Rachel Crandell Sustainability 
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When a situation arises that seems to be evil or wrong, we can see it in a spiritual light and gain a totally new perspective, the view that God would have of the situation. In Genesis the Bible tells us, "God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good." How do we view the situations in our environment? Are they "very good"? I have found that when I view everything as truly mental, when I change things into thoughts, I can see things from a spiritual perspective. I can best explain this by sharing some experiences I have had.

Early one spring morning I noticed that the fresh new leaves on all our trees were coming out wrinkled. They had an unnatural, deformed look. I began to investigate my neighbors' trees and theirs looked the same. One neighbor remembered seeing the farmer across the road spraying his field the week before. His field was exactly the length of the yards where the trees were effected. Two of us went to visit the farmer. He was certain that these unnatural, withered leaves had nothing to do with the herbicide 2-4D he had sprayed earlier. However, the conservation department man who came to investigate didn't agree. He said that if our trees died, he would testify that the 2-4D sprayed by the farmer on a windy day was indeed the cause, and we would be able to get reimbursed for the trees. When he said that, I was shocked. I wasn't interested in getting reimbursed. I wanted those trees to live.

We had lived in this house for eight years and there wasn't one tree in the yard when we moved there. We had planted, watered, pruned, fertilized, mulched and loved all our new trees. The conservation department man predicted that the big trees planted in our neighborhood back in the 50s would probably weather this herbicide treatment, but the young trees would be vulnerable.

All my trees were young! Some were very young and had only been planted that fall or the spring before and were tiny seedlings, not even as high as my knee. I began thinking about the words "vulnerable" and "victim". There are a lot of world problems that claim to leave victims, whole populations of people in war-torn or arid regions, where the young ones, the children, are the most vulnerable. I also thought about poisons, which is what 2-4D is, an herbicide intended to kill unwanted weeds. The world is full of toxic wastes and hazardous materials that pollute our water and air and make life unsafe and unhealthy.

I prayed to know how to think about this predicament. I decided that neither I nor my trees would be victims. Nor could anyone else in the world be a victim since God is Love and sustains and maintains all of us as His/Her creation. The opposite of victim is victor. That is what we really are, and we can see it and demonstrate it when we acknowledge who we are as God's creation, the loved of Love, and stop believing in anything else.

As the days went by, I was able to stop looking at the wrinkled leaves and keep my sights set on God. I loved the verse in Revelation 22: 2,3 "…and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse…" It helped me to see my prayer as a way to lift world belief from victims to victors. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes, "The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal." (Science and Health, page 70:12-13)


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