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Praying for peace in Syria—and the middle east

April 10, 2012

Sentinel Watch

For Syria, prayers that bring peace

Lynne Buckley-Quirk

From the April 9, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 Recent news reports out of Syria seem to hold little hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict between government forces and opposing rebels—a conflict that has escalated to include constant bombardment, civilian deaths, and the threat of civil war.

It can be tempting to think, “This is nothing new.” Conflicts in the Middle East have been going on for thousands of years—if governments and influential institutions haven’t found solutions to end the hostilities, what can we as individuals do?

That was how I numbly thought about the Middle East—until a couple of years ago at Christmas, when I was reading the biblical account of the birth of Christ Jesus. As I read the God-sent message of “on earth peace, good will toward men” ( Luke 2:14), the light dawned! I realized that the message wasn’t telling of a promise yet to come at some unknown time. It was a proclamation that with the arrival of God’s promised son came His great gift of peace on earth and goodwill among all people, right then and for all time to come.

As I continued to read about the coming of the Christ, which Mary Baker Eddy said “is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin . . .” (Science and Health, p. 473), I found myself gently lifted out of the darkness of doubt and fear into the light of the truth about the power of God and His peace, just as Christ Jesus promised. “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me” (John 12:44, New International Version).

Turning to the light of the Christ, we are safe from becoming “numb” or mesmerized into thinking that a problem is unsolvable, or more powerful than God. This light overturns feelings of hopelessness and fear, and leads to solutions that bless everyone.

Mrs. Eddy described the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), as her favorite text. She wrote: “It demonstrates Christian Science. . . . it signifies that man shall have no other spirit or mind but God, eternal good, and that all men shall have one Mind. . . . One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; . . .” (Science and Health, p. 340).

With one infinite God, good, we can expect to realize one infinite, harmonious kingdom governed by Him. In this kingdom of unity, there are no disputed boundaries, no impure motives, no prejudices, no aggressive acts of tyranny. By following Christ Jesus’ teachings to change our thinking and accept God’s kingdom of heaven, harmony, as a present reality and not an abstract hope of the future, we can expect to see a Middle East free of hopeless hostilities. We can expect to see an expanded understanding of peace that carries with it true brotherhood and mutual respect.

Turning to the light of the Christ, we are safe from becoming “numb” or mesmerized into thinking that a problem is more powerful than God.

In the book of Matthew, we find these words of Jesus: “Unless you change your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is the man who can be as humble as this little child who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven” (18:2–4, J.B. Phillips New Testament).

A correlative passage in Science and Health shows the healing results of this childlike humility: “Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,—this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony” ( pp. 323–324).

Childlike humility and receptivity allows us to leave behind the “old” belief that the Middle East is a perpetual trouble spot and gain “new” understanding that the harmony and peace of God’s kingdom is a present possibility. We can, and should, expect to see the harmony of God’s kingdom expressed as it was centuries ago, when Saul of Tarsus traveled this region. Saul was led out of the darkness of a life as a tyrannical persecutor into the light as a follower of Christ Jesus, spreading the message of universal salvation and peace.

Praying for peace in Syria—and the middle east (as published in the Christian Science Sentinel, April 9, 2012

April 10, 2012

 

Sentinel Watch

For Syria, prayers that bring peace

Lynne Buckley-Quirk

From the April 9, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 
 

Recent news reports out of Syria seem to hold little hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict between government forces and opposing rebels—a conflict that has escalated to include constant bombardment, civilian deaths, and the threat of civil war.

It can be tempting to think, “This is nothing new.” Conflicts in the Middle East have been going on for thousands of years—if governments and influential institutions haven’t found solutions to end the hostilities, what can we as individuals do?

That was how I numbly thought about the Middle East—until a couple of years ago at Christmas, when I was reading the biblical account of the birth of Christ Jesus. As I read the God-sent message of “on earth peace, good will toward men” ( Luke 2:14), the light dawned! I realized that the message wasn’t telling of a promise yet to come at some unknown time. It was a proclamation that with the arrival of God’s promised son came His great gift of peace on earth and goodwill among all people, right then and for all time to come.

As I continued to read about the coming of the Christ, which Mary Baker Eddy said “is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin . . .” (Science and Health, p. 473), I found myself gently lifted out of the darkness of doubt and fear into the light of the truth about the power of God and His peace, just as Christ Jesus promised. “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me” (John 12:44, New International Version).

Turning to the light of the Christ, we are safe from becoming “numb” or mesmerized into thinking that a problem is unsolvable, or more powerful than God. This light overturns feelings of hopelessness and fear, and leads to solutions that bless everyone.

Mrs. Eddy described the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), as her favorite text. She wrote: “It demonstrates Christian Science. . . . it signifies that man shall have no other spirit or mind but God, eternal good, and that all men shall have one Mind. . . . One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; . . .” (Science and Health, p. 340).

With one infinite God, good, we can expect to realize one infinite, harmonious kingdom governed by Him. In this kingdom of unity, there are no disputed boundaries, no impure motives, no prejudices, no aggressive acts of tyranny. By following Christ Jesus’ teachings to change our thinking and accept God’s kingdom of heaven, harmony, as a present reality and not an abstract hope of the future, we can expect to see a Middle East free of hopeless hostilities. We can expect to see an expanded understanding of peace that carries with it true brotherhood and mutual respect.

Turning to the light of the Christ, we are safe from becoming “numb” or mesmerized into thinking that a problem is more powerful than God.

In the book of Matthew, we find these words of Jesus: “Unless you change your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is the man who can be as humble as this little child who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven” (18:2–4, J.B. Phillips New Testament).

A correlative passage in Science and Health shows the healing results of this childlike humility: “Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,—this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony” ( pp. 323–324).

Childlike humility and receptivity allows us to leave behind the “old” belief that the Middle East is a perpetual trouble spot and gain “new” understanding that the harmony and peace of God’s kingdom is a present possibility. We can, and should, expect to see the harmony of God’s kingdom expressed as it was centuries ago, when Saul of Tarsus traveled this region. Saul was led out of the darkness of a life as a tyrannical persecutor into the light as a follower of Christ Jesus, spreading the message of universal salvation and peace.

Current Reflections

September 20, 2010

In a recent Christian Science Sentinel magazine I have a testimony (personal account) of an important lesson I learned  several years ago about forgiveness. (Christian Science Sentinel, August 6. 2010) See below.

This revealation and healing came from discovering how to forgive from a higer standpoint than “forgiving and forgetting” I call it learning to understand the spiritual nature of forgiveness that allows us to rise above personalities in conflict to understanding our own true, spiritual nature and that of those we may think have treated us poorly or unfairly.

I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments about this liberating discovery–a discovery that came from my turning to God in prayer  for help when I desperately needed it.

You may also link to other articles and testimonies, covering a multitude of subjects at   http://www.lbqchristianscience.com/index-contact.html

_________________________

FORGIVENESS

“Christian Science Sentinel” August 6, 2010

Lynne Buckley-Quirk, C.S.

I was living and working in a large city away from my children and friends. My son had recently graduated from college and my daughter, boarding at a high school for children of Christian Scientists. My husband and I were in the middle of a tragic divorce which was affecting each of us in different ways. A devastating breach had taken place between my daughter and her father and I’d been clinging to the hope that, in my absence, they would find a way to reconcile their differences.

All seemed to be going fairly well until one night my daughter called, crying hysterically. She and her father had been to dinner and had an argument that left her feeling unloved, even verbally attacked.  I knew we had to think correctly about the situation so I began talking about him the way I thought Christ Jesus would.  At one point in her book, Mary Baker Eddy describes Jesus as one who “plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause.  ” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 313) So I did my best to make the plunge and see her father as God’s spiritual man expressing His qualities and attributes such as goodness, kindness, love, and justice.

She stopped crying, we hung up and I assumed all was well. However, two weeks later I was lying in bed one night, feeling so ill that I didn’t think I could reach for the phone to call for help. I was feeling alone and afraid because my body had suddenly become stiff and it was almost impossible to breath. I finally reached out to God in prayer. I remember asking what it was that I needed to know—what should I do? And the answer I heard was, “forgive.” I immediately knew what the answer was referring to and my quick retort back was, “No way! How can I forgive my husband for treating this child the way he did? Forgiveness will only condone what he did and open the door for him to do it again.” With that, I asked again, perhaps with more humility since by this time, breathing was becoming more and more difficult.  Not surprisingly, I received the same answer.

And suddenly I realized I was lying in the dark, clinging to self-pity and recalling past incidents when I felt I had been wrongly treated. And not only were the incidents crystal clear in my thought but I was intensely feeling the emotions that went along with the so-called attacks—anger, resentment, hurt feelings, frustration. The list was long.

The biggest surprise was that until now, I had really believed I’d expressed forgiveness for most of these occurrences. Long before I became a student of Christian Science, I understood that forgiveness was integral to Christian living. But I had to ask myself, “If I had really forgiven, why was I lying here remembering past hurtful incidents? And not only that, if I’d forgiven correctly, why would I be feeling the accompanying emotions?”

I felt the warmth of divine Love surrounding me as it became clear that my efforts to forgive, though sincere, were more on the human level of wanting to be free of confrontation. I began thinking that there must be a higher way to forgive—the way Christ Jesus did that opened the way for him to bless even his persecutors when he said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do?” (Luke 23:34)

That is when I reached out wholeheartedly and asked to be able to forgive spiritually—to truly go “beneath the material surface of things, and to find the spiritual cause.”

At that moment it came to me that the word “forgive” is really two combined words: “give” and “for.” This translated for me: Give up a false material sense of this man’s identity and accept his true spiritual nature as Gods’ image as likeness. See him as God sees him.

Instantly, I knew I was free of all fear, resentment, and the false sense of responsibility. At that moment I knew God, divine Love—the Father-Mother of us all—would guard, guide and protect each of us, including of course our precious daughter, with justice and mercy.

The next morning I awoke completely free of the debilitating symptoms that had seemed so paralyzing the night before. But more important than the physical relief was the harmony that ensued between my daughter and her father. And a few weeks later, I was offered a position back in the same city where my son and daughter were living. The divorce did proceed but in a way that was just for everyone.

It was clear to me that the successes I experienced in my new job were directly connected to this deeper understand of forgiveness that I had gained. Conversely, when challenges arose, it was generally a bugle call to see those with whom I working as God was seeing them.

Can we follow Jesus and forgive as he did? Yes.

Why? First, because his teachings never require more of us than we are truly capable of doing. Second, because Christian Science, the Science of the Christ, is clearly laid out by Mary Baker Eddy in her book for the sole purpose of showing us how to follow Christ Jesus and his example. For instance, she tells us that “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.  In this perfect man the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.  Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy. (S&H 476)

Beholding every man, woman, and child as God sees them is the ultimate forgiveness that allows everyone to experience the kingdom of God, intact, and see themselves and others as pure and holy.

As I was pondering this healing one day I ‘’googled” the word “forgiveness” and a question came up on the first page of the five hundred thousand references: “Why forgive?”  Christian Science has given me the answer. First, we forgive because it is natural for the man of God’s creating to forgive and secondly, forgiveness is essential to healing. And I see proof of this every day in lives of every member of our beautifully expanded family as well as in the cherished opportunities that come when asked by others to pray for them—when I see with them proof of the healing power of the laws of God in their lives.

Blogging for the first time and why

January 21, 2010

Does everyone begin their first blog with: “I’ve really resisted doing this, but here I am, albeit kicking and screaming”? Probably not. The majority must believe that what they have to say is valuable to someone so to not share would be unnatural.

I find this daunting. And yet, I’m moving forward because I think I have some insights and experiences to share that might be helpful to others who are searching for peace and joy and dominion in their lives If this is at all true then it would be selfish to keep these thoughts hidden under a bushel.

I see these insights and experiences as potentially valuable to others, not because of anything I have done personally but because of what I have learned as a student of Christian Science.  And that is what this blog is about: gaining  peace, harmony and health from the study of Christian Science—which is simply applying the laws of God to every human experience as Christ Jesus taught us to do.

If you would like to know more about Christian Science you can check out my website at:  http://www.lbq.name

or http://christianscience.com

I would enjoy chatting with you or answer any questions you may have.

Peace to you!

Lynne