand for their rights to drive cars, I started to pray about all human rights: Women's rights. Gay rights. The rights of the elderly. Rights of the disabled. Children's rights. Immigrant's rights. The right to drive. The right to pray.
In looking to pray about this, I found a series of ideas from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy helped to resolve this issue with healing.
In all these cases, what is the protest?
“The heavenly law is broken by trespassing upon man’s individual right of self-government. “ SH 447: 1
Therein lies the protest to many human rights issues. How do we find healing here?
"God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims." SH 226:14
What are these claims?
" ...Christian Science ...claims God as the only absolute Life and Soul, and man to be His idea, — that is, His image.
It should be added that this is claimed to represent the normal, healthful, and sinless condition of man in divine Science, and that this claim is made because the Scriptures say that God has created man in His own image and after His likeness." SH 226:14
How does this all add up to healing?
Every individual – regardless of category – has the right of self-government. Every individual is an expression of his and her Creator. As that becomes clearer in our thought, we find our way to a greater freedom from prejudice --- from sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia.
Have you noticed that in the effort to curtail the rights of some classification of mankind, that the argument is made for that classification's moral inferiority. And so, the argument continues that those making the argument are morally superior.
The argument is flawed and based on opinion. It tries to make divisions where there is no divine authority for doing so.
We are all made in God's image and likeness. The Old Testament in Genesis gives us the platform where we begin to see ourselves as God created us.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.... And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Gen. 1:27, 31 (to 1st .)
The New Testament letter to the Galatians, develops the idea:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal 3:28
We are all one. We are all on the same team. Human rights can advance on that platform.
Now of course, if you already love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, you might find this blog title a bit odd. After all, why would need reasons to praise God? God is, after all, the One God.
But if you are not sure who God is, perhaps presenting some good reasons will help open the door to a breath-taking new view of your relationship to God.
We have all had moments that take our breath away – natural beauty of the dark night sky, the birth of a child, a rousing concert, a song sung from the heart, a victory over all odds. There is a sacredness to those moments, and digging deeper, we find strong and consistent currents of pure spirituality. The source behind all that we reverence and hold in awe is God.
I found a blog on Christian Broadcasting Network that spelled out some reasons for praising God that were so good, it just made sense to share them here. I've put their ideas in italics and mine without italics.
THE NATURE OF PRAISE
Praise, according to the Scriptures, is an act of our will that flows out of an awe and reverence for our Creator. Praise gives glory to God and opens us up to a deeper union with Him. It turns our attention off of our problems and on the nature and character of God Himself.
As we focus our minds on God and proclaim His goodness, we reflect His glory back to Him. The results can fill you with peace and contentment ( Isaiah 26:3) and transform your outlook on life.
REASONS TO PRAISE
God is worthy
Very simply, we praise God because He is worthy of our praise ( 1 Chron. 16:25; Rev. 5:11-14). He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is our Creator, Provider, Healer, Redeemer, Judge, Defender and much more.
Obedience to and love for God
Another foundational reason to praise God is simple obedience. The Bible says God is a "jealous" God who demands and desires our praise. "You shall have no other gods before Me," says the first commandment (Deut. 6:7). As the psalmist said, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord" ( Psalm 150:6).
For all His Benefits
As we praise God, we will discover incredible benefits for our lives. That's because human beings were created by God to praise Him ( Isa. 43:7, Matt. 21:16). …..Praising God helps restore us to that right relationship, for God actually dwells in the praises of His people ( Psalm 22:3). As we draw near to the Father in praise, He draws near to us ( James 4:8).
In considering how often the word “praise” is used in the Bible - 246 times, most of which are in the book of Psalms, - I realized that the act of praise serves as a cleansing of and a preparation of the heart: it opens thought, it protects and purifies, but most importantly it lets us know where we stand. Praise establishes us in the understanding of God. We recognize what we know. And when we give God the glory, we also are affirming what is already inherent in us. We see Love because we know Love and therefore we praise God for all His love.
"Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods" ( 1 Chron. 16:23-25).
Other thoughts on PRAISE
Psalm 33:1-4, Psalm 100:1-5, Isaiah 43:7 -- We are created for praise
1 Chronicles 16:7-36, Revelation 5:11-14 -- God is worthy of our praise
Psalm 34:1-9 -- Promised protection and praise
Hebrews 13:15-16 -- Perseverance in praise
Years ago I read this book and loved it from the first page! M. L. Rossi, author of the smart and sassy book, What Every American Should Know about the Rest of the World ^ writes “Just call me a cultural romantic. I love to explore other worlds. I love to live where the history is unfamiliar; the architecture thrills me; the language, the food, the rituals are altogether exotic. I love being immersed in the entirely foreign, being in a place where I have to learn about life there from scratch.” I could so relate!
Her book has pointed out simply and clearly what is needed to become a well-informed global citizen. She goes on to share two of the ways to do this:
1. To understand where you are in the world, you need a map
2. Life is a lot easier if you know the language.
Maps and vocabulary are going to be key ingredients to becoming a global citizen. But there may be more to it.
Prior to becoming very familiar with traveling to other countries, I did some coursework with intercultural communication at a university. It was interesting to know of different customs, cultural mores, the development of a people’s pride, etc. These were almost like mental exercises to test one’s level of credibility of other cultures and determined how static or flexible was one’s sense of values. I learned that the more unlimited the mindset, the more unlimited the life experience.
So maps, vocabulary, tolerance, credibility, flexibility and an open mindset are all part of being a global citizen. If we add to each of the qualities above a more spiritual view, I think we have it all. Here are some key spiritual qualities that I have exerised along my travels and stays:
Equality - To understand where you are in the world - you need to understand we all have an equal place in the world. It is knowing that there are other ways to think and to live. This means respect, humility and accepting that you will need to lean on a power higher than yourself to be able to truly love mankind.
Speaking love - Life is a lot easier if you know the language. To be able to speak another’s language is an act of humility and respect (especially if you can speak the language well!). However, it is even more important to actively love the individuals I
am coming into contact with for the first time whose ways and culture are quite different from mine. “When the heart speaks, however simple the words, its language is always heard from those who have hearts.” writes Mary Baker Eddy. Love is a universal language.
And “Love is the fulfilling of the law” as it says in the Bible. I have found when I nurture those qualities of humility, and love, and respect and wisdom, I am shown the appropriate ways of showing respect and care. I will be welcomed in to more people's experiences and experience a richness and depth to life that I have come to love.
Credibility – understanding that you can love, help, heal, receive gifts from others graciously gives you a humble authority to see and do good.
Tolerance – comes easily when you are open to learn, to not judge and to ask questions. There are other ways to see beauty, progress, success, fulfillment. There are an infinite number of ways to think and to be. Be firm in your understanding that we are all rooted in universal qualities such as Truth, intelligence. The expressions of these qualities are infinite, but we can be confident that these qualities are evident in every experience we encounter.
Discernment - The exciting thing I have found is that we DO have one Father and Mother - Everyone IS my brother and sister! Understanding cultures helps me to see what in my thought is original thought and what may be a result of my picking up influences around me. It also helps me protect my thought against prejudices and stereotyping.
Flexibility – always be ready to be surprised. Realize that you don’t know what you don’t know and be open to learning. In a world of infinite good and infinite possibilities, goodness blooms in many different ways. On the other hand, I enjoy other cultures, in that i enjoy seeing how diverse, how infinite is God's expression in His children. There are whole new ways of expressing marriage, family, education, commerce, leisure and more.
An open heart – let in the glory of Life. Life’s lessons are learned from everyone and everything. Seeing with an open heart puts infinity on the faces of strangers and places. It is also knowing that there is one heartbeat – a pulsating force of Love that flows through each of us. I have grown so much in the atmosphere of those who have grown up in cultures different than my own. The largest lesson is to learn to love and listen.
I have come to see that each one of us is
country, a continent, a compound idea of infinite Spirit.
Did you know that MBEddy defines both earth* and man** as a compound idea? My ability to have a little more compassion has grown, as I exercise my thought in contemplating others' perspectives. My relations with others have improved as I learn to listen more and be open to new ideas.
Two of my favorite citizens of the world are my mother and a former colleague. What they have in common was that they love people deeply and unconditionally. My mother has not yet traveled outside of her country, but every friend I have ever introduced to my parents, from Ethiopia, Iceland, Germany, Cameroon, Colombia, Brazil, Colorado, next door – it almost doesn’t matter where they are from – she just loves them. Likewise, a former colleague: She speaks nine languages and moves from one culture to the next with hardly a blip. They both know what it takes to be a global citizen. The best "global citizens" I know are those who love most unconditionally. They love beyond cultures and borders. It is to know that we are all God’s children and we are all welcomed and at home in the world.
Being a citizen of the world, we know each of us has a place and a purpose. Each nation has its own color and unique contribution to the world. With love, humility and respect, we can all find our way to bring more progress and peace to all mankind at the street level and on a global scale.
^ This was the first in a series of books she writes, including a recent one about the Middle East
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016