My husband and I could demonstrate in a humble way what difference it makes when human thought is brought under the gravitational pull of divine Love and its order of events, the basic law of the powerhouse of Love. We were in search for the right buyers of our condominium and for a new condominium at about the same time, and at the proposal of a Christian Science practitioner we looked at the concept of home in the Bible. We were encouraged to pray with the story of the woman of Shunem. In this story as related in the fourth chapter of 2 Kings, a spiritually minded woman prepares a place for a prophet, for Elisha, who occasionally comes through her village. She tells her husband: “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”
(2. Kings 4) This story is about divine perception and about spiritual attraction at the same time.
This lamp my husband and I understood for our situation to be the expectancy of Love as expressed in gratitude, spiritual sense, willingness to follow. Light in "the window" of thought - our task! There is something wonderfully meek and gentle about putting out a mental light – while at the same time looking out for a light which will draw us home. The acknowledgment and perception of spiritual truth enable us to see the specifics of good for our experience, but also enable us to become visible to good in a specific way. Spiritual understanding is this light on the candlestick. I actively included in my prayer everyone without a home, refugees, poor and lost people on the go, addressing homelessness as a terrible imposition on humanity which Love’s embrace rectifies.
In Isaiah (chapter 60) we read: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee.”
What we perceived was the double action of the powerhouse of Love: There is the light marking home and there is the capacity and guidance to perceive this light. Spiritual sense is the effect of Spirit on us, the effect of the will of Love to be felt and known – it marks the attraction of Love and makes Love visible. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come.” Our house found a family after our commitment to Love’s design became honest and sincere, but I remember one moment when being shaken with the prospect of selling our home, leaving our beloved family home behind. It was again a comment by my husband which broke through my sadness. “We are never selling or leaving home, dear; we are just selling a house.” In order to sort through step two of our experience, finding a new home for ourselves, we had gone for a few days to the seaside to pray and listen and sort this out.
The finding happened a few hours later, when my husband closed his Bible with vigor and declared an end to searching as opposed to finding. A phone call from a realtor reached us. We went directly to this gorgeous pre-WWII residential building in a historic area of our town which our family cherished for a long time, and learned it had been filled with classical music concerts for decades, something we deeply cherish, too. We can confidently say that the understanding of home as a powerhouse brought with it the ability to see and perceive its concrete expression in our experience. It also strengthened us to replace a limited sense of home for the expansive view of home as the consciousness of divine Love.
Now in other areas, too, I find placing a mental lamp (announcing the demand) and at the same time looking out for the answer (the supply part) is a powerful tool. God's love is providing the inspiration for both.
A funny cartoon from my little collection of wisdom in comics is condensing something most of us understand right away: Newness is thrilling and original, but we want it to be tested and somehow feeling like something we already know. And that makes it, well, not new.
"New" has many wonderful definitions: It is something that is not old and not even refurbished (“as good as new” is not “new”), something that is in existence in now and hasn't been before, it is something that has been known only for a short time, something unfamiliar (like a new place), something that was recently built (the new library), something different than the former (like a new car), a condition (starting a new job), something like becoming fresh (being a new person) or like having recently become (being the new wife or son-in-law). New has a different origin than renovated old.
We feel when something is only patched up, overhauled or revamped as opposed to being really new. New has a different origin. New is fresh and direct. New is promising. My mother once mentioned that in most parts of the world, already 20 inches away from a drinking water fountain streaming out of a mountain, the water quality is already slightly altered. The difference between the source and something drawn from it at even a slight distance is measurable.
Paul describes in different letters the newness of life in Christ, 100% good: "...be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness," he writes to the Ephesians. The real new is and always will be the spiritual - original, fresh, revealed to spiritual sense, embodied by a pure heart, and the love that is truly unselfed. In Retrospection and Introspection Mary Baker Eddy writes (pp. 27, 28), "The divine hand led me into a new world of light and Life, a fresh universe—old to God, but new to His 'little one.'" And in Science and Health we read: "So far as the scientific statement as to man is understood, it can be proved and will bring to light the true reflection of God— the real man, or the new man (as St. Paul has it). (p. 300)
Science and Health is a book that is so shockingly revolutionary and innovative that people have been either rejecting it altogether or soaked it up like a sponge and made its approach their way of life. The book challenges everything we seem to know and experience and teaches us all about Spirit, it lets us discover timeless Truth in the Bible and put them into practice right away. The Bible is important because it is the only book on the planet talking about the spirituality of God and man and the only book giving to humanity to life and works of Christ Jesus, the one individual that brought this understanding to humanity. The last 100 pages are reports of healing which have been handpicked by the author to illustrate certain aspects of the effect of Christian Science. Every single report testifies to the newness of Life. Really new, not patched up. I go back to those pages often to learn more about progress and healing, and about the book itself.
One of my favorite reports of healing is by someone with an extraordinary sense of humility and with the wonderful ability to write in such a poetic way that it reaches the heart. It is difficult to forget this report once you read it. With this report I am wishing you a wonderful new year - as "new thoughts of God reveal our heaven" (as hymn #140 says).
From the chapter „Fruitage“ in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 621, 622)
For fifteen years I was a great sufferer physically and mentally. Eminent physicians treated me for hereditary consumption, torpid liver, and many other diseases. I sought relief at famous springs, the ozone of Florida, and the pure air of Colorado, but in vain. My life was one ceaseless torture. During all this time, however, I was an earnest seeker after Truth. I examined every religious teaching with a calm and unprejudiced attention. From an orthodox Protestant I became a skeptic, and a follower of Voltaire, Tom Paine, and Ingersoll; yet all the while I retained faith in a supreme intelligent Being who made all.
Sick,weary, doubting, and despairing, I accidentally went into a Christian Science church in New York City, on a Wednesday evening, not knowing what kind of a place it was. Seeing a large number of people going into the building, I followed, supposing that a marriage ceremony had attracted the crowd. Being informed it was their regular Wednesday evening service, I inquired as to the denomination. I concluded that it was another new fad, but after investigation I procured a copy of Science and Health, promising I would read it carefully. I began reading the book on Tuesday and finished on Friday of the same week. I was still in the dark. I laid the book down, involuntarily closed my eyes, and silently prayed to God.
I remained in that attitude a few moments, when I felt like the mariner who had been tossed for days upon a boisterous sea, the clouds bending low, the billows rolling high, all nature wrapped in darkness; in his despair he kneels and commits his soul to God, when he suddenly beholds the North Star breaking through the clouds, enabling him to guide his ship to the shores of safety. Many things were made plain to me. I saw that there is one Fatherhood of God and one brotherhood of man; that though "once I was blind, now I see;" that there was no more pain, nor aches, no fear, nor indigestion. I slept that night like a babe and awoke next morning refreshed. There are now no traces whatever of my former complaint and I feel like a new being.
— L. P., New York, N. Y.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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