2. Unity: The Main Purpose of Divine Providence

We talk glibly about divine providence, but what is the real purpose behind God providing for the human race? Essay #2 from the book, "Reflections on Providence" by the Rev. Frank S. Rose, Tucson, AZ

“Divine love and wisdom go forth form the Lord as one... The purpose of the Divine providence is that every created thing, in general and in particular shall be a one; and if it is not, that it shall become such.” Divine Providence #4, #7

As I child I used to love tinkering with junk.  My father went to auction sales and brought back a seemingly unlimited supply.  Occasionally the treasure would include an old clock, and I would try my hand at fixing it.  Some of them were easy enough to take apart, and almost impossible to put back together, especially the ones with powerful springs that had to be wound tight before being inserted into their casings.  Sometimes I had a few pieces left over, and felt like just putting them anywhere inside the casing and closing it up.  But of course, the clock did not work unless every piece was in its intended location.  On those rare occasions when I actually got a clock to work, it was as if the clock no more consisted of individual pieces.  It was one single entity.  It could only function if it was unified in that way.

Some people have compared the universe to a clock.  This principle of divine providence says that the universe itself has to operate as a unity.  Where that unity is broken, divine providence works to have it restored.

The same is true of the human body, with its trillions of cells, and numerous organs and parts.  When a person is injured in a car accident, some of the parts are damaged, some are separated from their special place, and the unity of the body is injured.  The medical experts work to sew the bits and pieces together, and body immediately sets to work restoring that unity.  It repairs damaged tissue, regrows sections of bone, flushes out dead or damaged cells, and the body is healed.  Interestingly, the word “heal” means to make “whole.”  And the word “whole” is related to the word “holy.”  All three words - heal - whole - holy - have the idea of oneness.  There is something sacred about having all of the elements of creation acting as a one.

This same principle applies to the human mind.  There are times when we feel fragmented, with our thoughts and feelings somehow disconnected, and we are in need of mental healing.  Once again, it is a matter of restoring unity.

In personal relationships there is a similar need for unity.  When there is a distance between two people they feel uncomfortable, and might want to do what they can to restore the connection.  This is not always possible.  Where it can be achieved it can take a considerable effort, but it is worth while because the whole of providence strives for harmony and unity, not just in the universe as a vast structure of creation, but more importantly in the world of human beings and their thoughts, feelings and their relationships with each other.

The heart of the prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17, was a longing for unity.  “That they may be one, even as we are one.”  John 17:11.

This is the overriding purpose of providence, to preserve the universe, spiritual and material, as a unity.  Why is that?  Because without unity it could not exist.  The heaven of angels is unified under the all embracing spirit of the love of God.  There is a spiritual connection between all believers, called the “communion of saints.”  We need unity in our relationships, and where it does not exist, need to work toward it.  And it is vital to have integrity in our mind and heart.  The word “integrity” means “wholeness” or “oneness.”  We human beings tend to break the connections with each other, and even break the integrity within ourselves. The providence of God constantly works toward restoring unity - unity in creation - unity in relationships - and unity in each human heart.

—The Rev. Frank S. Rose, former pastor of Sunrise Chapel, Tucson, AZ