Excerpt from Letters by a Modern Mystic

September 281931

The fashion today is to place God in court and give him a trial. We have had such a lust for debunking” every good and useful man in history that even God cannot escape. It is one of the unfortunate by-products of the quest for truth, plus an unlovely hunger in humanity for scandal. It is a species of jealousy. We dislike to believe that anybody else is quite as good as we are, not even God. 

As for me, I choose to stop following this current, to stop posing as the judge of the universe. If it brought any good results I might continue, but to date it has carried me out into the desert and left me there. The books one reads also end on the desert. 

I choose another road for myself. I choose to look at people through God, using God as my glasses, colored with his love for them. 

Last year, as you know, I decided to try to keep God in mind all the time. That was rather easy for a lonesome man in a strange land. It has always been easier for the shepherds, and the monks, and anchorites than for people surrounded by crowds. 

But today it is an altogether different thing. I am no longer lonesome. The hours of the day from dawn to bedtime are spent in the presence of others. Either this new situation will crowd God out or I must take him into it all. I must learn a continuous silent conversation of heart to heart with God while looking into other eyes and listening to other voices. If I decide to do this it is far more difficult than the thing I was doing before. 

Yet if this experiment is to have any value for busy people it must be worked under exactly these conditions of high pressure and throngs of people. 

There is only one way to do it. God must share my thoughts of Moro grammar, and Moro epics, and type, and teaching people to read, and talking over the latest excitement with my family as we read the newspapers. So I am resolved to let nothing, nothing, stop me from this effort save sheer fatigue that stops all thought. 

One need not tell God everything about the people for whom one prays. Holding them one by one steadily before the mind and willing that God may have his will with them is the best, for God knows better than we what our friends need, yet our prayer releases his power, we know not how. 

I propose to make a strenuous effort of the will to concentrate upon each person I meet alone and to send him my thought of God. I propose to think as hard of the will of God as I can when in crowds. Thus I hope to prove by experimentation what this will accomplish toward making a better world.

Excerpted from Letters By a Modern Mystic by Frank C. Laubach (Mansfield Centre, CT: Martino Publishing), pp.42 – 43.

Text First Published September 1931