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"Cause me to hear your lovingkindness"

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, July 27th, 2020

“Cause me to hear your lovingkindness” (Hymn 457)
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Love”
for August 2, 2020

Prepared by Christie C Hanzlik, CS
ccern@mac.com • christiecs.com • 720.331.9356

LINK TO AUDIO

I’m certain you’ll find your own inspiration from this week’s Bible Lesson on “Love,” and in this Met I share some of the ideas that came to me as I am studying it.

Sometimes the Lessons seem to follow the format of a term paper, with a central thesis and supporting evidence, an intro and conclusion. Along these lines, we can find the thesis in this week’s lesson in the Golden Text: “I have always loved you,” says the Lord.” (Malachi 1:2)

The Responsive Reading offers a strong introduction to this “term paper,” and briefly raises the themes we’ll see throughout the lesson. In the Responsive Reading we find the phrase, “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord…and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.” (Isaiah 63:7) We’ll find the word “lovingkindness” several times throughout this “term paper” of a Lesson. I didn’t count, but I think the word “lovingkindness” is in almost all of the sections and recurs about 12 times.

If we doubt divine Love’s lovingkindness, and find ourselves feeling as if, “The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me,” we are reminded by God (via the prophet Isaiah), “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget [that I love them], yet will I not forget thee.” (Isaiah 49:13–16 (to ;)

So, we have the thesis of the Bible Lesson — ”I have always loved you.” And then the Responsive Reading explains the thesis — even when we feel like God has forsaken us, God says “I will not forget you.”

SECTION 1: Father-Mother Love

The first section is like an introduction to our “term paper,” and again raises the theme of God’s lovingkindness, repeating the idea that God says (through Jeremiah this time), “Yea, I have loved [you] with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn [you].” (B1, Jeremiah 31:3)

Also, we see the theme of the Responsive Reading echoed in the first section, with the idea that God loves us like a mother loves her child. From Isaiah, we hear God’s promise, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you;” (B3, Isaiah 66:13 (to ;)

And we also hear of God’s fatherly love: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:” (B5, I John 3:1 (to :)))

The correlating ideas in Science and Health continue with this theme, mentioning God as the Father-Mother, and reminding us that God is the infinite and all-knowing and all-loving Parent. (citations: S2, 516:21; S3, 332:4-5; S4, 517:10)

SECTION 2: Divine Love answers us when we need Love most

The second section further defends the thesis in our “term paper.” It substantiates the argument that God loves us when we need it most. Even when our heart is “desolate” or when “[our] soul thirsteth after [God]”, or when “[our] spirit faileth]........................... divine Love surrounds us. (B4, Psalm 143:1, 4 my heart, 6–8).

We are reminded that “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves [those of us with] a contrite spirit.” (B8, Psalm 34:18)

We don’t actually have a choice about whether or not divine Love is with us. We could try to stray, we could have very dark doubts, but Love is still present. As we hear in 1 John, “God is love … God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (B9, I John 4:8 God is, 12)

Divine Love not only loves us, divine Love also causes us to become aware of this love. The love from God is not inert. It is powerful and it uplifts and comforts. The Psalmist writes, “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (B6, Psalms 143:1, 4 my heart, 6–8) This prayer, which is also in Hymn 457, reminds me that divine Love is causing us to feel loved. Divine Love is the only cause and creator, and we are created by Love to be loving, and we are caused to feel loved.

These ideas about our inability to escape the love of Love are further explained in Science and Health. Here is one way to understand God’s love for us, with some creative word substitutions to help us see even more obvious the theme of the lesson: “The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of [limitation and doubt], as well as our disappointments and ceaseless [troubles], turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science. Without this process of weaning [and learning that we cannot be separated from Love], “Canst thou by searching find out [that we can never be separated from] God?” (S8, 322:26-31)

SECTION 3: Divine Love answers our cries

Section 3 offers substantiating evidence to show that divine Love will answer our cries for help. In this section, two blind men, who could symbolize the feeling of being cutoff and in the dark, cry out for Christ Jesus. The crowds, which could symbolize the physical and limited view of existence, tell the two men to be quiet and not to cry out, and imply that the two blind men should just accept their darkened existence. But the men persist and cry out for the Christ, “the spiritual idea of divine Love.” (S13, 38:24-26) Of course Christ Jesus expressed the love of divine Love, had compassion on them, and healed the men. (B12, Matthew 20:30–34)

We are then reminded that Christ Jesus tells us that when we ask, seek and knock, divine Love will answer. Jesus says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (B13, Matthew 7:7, 8)

Truly, as we cry out, Love answers. “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” (S14, 494:10) What Jesus did for the blind men was not just possible 2000 years ago. It is true for us now. We can all be better and better healers as we get out of God’s way, get rid of any and all sense of ego (the belief that we’re separate from God), and let Love do Her good work. Love is not a time-based healer. Love always loves. “Love never loses sight of loveliness.” (S19, 248:3)

SECTION 4: We feel God’s love as we are more and more love-ing.

The next point made in our “term paper” is that we feel God’s love to the degree that we purify our own sense of being love-ing.

God is Love. And we are the being — the expression of – God. God is Love. We are the being of Love. God is Love, and we are love-ing. We feel the effects of Love’s love to the degree that we are love-ing.

Section 4 explores the idea of purifying our love, and thus expanding our capacity to feel God’s love. For example, the author of 1 John asks, “he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (B14, I John 4:20)

In Luke, we read that Jesus said, “Be ye therefore merciful [and loving], as your Father also is merciful [and loving].” (B15, Luke 6:36)

As an illustration of lovingkindness, Section 4 includes the story of the Good Samaritan. This story is a concrete example of how we can be more and more love-ing...even to those who seem like they could be strangers or even enemies. In other words, our love for the so-called “least among us” demonstrates divine Love’s love for all mankind. Jesus praises the Good Samaritan, and says, “Go, and do thou likewise.” (B17, Luke 10:25–37)

Mary Baker Eddy expands on this idea in Science and Health when she writes, “The physician who lacks sympathy for his fellow-being is deficient in human affection, and we have the apostolic warrant for asking: “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (S21, 366:12)

The summit (high point) of prayer is when we meet the case with the purest expression of divine Love. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless them that curse us; but we shall never meet this great duty simply by asking that it may be done. There is a cross to be taken up before we can enjoy the fruition of our hope and faith.” (S23, 9:5)

Later in the textbook, she writes, “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.” (S25, 518:15)

SECTION 5: We cannot go outside of the realm of divine Love.

The fifth section continues with the theme of our “term paper,” and comforts us once more with the assurance that God’s lovingkindness is with us – “the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” (B19, Psalms 42:8)

Divine Love is the “father of the fatherless, and a [fair minded] judge [who provides for] the widows…” (B20, Psalm 68:5)

Christ is “the spiritual idea of divine Love” (S13, 38:24) and Christ Jesus was the man who most completely understood God as the all-loving Father-Mother. To the degree that we understand Christ Jesus’ teachings, and accept the Christ message of the spiritual idea of divine Love, we feel the Father-Mother comfort that he taught and demonstrated. As we read in Galatians, “[We] are all the children of God by faith in [and understanding of] Christ Jesus.” (B21, Galatians 3:26)

And, in Romans we read, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, [“the spiritual idea of divine Love”]? neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, [nor loneliness, nor pandemics, nor racism, nor sexism, nor divisiveness in human government] nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (B22, Romans 8:35-39, and S13, )

Over the past couple months, many of us have experienced more and more hours alone than ever before because of quarantining and the requirements of the paradoxical phrase “social distance.” For many, stay-at-home orders have meant “stay by yourself” orders. And while we can reach out to one another by phone or Zoom, it seems that the need for a physical hug is real. This week’s lesson offers comfort for those struggling with the claim of loneliness, and gives all of us a way to pray about this issue.

Mary Baker Eddy asks, “Would existence without personal friends [or s hug] be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love.” (S26, 266:6)

To the degree that we are able to stop seeing the claim of loneliness as a personal issue--its not about us--but instead as the belief that there is a “seeming vacuum” or a space in which Love is not present, we will find comfort. Love fills all space. There is no vacuum. Love fills all space. We cannot feel a separation from Love. Love is ever present. The joy we feel as we overcome the belief of separation from Love and we overcome the claim of loneliness is huge. Loneliness is not a personal issue. It is the belief that there’s a vacuum in which Love is not present. No. Love is ever-present. For me, the first step in healing loneliness is impersonalizing it. And the second step is becoming more aware of the fact that all space is jam packed with divine Love. We can feel this Love palpably. We can feel this Love hugging us right now always.

We can all be using this singular moment in history to feel a deeper and more enriching sense of Love’s tender touch. Right when world events--pandemic, protests, media battles, divisiveness-- seem to separating us from one another and suggesting a death-and-hate narrative, we can discover more and more about Love’s omnipotence and everpresence. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Human affection is not poured forth vainly, even though it meet no return. Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it. The wintry blasts of earth may [force us into quarantine or distance us from loved ones], uproot the flowers of affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for [harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul.] (S27, and p. 587:25)

SECTION 6: The Conclusion….it is true, Love has always loved us

The sixth section is like the conclusion for our “term paper,” and wraps up the message conveyed throughout the Bible Lesson.

We learn that mountains could depart and hills could be removed, but divine Love’s kindness could never be removed from us. God has a deal with us, a covenant, and this covenant cannot be broken. (B23, Isaiah 54:10)

The final citation from the bible reads, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” (B25, Song of Solomon 2:4)

I love this. It is as if God prepares a huge banquet – a public banquet – and places a huge banner over our heads with the phrase, ““I have always loved you.” (GT, Malachi 1:2) Try to picture that image for a whole minute. If we can glimpse even a hint of the power behind God’s proclaimed love for us, it is enough to heal. So let’s imagine that banner – “I have always loved you”— hanging over our heads each moment all day of every day.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love [and how much we are loved], is a foretaste of eternity.” (S31, 598:23)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow [us] all the days of [our lives]; and we will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [love] for ever.” (S32, 578:16)


PS. Enjoy hearing "Love Responds," a poem by Ken Cooper, as well as transcribed GEMs from Cobbey Crisler and others in an ONLINE GEMs-in-progress that will be sent later.


Summer and Fall 2020 Update (as of 7/27):
As we prayed with the motives of loving our neighbor, being law-abiding, acting with wisdom, and offering a camping experience that is consistent with our Christian Science foundation, we were led to cancel not only our June but also our July onsite camper programs and our August Family Camp. We were led to make several adjustments to our operations for onsite CIT training and staff development in support of new ONLINE program offerings. Here are decisions that protocol compliance, our facility capacities and divine guidance led us to make:

CedarS Camps (income-)adjusted Schedule for Summer and Fall 2020:

  • Session 1 (June 7-20): Cancelled
  • Session 2 (June 21- July 4): Cancelled for campers--replaced with 14-day Precamp for all staff "in a bubble"
  • Session 3 (July 5 – July 17): onsite camper programs Cancelled, but with CIT program and staff continuing in order to support two last weeks of ONLINE, grade-level programs and an international, virtual Musical Theater camp & production. (averaged over 120 online campers per week from preschool thru 12th, from coast to coast & from 8 different countries)
  • Session 4 (July 19 – July 31): onsite camper programs Cancelled, but with inspiration to take home & share from a summer-finale, Staff Retreat Week 4.1 and closing camp weeks 4.1 & 5.
  • Family Camp, Session 5 (August 2-8): Cancelled because with protocols, not able to give an uncompromising "family feeling"
  • All 2020 Fall Programs postponed until 2021 and beyond... This includes a Labor Day DiscoveryBound National Event, several local church and other retreats and a Maddie Maupin deep-dive Bible Study of Genesis (now from October 21-25, 2021)

With never-changed gratitude and full-strength love to each of you,
Warren, Holly, Gay, Kim, Jennifer, and CedarS Team

  • Click here to electronically GIVE your tax-deductible support that is especially needed during this reduced income year
  • or MAIL gifts to our camp address: The CedarS Camps, Inc.
    19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536
  • or call CedarS office team at 417-532-6699 or 417-532-6683 (for Gay) to share your support or discuss refunds or rescheduling

CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.


  • APOLOGIES FOR ANY EDITING NEEDED FROM CEDARS VOLUNTEER EDITORS, CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS FOR THIS FREE SERVICE. Thanks for your forgiveness and your needed, ongoing support!

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