Man Is Not Yet Created - He Is Only In Process
( Originally Published 1908 )
MY heart goes out to you, 0 Man, because I cannot conceive of any being greater, nobler, more heroic, more tenderly loving, loyal, unselfish and enduring than are you.
All the love I know is Man's love. All the forgiveness I know is Man's forgiveness. All the sympathy I know is Man's sympathy. Hence I address myself to Man—to you—and you I would serve.
The fact that you are a human being brings you near to me. It is the bond that unites us.
I understand you because you are a part of myself. You may like me or not—it makes no difference—if ever you need my help, I am with you. Often we can help each other most by leaving each other alone; at other times we need the hand-grasp and the word of cheer. I am only a man—a mere man—but in times of loneliness, think of me as one who loves his kind. What your condition is in life will not prejudice me, either for or against you. What you have done or not done will not weigh in the scale.
If you have been wise and prudent, I congratulate you, unless you are unable to forget how wise and good you are, then I pity you. If you have stumbled, fallen and been mired in the mud, and have failed to be a friend to yourself, then you of all men need friendship and I am your friend. I am the friend of convicts, insane people and fools—successful and unsuccessful, college-bred and illiterate.
You all belong to my church. I could not exclude you if I would. But if I should shut you out, I would then close the door upon myself and be a prisoner, indeed.
The Spirit of Love that flows through me and of which I am a part, is your portion, too. The race is one and we trace to a common Divine Ancestry.
I offer you no reward for being loyal to me, and surely I do not threaten you with pain, penalty and dire ill fortune if you are indifferent to me.
You cannot win me by praise or adulation.
You cannot shut my heart against you, even though you deny and revile me. Only the good can reach me, and no thought of love you send me can be lost or missent.
All the kindness you feel for me should be given to those nearest you, and it shall all be passed to your credit, for you yourself are the record of your thoughts, and no error can occur in the count.
You belong to my church, and always and forever my friendship shall follow you, yet never intrude
I do not ask you to incur obligations or make promises. There are no dues. I do not demand that you shall do this and not do that. I issue no commands.
I cannot lighten your burden and perhaps I should not, even if I could, for men grow strong thru bearing burdens. If I can, I will show you how to acquire strength to meet all your difficulties, and face the duties of the day.
It is not for me to take charge of your life, for surely I do well if I look after one person. If you err, it is not for me to punish you. We are punished by our sins, not for them.
Soon or late I know you will see that to do right brings Good, and to do wrong brings misery, but you will abide by the Law and all good things will be yours. I cannot change these laws. I cannot make you exempt from your own blunders and mistakes.
And you cannot change the Eternal Laws for me, even though you die for me.
But perhaps I can point you the pathway that leads to Love, Truth and Usefulness, and this I want to do, because I am your friend . And then by pointing you the way I find it myself.
You belong to me—you are a member of my church—all are members of my church, none are excluded or can be excluded. So over the plains and prairies, over the mountains and seas, over the cities and towns, in palaces, tenements, moving-wagons, dugouts, cottages, hovels, sleeping-cars, day-coach, caboose, cab, in solitary cells behind prison bars, or wandering out under the stars, my heart goes out to you, whoever you are, and I wish you well.
Only love do I send, and a desire to bless and benefit. AMEN.