Finding goodness in others prevents harm

August 8, 2022 | 22 comments

Has anyone threatened you with harm?

My local newspaper, The Tri-City Herald, just published an article I wrote on how one woman used a calm spiritual reply to neutralize an aggressor’s evil intent.

Here’s a link to the piece, “Change comes when we look for goodness in others.”

22 thoughts on “Finding goodness in others prevents harm”


  2. How WONDERFUL that you shared this with the community!! It will give blessings untold, to parents, teachers, police officers, check-out clerks, and everyone’s boss, employee, neighbor and relative! Oh, may I be so ready, willing and careful to share the Good News of everyone’s goodness!

    1. Thanks for your comment Diane. All the people you listed here are empowered by God to see those they encounter (their children, their employees, their customers, their students, etc) through God’s eyes — whole, good and filled with Love. The more we recognize this, the more we see the world transform, in ways big and small. What a blessing!

  3. Perfect God and perfect man. Thanks so much Evan for both writing the article and for sharing it with all of us! It is a wonderful reminder not to be taken in by the material picture.

  4. Hi – I’d love to read it but the Tri-City Herald says I have to subscribe or use an ad-blocker. The ad-blocker didn’t work. Is there another way to find your article? I went directly to the newspaper on-line and still can’t access the article.
    Thank you –

    1. Anne perhaps try on another device if you can. Sometimes I’ll click a link using my iPad and it won’t load properly, but then on my laptop it goes through fine.

      Blessings. You will see what you need to see, regardless of what “technology” says.

  5. “Be like Mary! Feel like Mary!” This was part of an audio advertisement in that newspaper for an online casino that interrupted my listening to Evan’s article, but it made me think about Lazareth’s sisters Martha and Mary, and how I need to choose Humble, trusting, reverent listening and loving, courageous obeying, disciplined spiritual reasoning, unselfish service praying and supporting Jesus, (at risk of her/my arrest, mockery, brutality, rape, public murder to terrorize the community) as she still remained praying for Jesus prior and during his torture and at his tomb, to be the first sought by Jesus after mentally blowing the stone and iron out of his path….

    Yes, isn’t seeing/feeling ourselves and others as the dearly beloved child of God, and praising God for that, the essence of God’s grace, the point of Christianity? And isn’t Christian Science with the prayer/reasoning that begins and ends with perfect God and perfect man including a perfect universe in perfect harmony, and the middle of the healing prayer sandwich being specific with universal generic and specific individualized impersonal uncovering and reversing of the lie (de-clawed and de-fanged chained then seen as unreal ) animal magnetism, beginning and throughout the prayer being an ever-growing reverent love for God and all of creation, the way to do that? What I love about Christian Science nursing, includes the trusting, seeking, seeing, being God’s grace that erases any mistaken belief otherwise. Seeing the divine and perfect, undistracted by the complaining mirage.

    What a priceless gift! What a liberating joy! The answer to everything. What our lives are about, Praise God!

    1. Love it Edith! Christ, risen!

      It reminds me of being a child and when my sister was angry with me I would sing her the smile song. “Smile, do it, do it…” repeating it again and again. She struggled hard not to smile (because she thought she was supposed to be angry and wanted me to know that) but slowly a smile would form and then she would be angry at first because she couldn’t help smiling and then laugh. God’s child emerged from the depth of the waves/clouds, smiling! Lol…

      Not to make light of some cases that seem to really be hardened. But purpose and joy indeed! Love is the winning side to be on!

      Evan – thank you for writing a wonderful article to share with your community and the world on how to arrest violence. I recall reading about Mrs. Eddy doing the same thing when a man with a gun approached her.

  6. Here’s the text of the article for those of you having trouble accessing it.

    Faith | Change comes when we look for goodness in others
    By Evan Mehlenbacher Special to the Herald August 07, 2022 5:00 AM

    I was on a speaking tour in Florida years ago. One of my hosts shared how a prayerful response to an aggressive man with evil intent saved her from becoming a victim of crime. She had been vacationing in Waikiki, Hawaii, when late one afternoon she decided to do some shopping on foot. She went alone.

    While seeking out some unique shops she wanted to visit, she found herself walking through some deserted back streets. While crossing an alley, a man jumped out from a hiding place, pointed a gun at her and demands that she hand over her purse.

    Without missing a beat, this woman looked the man in the eyes and said, “You don’t want to do this. You are a loved child of God.”

    The man’s arm dropped to his side. He lost his desire to rob her. He turned and left.

    n discussing how she could retain such poise and dominion under threat of harm, she went on to explain that it was a spiritual practice of hers to look for the child of God in other people.

    By “looking for the child of God,” she meant that she prayerfully searched beyond the outward appearance of physical personality and any expression of anguish, to find the peaceful and loved child of God within.

    I could see that she modeled Jesus Christ’s method of healing who instructed, “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly” (John 7:24, NLT).

    Jesus had a practice of seeing beyond physical appearances to spiritual reality. When sick people came to him for help, he saw a healthy child of God within, and brought it out for them to see. When assailed by a man with an evil spirit, Jesus saw beyond the insanity displayed, to a sane person, and brought it out for that man to see (Mark 1:23-26). Jesus’ spiritual point of view transformed people for the better.

    This new friend of mine had learned from Jesus Christ how to see beyond the physical appearance of others to a child of God, which in turn, helped them see it too.

    With the robber in Waikiki, she saw past the picture of a threatening criminal to a man of God who was created to be kind, thoughtful, considerate, and law abiding. She told him his spiritual truth with authority, that he was a “loved child of God.”

    She did not react to the evil displayed. She did not cower in fear. She saw a man worthy of love and capable of responding to love, and that’s what appeared before her eyes to a greater degree. Both were spared from becoming victims of crime.

    Her story has inspired me to look for the child of God in others when they appear threatening or hard to get along with. I’m grateful to say that I’ve often seen the same type of character transformation for the better in them that she saw in the man with the gun.

    She helped me learn an important rule for healing, that the good we see in others helps them see the same, and both people involved are better off.

    Evan Mehlenbacher is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science in Richland, and a member of the Christian Science Church on Burden Blvd., in Pasco. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 4253 W. 24th Avenue, Kennewick, WA 99338. Or email [email protected].

    Read more at:

  7. This is so inspiring and just what I needed to handle a close to home situation. Thank you.. The daily Lift today goes very well with this blog.

  8. I have to tell again my wonderful experience. I was saved from a rape while walking on a Chicago street in the dark when I was 15 years old. While this man was pulling me to an empty field, I pulled back and looked in his eyes seeing only good, and gently told him to leave me alone. I had to repeat this but then he gave me a push and said “go on then”. This experience changed my life.

  9. I was at the airport waiting to board my plane home. I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone looking at me. I looked over and a young man was seated four seats away just glaring at me. In my younger days I probably would’ve asked him what his problem was. Obviously, not a very loving question, I smiled at him but his expression didn’t change. As I looked away, I was hoping he wasn’t getting on my plane. But, I had just read an article called “Be Not Afraid!” I changed my perspective of what his “look or glare” might mean. I knew not one expression of God can have an evil intent or look about him. I felt an overwhelming sense of love for this young person. It didn’t matter to me if he would be on the plane sitting next me. I was going to see him as the perfect man and I did. After I prayed for a bit, I looked over and he was gone. I am not sure where he went and he wasn’t on the plane. Thanks everyone for your comments.

  10. It is a long story, but a friend of ours saved a young man from yet another crime one night when the young fellow was in process of perhaps stealing our friend’s car. With loving kindness he walked to the young man and asked “What are you doing with my car?” The whole tone of his voice and loving manner changed the entire situation and our friend helped this young man (just out of prison) to get home to his mother where he begged her to get him into a rehab program.

    And our friend’s final comment of his story: “That’s what we’re supposed to do, isn’t it?” Yes, dear friend, it is!

  11. Thanks for sharing this article Evan.

    Especially appreciated these two lines:
    “…she prayerfully searched beyond the outward appearance of physical personality and any expression of anguish, to find the peaceful and loved child of God within.”
    “…the good we see in others helps them see the same, and both people involved are better off.”

    This will help me more clearly view a friend who seems to be overly sensitive, misinterpreting things I say and then judging me harshly. I seem to have become fearful of her reactions. But I have a divine right to see her as the calm, loving, understanding being God made and to see there is perfect communication between God’s ideas.

  12. Thanks so very much, Rose, as seemed to experience the almost exact same thing, maybe worse even. Then a friend criticized me for what happened saying, Why were they not surprised, and another that i said the wrong thing, even as I’d only explained that I’d tried to correct what was said as untrue. Neither comment was loving or helpful. Trying to see a solution, but have to trust God, bc I see none in sight now.

    1. Thanks for your comment Still Learning. Yes we must sincerely trust and put these situations into the care of our dear God. Struggling to find material solutions only pulls us deeper in to more thinking, more reviewing who said what and why. This is mortal mind analysis, and it’s a dead end. He sees all parties involved as they (we) truly are — good and loving as He made and maintains us. Much peace and many blessings to you.

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