What can we do better? Love more.

The United States has seen several mass shootings in the last few years in schools, universities, a movie theater and places full of innocent people.

The most recent shooting in Santa Barbara caused me to consider: what can we do better? What can our country do better?

The answer to me is: to see each other as the spiritual reflections of God.

We have all seen a reflection — it mirrors the original. So man (including all of us) is the mirror image of God, though not the original.

“All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power…As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God…God fashions all things, after His own likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 516)

To me, this means that man reflects the beauty, grace and goodness of God. When we see our neighbor, our parents, and our children, we can see them in this light. Seeing their spiritual identity, we know that hatred, fear, sin, etc. are a counterfeit impression of who they really are.

So what can we do better? Love more. Love the way God loves by seeing His creation as we really are — made in His/Her “image and likeness”.

No one is excluded. No division. No separation.

St. Paul writes,

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39).

Nothing — no place, no person, no experience — can separate us from the Love of God or the love that we can express towards each other.

 

Restoring relationships

Recent news reports involving a shooting say that there isn’t enough evidence to determine what actually happened or a satisfactory verdict. Even though the human justice system may not be able to bring about a satisfactory result, I pray with this statement and know there is another kind of justice system always working within us that does not have the limitation of human laws:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24

There is such heartfelt humility in this passage admitting that perhaps there is some hidden evil in thought and desiring to be completely free from it through God’s redeeming grace.

God, divine Love, knows all of our thoughts and motives. God is pure Love itself, immortal being and eternal Life, which doesn’t include any darkness. So, as we draw nearer to God, Spirit, the darkness in our thoughts and hearts disappears — just as the darkness disappears when you turn on the light in a room.

Beloved children, the world has need of you, — and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. You need also to watch, and pray that you preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through contact with the world. What grander ambition is there than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to know that your example, more than words, makes morals for mankind! —Mary Baker Eddy 

The light in each of us is shining in the world. We all have innocence, pure affection and the healing power of grace within us to transform past hurts and restore right relationships.

Just as a baby is incapable of prejudice because he shines spiritual joy and love towards others, we can bring that same pure, fresh light — childlikeness and grace — to our relationships (including family members, neighbors, and community members) and restore them.