“Like all judges, however, I have had life experiences that have inevitably left their mark and that allow me to see things from many perspectives. Central among these experiences was having met the woman who is now my spouse more than 27 years ago and raising two daughters together with her in the years that followed,” says Lenk. “As has been true of so many members of the LGBT community, we have been clear with the world about who we are; the wlorld has changed considerably in the last three decades in response to this collective clarity.” Lenk understands her important role on the SJC and has a clear message about her mission: “Perhaps if I do my job well [on the SJC,] it will underscore that the judiciary in this Commonwealth is comprised of people who are diverse in background and experience but who share in common the quest for equal justice and the commitment to make it a reality.”
Barbara Lenk Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
No conflict in law
A Christian Science perspective: How to find harmony and wisdom in our laws of government.
Commentary A Christian Science Perspective
My prayer about harmonious law recently led me to the Bible story of a lawyer asking Jesus which law was greatest. Jesus responded: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” I found it significant that Jesus didn’t stop with the idea of just the importance of loving God. He went on to say that the Second Commandment, loving our neighbor, is “like unto it,” and on equal footing to the command of loving God (see Matthew 22:35-40).
To clarify who our “neighbor” is, Jesus gave us a parable of the good Samaritan. In the parable, a man who was traveling in Israel was robbed and injured by thieves, and left on the side of the road in pretty bad shape. Two people of respected Jewish religious hierarchy, a priest and a Levite, encountered him and passed by on the other side, not wanting to get involved. But a man from Samaria – a region historically at odds with the Jews – subsequently came upon the man and showed compassion toward him, binding up his wounds and taking care of all of the injured man’s immediate needs without any questions asked or expectation of reimbursement (see Luke 10:29-37).
According to Jesus, the ideas of loving God and loving our fellow man coexist in harmony with one another. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, expressed the importance of understanding that “all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 467). This statement leads to the realization that our love of God necessarily includes a recognition of God as man’s creator. As such, if we aren’t loving God’s creation, we aren’t loving God with all our heart.
This form of prayer can have a broad influence. It can soften or even dissolve divisive human opinions and bring to the forefront of thought the unity of God, the divine Mind, whereby we all humbly and meekly work together for wise solutions. Prayer along these lines can bring about true healing and harmony in our communities in a way that benefits everyone.
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