The world needs you

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“Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity”.

Mary Baker Eddy

(Retrospection and Introspection p.70)

COVER ARTICLE

The world needs you

* photo courtesy of allposters.com

By Cindy Roemer

From the September 3, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

When I think of Jesus’ teachings, I see that he often turned the world’s way of valuing things upside down. Christian writer Philip Yancey, in his beautifully written book What’s So Amazing about Grace, says Jesus knew that the world, in general, often works by what Yancey calls “the mathematics of ungrace”; rewarding the highest achievers, the competitors, the ones deemed most deserving. But Jesus’ theology springs from an entirely different premise, where all are loved equally and valued unconditionally by their heavenly Father. So life is less about our own personal performance, and more about living Christly qualities and accepting the good that is ours through God’s grace.

 Here’s another way to think about it. Have you ever put together a puzzle with 500 or 1,000 pieces? Some sections are visual focal points. The pieces that fit in those sections are easily identifiable. They’re usually the first ones to find their honored place in the overall design. And then there are the more “ordinary” spaces to be filled. We sort through piece after missing piece of grass or shrubbery or blue sky. They can seem so indistinguishable from all the rest of their kind or color. And yet each has a specific niche to fill. I suppose if I were a puzzle piece who wanted to be noticed, I might wish to be the brightest petal in the biggest flower, or the sunlit tip of the cathedral spire, or the glint in the tiger’s eye. That way, my significance would be obvious and my placement in the overall plan would come early in the process. But if you could turn the completed puzzle over, every piece in its appointed place would have the exact same color and value. One no more special nor noticeable than another, but all needed to complete the whole.

If you’ve ever wondered just how “the world has need of you” when you don’t have an impressive job or important connections or haven’t created world-shattering inventions, consider this: Maybe that grocery clerk needs your smile today (or maybe you need hers). Maybe that retiree needs your encouragement by way of a phone call. And maybe there’s even a shiny penny of a person out there who needs your behind-the-scenes, but faithful, support.

There are no small links in the “chain of scientific being” (Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesp. 271). Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that “the rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.” She goes on to say: “Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud. All the varied expressions of God reflect health, holiness, immortality—infinite Life, Truth, and Love” (Science and Healthp. 518).

And that brings us back to Jesus and his economy of grace. Most of Jesus’ parables present a radically different view of value and worth. Think of the woman who swept her whole house looking for one missing coin. Or the shepherd who left his flock of 99 to find the one missing sheep. Or the apparent inequity of paying laborers who were hired last the same wage as those who had toiled all day. Perhaps Jesus was telling us that God doesn’t think in terms of categories of worthiness, winners and losers, the favored and the forgotten. Maybe life is really all about “being” … being the reflection of qualities that help and heal, accepting the good that is already present, not keeping score (except to square our own accounts with God), and trusting God’s timing in the gradual appearing of good.

Let’s maintain in ourselves “what Jesus loved,” and we will find ourselves loved, cherished, and highly valued.

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The world needs you – Christian Science Sentinel
“You’re needed” is more than feel-good encouragement; it’s spiritual fact.