In praise of searching
"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, " Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health (518: 15-19).
Recently the word "seeking" stood out to me as if it had been highlighted. Seeking means to search. It also is linked to the Latin word for follow. Interesting! Seeking is also to go after something, to advance, and to inquire for, to ask. And then "seeking" is linked to seeing, to search for by going from place to place, to look for something.
In German the English word visit (besuchen) has the literal meaning of "seeking", too. I am searching for you, and that is why I can visit you. In the light of these insights I saw an even more practical dimension and clear rule for our interactions with others than before. And it could put it immediately into practice. And that is how.
We come in contact with people all the time - through social media, the telephone or face to face. With family members, neighbors, colleagues, officials, fellow church members, individuals on the streets, in stores, offices, agencies, administrations. People are at different states and stages of moral and spiritual development - and the question always arises what to do when the words or deeds of others are not to our liking, when they don't reflect divine Love's standard of equal worth for all. That will sound familiar to everyone. Certainly, under all circumstances, we are called to bring our own thinking and acting in line with divine Love, in accord with the Christ Truth, which unfolds within humanity a higher, divine course of action, purer motives, deeds which are for the benefit of all.
There is no better way, I could see, to improve our own motives and acts than purifying the images we hold of others. And that is where Mary Baker Eddy's counsel comes it. She ensures us that seeking is already enough and that we can take heart when we don't find something at first. It doesn't matter, really, because everyone is God's child, so in everyone is something that is waiting to be found. Just keep searching!
The law of Love has only favorites, I thought, and it doesn't allow within its infinite realm of light any room for shadow. So we can safely embark on seeking out what is best for us by transforming this search into the revolutionary search for what is best for others. And what is good in others. We are told that this is the way we are blessed, which means: truly happy and at peace.
My mother recently said: In order to find something you must know what you are looking for. So when you search you know what you are searching - what happens if you know exactly what to look for in others? You might find it. And you will find it. Because this kind of search is empowered by Spirit, Love.
Paul writes, as translated by Eugene Peterson:
"Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out." (1. Thess. 5: 14,15)
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In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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