Recently I was in Rwanda and walked passed a Catholic church that has constructed a permanent memorial for the genocide. It was a graphic display of human skulls with a sign that said "Never Again," and a cross.
I immediately began to silently declare that man is not descended from Adam, that he is not a sinner, and is not guilty of sinning. He is spiritual, “the image, of Love.” (SH, p. 475) He only knows love, goodness, and kindness.
In a 1913 Christian Science Sentinel article*, it is related that Mrs. Eddy was asked by a student why a patient was not healed. The problem was a wound from the Civil War. She explained that both the practitioner and the patient believed that the war was a link in the man’s history.
I prayed to know that the only history in Rwanda was loving and spiritual. The genocide, or civil war, was not a link in anyone’s identity there, and the whole world could not believe that this tragedy was attached to them. The ever-presence of Love is all that is or ever has been in Rwanda, and it is all we can know about that country.
We went into a garden and as I walked along the path, I moved a low branch and inadvertently disturbed a wasp nest. Several flew out and one stung me on my face. Immediately I said out loud, “God is Love,” and I repeated it again. My daughter, who is a Christian Scientist, said, “There is one Life.” That statement fit right into what I had been praying. It affirmed that God, Love, is the only Life, right there in the garden. I began to love the wasp, seeing it as Love’s idea. Poison and a toxic reaction is no part of the true identity of the wasp or of me. Immediately, the pain stopped.
I saw that this incident was an attempt to deny the truth I had been knowing earlier. Man is not a mortal, influenced by animal instincts of hatred and malice and turning upon his fellow man to attack him. He is a spiritual idea, the reflection of Love. My prayer expanded to see all Rwandans, all Catholics, all people, and all the insects and animals in the spiritual realm of God, divine Love, in which “sin is not there” and “Love alone is Life.”
I never looked at my face, and none of the family members mentioned the incident. Later, I felt a slight stiffness but this only compelled me to be more steadfast in holding to the truths that were flowing into my thought, and that soon disappeared. There was no more concern about the incident. It was as if it never happened.
To my great joy, further healing unfolded. When we returned home, I saw Rwandans in our neighborhood in a whole new light. We were no longer strangers. There was no aloofness, nor separation of culture and race. I freely spoke to workmen in the road, to people passing by. We laughed together and rejoiced in happy greetings and radiant smiles. I loved them fearlessly and they returned that love. We were safe and at peace. Love embraced each of us unconditionally, abundantly, and universally. This was ‘the beauty of holiness’ and it was everywhere.
* “Justification” by Ira W. Packard. May 10, 1913, Christian Science Sentinel