Originally appeared on spirituality.com
Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were a delegate at a peace conference? Or if you were a diplomat flying between cities, trying to work out a peace settlement in a place like the Middle East?
I know what I’d be doing: I’d be praying. I’d be praying to see clearly that all of us are brothers and sisters because we all have the same Father. In the Bible, in Malachi, it says, “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?”
I’d also be praying to be like Moses, who heard God tell him that He would “be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”
But I am not at a peace conference. And perhaps, at such gatherings, no one is approaching it as I would—thinking about one Father or a good God who would not let His children fight and suffer. Does this possibility leave me helpless—unable to contribute to the peace process? What about others who believe in prayer? What about you?
As I’ve pondered this, I’ve realized that we are not helpless if we can see that peace in the world actually starts with the individual—and that means each of us. We can contribute to world peace by actively seeing the good in others; by responding affirmatively to Malachi’s question, “Hath not one God created us?”
The next step is to understand the nature of that one God. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy defined good as “God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action.”
Seeing good in our fellow man and woman is another way of saying that we are all brothers and sisters. These individuals, who we need to see as good, are more than our family, friends, and associates. More than fellow church members or those who think as we do. It includes the young man on the underground no one wants to sit with, the impatient driver, the teenager with the loud radio, the less-than-helpful clerk in the shop, the criminal the police have just arrested.
The list is endless. So is the number of brothers and sisters we all have when we see the good in others. Establishing this individual sense of peace means striving to express peaceful qualities such as patience, calmness, grace, and, above all, love. All these are included in the good that is God. These qualities belong to each of us, and because we are all God’s children, it is possible for us to see the good in others.
But what about establishing peace in the Middle East? As I've been thinking about that part of the world over the last few weeks, I've tried to see peace in my own individual world. But I have also been asking God to show me how I can specifically support the peace process and those trying to find solutions to what seem like insurmountable problems.
The first notion I realized was wrong in my thought was the conviction that someone who will “think the right thoughts” has to be at the table. The only Person who needs to be there is God, good. And no matter who else is—or isn’t—there, He is there.
The definition of good mentioned earlier speaks of omnipresence. This ever-presence is somewhat like the law of gravity or the laws of mathematics. It applies to everyone, no matter what religion, nationality, culture, or political persuasion they are. It even applies if no one is listening. God, good, is omnipotent, all power, and all action. This power is at work wherever the ever-present God is—everywhere.
In our definition there is one more “omni”—omniscience—all-knowing. God’s options are not limited. How grateful we can be that the all-knowing God is at the table. He’s the most important delegate there is! Science and Health says, “Intelligence is not mute before non-intelligence.” This takes us right back to Moses, who was assured that God would tell him what to say.
These ideas take a lot of trust and, sometimes, if things don’t look very hopeful, we may need to turn off the television, put down the newspaper, and quietly but firmly pray to recover our own sense of peace and good. We can see God’s qualities being expressed even in some of the toughest negotiations. The desire to relieve the suffering of innocent people is an expression of care and love. So are fairness and a desire to meet needs.
A successful diplomat is calm, and patient, and tries to see different points of view. These qualities are ways of expressing God’s nature and are cause for gratitude. The more we recognize them, the more we are supporting those at the peace table. By seeing them in spiritual terms, we are affirming that each one is a son or daughter of God, good—and only good.
To achieve real peace involves a willingness to lift thought above material disagreements to a higher spiritual realm—to God’s presence. This process is so much bigger than any one person or group of people, but your prayers and mine can make it possible.
Our conviction that the power of God is stronger than any one side, and that His omnipotent law of good in action is everywhere, will bless all negotiations—between families, businesses, and ultimately nations. It will lead to fair solutions that will provide for individual needs, support just and honest leadership, and bring us stability and peace.
Science and Health
King James Bible