Today this YouTube video, popular a couple of years ago, crossed my mind. I mentally cheer with the onlookers as one turtle goes to another turtle’s aid. I don’t know if turtles understand lending a helping hand like we do. I suppose a person could say that the turtle’s instinct impelled it to help a fellow turtle. But, for me, it symbolizes the universal and natural response to help others.
Why do I think helping others is natural?
Well, the Bible says that God is Love. Not only loving, but divine Love itself. (See 1 John 4:8.) Since we are God’s creation, we are the outcome of divine Love. The first chapter of Genesis says that we are made in God’s image—we are like Him. It follows, that not only is it natural to be loving, but it really is the only option for anyone or anything in Love’s creation.
In the new testament of the Bible, there is an account of Jesus explaining two great commandments. The first is to love God, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. A lawyer in the crowd asks Jesus, but who is our neighbor? It was almost as if the man wouldn’t mind being loving, but maybe not to everyone. Jesus responds by telling the parable, well-known by many today, of the good Samaritan.
The parable tells of a traveler who was robbed, beat up, and left for dead. A couple of people passed by the man, unwilling to help him. They even crossed over on the other side of the road to avoid him. But, then a good man from Samaria came along. He bandaged up the hurt man the best he could and loaded him onto his donkey. The Samaritan took the man to an inn, paid for the man’s lodging, and told the innkeeper to take care of the traveler. He even went the extra mile telling the innkeeper that the next time he came through town, he would pay for any extra expenses the hurt man might incur.
When Jesus finished telling the story, he asked the lawyer, “Which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” The man said, “He who showed mercy on him” (Luke, chapter 10, New King James version). Then Jesus told the whole crowd to go and do the same.
For me, Jesus is telling the crowd to be the likeness of their Maker, divine Love, and to express love to everyone without partiality. In the textbook of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy describes the love of Love this way, “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 13). So, not only is it natural to express love, it is natural to love universally and impartially, just as divine Love does.
How will we feel when we strive to exercise this kind of love?
One of my favorite hymns says, “Give of your heart’s rich overflow, and peace shall crown your joy-filled day. Come walk with Love along the way” (Christian Science Hymnal, hymn 139).
To express love toward our fellowman is to live the fact that we, and everyone we know, are loved members of divine Love’s precious family. Loving others as the expression of God, makes us feel like we’re walking with divine Love, which makes our hearts overflow with gratitude and joy. Feeling this unity with Love, we can’t help but to express love in everything we do and toward everyone we meet. It brings contentment and peace to our days.
As Love’s creation, like the turtle in the video, it’s natural for us to know when and how to lend a hand!
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!