XII. SERVICE IN LOVE
Mrs. C. L. Baum
Studies in Divine Science
The Colorado College of Divine Science
Denver, Colo., 4th ed., 1924.
Writers in all ages have contemplated the theme of love, and have reached the universal opinion that it is the greatest thing in the world. Perhaps the most classic epitome of love, its attributes and qualities, is to be found in Paul’s consideration of the subject in the thirteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians. Other writers have enlarged on the subject and have applied it to special conditions, but there is no one who has treated it with greater insight, or with fuller appreciation than Paul.
Let us in the very beginning of this lesson consider Omnipresence as infinite, eternal, boundless and changeless Love. Let us take a few statements into the silence to bring us into a realization of this great Presence.
Love is the Cause of all things.
Love is the Source of all things.
Love is controlling all things.
Love is the eternal Presence within me, guiding me in all my ways.
Pure, divine and perfect Love is the very soul of the whole universe.
After we have silently meditated on these five statements we shall realize that since this great Love is everywhere, we as individuals must necessarily be the expression of Love, the very spirit of Divine Love expressed in form. We shall then understand that the reason we are unhappy when we are unkind or unloving or even indifferent, is that we are acting contrary to our own nature, which is always pure and perfect in love.
In this connection we at once recall the Bible verses on the subject: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” Reading further we find additional evidence pointing toward the unity of God and Love. “He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7.8.) The statement is in no manner equivocal. It does not state that Love does not know us at all times, or is not with us; but rather that if we do not know Love and express it, we have not yet become acquainted with God.
How, then, as we do become acquainted with God, or with Love, are we to use this infinite, impersonal power in service? Service without love is service without God, and its result is without harmony and cannot possibly be a means of further unfoldment.
We first consecrate, not only ourselves, but our bodies, to the service of Love. This is what Paul was endeavoring to impress on his friends when he said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” In this manner we make of our bodies channels through which Love is manifested to the world. There are five channels for this manifestation: the eyes, the ears, the voice, the hands and the feet. Let us consider what manner of service in love may be performed through these channels.
Taking first the eyes; if they are to serve in love we must take from them all appearance of anger, worry, fear, coldness and hardness, and show forth instead, peace, trust, faith, warmth and love. We must see as God sees, letting our very souls look through these wonderful channels, softly, gently, looking ever for the good in all, for the pure, the true, the grace of God that hides behind the mask of personality. As we find it and recognize it, it will respond to our call and come into outward expression.
An incident from personal experience will illustrate this truth. I was once called to help a young man suffering from the claim of appendicitis. On entering his presence I was received not only indifferently, but with marked disfavor. In a rather cross tone he inquired why I was there. I replied that I had come at his mother’s request, because she wished to save him the necessity of an operation. He indicated his displeasure in no uncertain terms, but I suggested that inasmuch as I had come a long distance to see him, we might, for his mother’s sake, have a little quiet time together. He finally consented, though somewhat reluctantly, and when we had finished our silence I looked earnestly at him and said, “What a very beautiful love nature you have.” His astonishment was great and he said, “I’d like to have you know that I have nothing of the kind.” I did not press the matter further, but departed saying that I would return the following day unless otherwise informed. On my return the next day the young man met me at the door with a pleasant greeting, saying that he had been waiting for me. He showed me every courtesy and attention. Of course, he was much improved, but the point to be noted here was his great change in attitude toward people and things. About a month later his mother stated to me that her son had changed completely. Before his treatments he had been careless, cold and selfish; whereas he was now loving, kind and thoughtful.
The reader will perceive that by the recognition of the truth of that young man’s nature, his innate divine love was called into outward expression. The eyes being used in the service of love, saw the truth of his nature and the result amply justified the faith in the efficacy of love as the only power.
The ears are another channel for the manifestation of love in the world. How many of us hear the great voice of love singing in the world? It is there, and when our ears are opened to hear, we shall find it. We begin by listening within for the inner voice of love; for until we hear that voice within we may not hear it in the world. But once it is heard and recognized within, it will be heard in all God’s creation.
When we are waiting and listening for the voice of love to speak, we have no time nor inclination to listen to the voice of gossip or criticism, or to expressions of negation in any form. If we are placed where such discussions are going on, we quietly affirm to ourselves, “My soul hears none of this.” Thus we help ourselves and others as well, by refusing to listen to negative conversation. We all know that conversation will not long thrive on a subject in which one person takes no interest, and we may thus direct it away from negative to better things. In this way we serve by bringing out the best there is in our friend or neighbor, for he is Love, though he may not always manifest it.
Considering the voice, we find a beautiful opportunity for service in love. Our endeavor should be to train the thought so that the voice will speak only words of love, peace and joy. Truly, “out of the tongue are the issues of life.” Whether we speak words of blessing or of condemnation, they form themselves into external conditions. By guarding the thought and keeping it pure and radiant with truth and life, the voice must express from such a consciousness, only words of love that will be unfailing in their power to cheer and uplift. Let each one resolve, “I will speak always on the side of the truth,” and if we are loyal to the truth we shall be given words of wisdom to meet every experience in life.
The hands, also, are instruments for service. It makes no difference how they serve, what apparently menial task they may be called upon to perform. The only essential is that whatever form of service they are used in, shall be done in love and without resistance to the task at hand. All work becomes beautiful and pleasant, free from weariness or despondency, when it is undertaken always with the thought of service in love uppermost. Have you never thought how everything in your home or office is serving you in love? The very chairs you sit upon, the bed on which you rest, the tables, books, pictures and even the clothing on your body serve you continuously in the most silent, unobtrusive manner. The invisible Presence of Love fills all space, and acts upon and through all things. It is fitting, then, that we should stop and consider, “How well am I serving my world in love?” Everything in the universe is serving in some manner, so we must teach our hands to serve lovingly, doing all things “as unto the Lord,” in joy and sweetness of spirit.
Finally, our feet are to walk the path of love. When we walk in fear and worry, unwilling and ungracious, we tire quickly and feel irritated in thought and body; but when we walk in love, we are co-operating with the truth of ourselves and the truth of the universe, and we feel “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.”
We give this great service in love because it is our true nature to do so. Let us not consider it something foreign to us, something to be acquired artificially. All overcoming is easy when we put love into the work, and all service is pleasant when given in love. Love is conscious unity with all that is, with the truth of all. It is divinely natural to love; it is unnatural to work in any other way. Love is the uplifting power and the principle of unity. Without love we are nothing, but with love, which really means with God, we can do all things, for love redeems all things, all play, all work, all places, all persons. To commence to love any apparent adverse condition in life will be to redeem it from our own condemnation, which is all that it really needs to become desirable in our sight.
All training is to help us manifest the attributes of the Divine within us, and as we open every channel, love, which is forever pressing for an outlet, flows through us to the great blessing of ourselves and others. Nothing pays as well as love; nothing returns such great dividends. We can undertake no greater thing than to enter into the service of love, for true greatness lies herein – that we be doers of love and not hearers only. “If ye know these things, happy also are ye if ye do them.”
STATMENTS FOR MEDITATION.
There is one God, Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
God is love and God is Omnipresent; hence love is above and in and through all.
Every visible thing in creation is pervaded by the Omnipresent Love, and is filled with its power and perfection.
I will open my eyes to the truth of love everywhere.
God hath not given me a spirit of fear; but of love, and of power and a sound mind.
Love shall so shine from me that it will illumine all my world.
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee;
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of thy love;
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it thine;
It shall be no longer mine;
It shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At thy feet its treasure-store;
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for thee.
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