JUDITH L. JOGIS
From the December 11, 1971 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Almost everyone feels that being a member of a happy family is a most desirable state of affairs. Why? The thought evokes a warm sense of togetherness and unity, of being with loved ones who really care about us, of being blessed with compassion in times of need.
Talk of a family usually refers to a tiny part of the world’s population, but Christian Science reveals to us a broader, deeper sense of family. Mrs. Eddy writes, “Immortals, or God’s children in divine Science, are one harmonious family.”1 Isn’t that an expansive sense of family? From the viewpoint of our Father-Mother God, we are all brothers and sisters in one infinite family. Our God does not conceive of us as isolated humans, one happy, another poor, another sick. He knows us as His own beloved family, His spiritual sons and daughters, united in expressing His perfection.
One dictionary includes these definitions of “family”: “Fellowship,” a “group of persons of common ancestry.” Jesus knew what the common ancestry of men is; he demonstrated that the one good, all-powerful, ever-present God is the source of all true being. He understood that the children of God are all at the point of perfection, forever.
Christ Jesus’ understanding was evidenced in his tender, encompassing love. Never was his love for another contingent on the other’s nationality, race, or position. He simply loved and accepted each as his own brother or sister. He knew that as God’s Son he was an instrument through which God’s pure love was expressed.
The many ways Jesus reached out to his brother men inspire us to a greater understanding of what true family love is. As we study his actions, we find guidance for all our dealings with our fellow-men. Jesus taught and guided his brothers; he healed all their ills; he perceived and met their needs; he loved them with the purest love.
Even at the time of the crucifixion, he thought of them. From the cross he spoke to his mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” and to his disciple John, “Behold thy mother!” And we read, “From that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”2
In that tender moment we see a beautiful lesson in love. To Jesus, all men, women, and children were his family. The family, as he conceived it, had nothing to do with human origin. It was natural for him to guide his mother and his disciple-friend into a higher sense of family. Because of their true relationship as spiritual, perfect children of God, they were already as close as if they had actually been mother and son. By indicating this to them he provided them with a continuing sense of family and a higher concept.
What great good would come to the world and its affairs if each person truly saw each other one as his brother or sister in Love, in God! Looking at our fellows, then, we would not think in terms of other families, other races, other backgrounds. We would truly see each other as having a common heritage and would enjoy a freer sense of each other, a warmer, more expansive sense. As we hear news of other lands and other peoples and their problems, we can expand our view of them and draw them into a circle of love. Through quiet listening to God for guidance we can be shown practical ways to help and heal, and our unselfed love to all acts as a healing agent in our own experience.
One night I lay awake feeling very ill. I was feeling a sense of discouragement in dealing with a discordant situation in my home. I felt a sense of loneliness. Responding to an urge to get out of bed and stand up to the inharmony, I went to my sleeping children and gave each a quiet kiss. A sudden feeling of great love and gratitude for these children flooded my consciousness. How dear they were! And not only when asleep!
I thought of the day’s happenings and mentally gave gratitude for the good I was witnessing in the children, for a growing sense of family closeness that was being shared in the home. I recognized with clarity that my husband and I were merely instruments of God in raising the children, that the children actually belonged to God. I prayed silently: Father, help me to love more and more— love all Your children.
Then, to my yearning thought came a concept, as if spoken to me: we are part of God’s family. I suddenly recognized the fact that I owed the love and gratitude I felt for my own children, to every man, woman, and child everywhere, and that my family extended far beyond those sleeping in my house. That was, indeed, the Christly way to love. With joy and lightness of heart, I returned to bed, completely well and at peace.
Think of the full love continually being poured out to us all from God! It never changes; it never wanes. We don’t ever have to feel rootless, displaced, unsettled. We can know that where we are is home because it is where God is. We can realize that we are all members of the same family, direct reflections of His goodness, now and forever. Then our gratitude surges forth to God for this wonderful heritage. So when we meet another person, face to face or mentally, we can say in our hearts, “This is a member of my family, my true brother,” and then reach out to him, in love.