“United we stand, divided we fall” (Aesop) is a familiar adage. That sentiment seems particularly applicable to current world events. Whether the topic is politics, terrorism, race equality, or refuge for displaced peoples, the real villain is not each other, but the premise that we are all separate mortals with conflicting interests rather than children of one common Father, all part of an indivisible spiritual universe. When we see one another this way, unity and true brotherhood may be realized.
You might ask - how can we have unity when diverse opinions, conditions, assets, traditions, resources, and history seem to divide us?
When I turn to the Scriptures for inspiration, I find the prescription for unifying those of differing opinions. In Malachi we read, “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” And, Jesus prayed for us, “That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” Although Jesus had a unique relationship to God as his only begotten Son, wasn’t he also speaking to the perfect unity that exists between God and each one of his children? If so, doesn’t that mean that no matter the circumstance, we all have the same Father and are united in the relationship each of us has with Him?
Recently, I had a ride in a cab. I had barely sat down when the driver asked who I planned to vote for in the upcoming Tennessee primary. When I didn’t give a clear response, he began to tell me about how he came to my country to have a better life for his family. He said America was the place of freedom and infinite possibilities but that lately he had been feeling hated and judged. He felt politics and other world events played a role in this.
As I listened I was suddenly overcome with such a love for this dear man who was pouring his heart out to a stranger. I told him that no matter what the world climate is, we are all God’s children – brothers and sisters – and he agreed. He spoke of Abraham and I spoke of Jesus. One thing we agreed on – that the world needs more love and that mankind has more that unites us than divides us, though it seems we focus more on the divisions. As I got out of the cab, the cabbie said, “My sister, I am giving you a $5 discount,” to which I replied “No, my brother, I am giving you a $20 tip.” We grasped each other’s hands and knew that in that moment we were demonstrating true brother-sister-hood in heart and action.
In her study of the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, saw God as the one infinite Mind or divine intelligence that unites all mankind in Love. She wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “With one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth and have unity of Principle and spiritual power…”
I have reflected much over the past few weeks since my cab ride. I have asked myself, am I responding in a Christian manner to political posts I see in social media? Am I responding to those of different religious views with love and unity or with fear and criticism? Am I truly treating my fellow men and women like we are brothers and sisters?
I pray for the day when all mankind can give up personal opinions and seek unity in the one infinite Mind or divine Love. Then we can declare like the Psalmist, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
That ride in the cab that day confirmed to me that we are bound together by a common cord -- divine Love. Love binds us together in unity and brotherhood. And Love is indeed strong enough to break through any barrier that would divide us.
Debra Chew writes about the connection between thought, spirituality and wellness from a Christian Science perspective. She has been published in USA Today, chattanoogan.com, Knoxville News Sentinel, UK Health Triangle Magazine, Jackson Sun Health Magazine, and in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. She is the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in TN.