A new woman, I thought this morning.
I was sitting with my books at my kitchen table and looking out into the inner courtyard of our wonderful residential house. I observed our neighbour with her new dog. Since the dog arrived in her life, I could see day after day a transformation. The new dog - at the beginning a puppy - needed constant care and attention, and she gave it to her, at times taking her out every two hours during the night. This neighbour lives by herself and did move into our house about two years ago. She was the epitome of unhappiness, started quarrels with some neighbours, and never said a friendly word like "hello". And now she is laughing and running with her wonderful dog Frida in the courtyard, throwing a tennis ball, talking and joking with her dog but also with the neighbours. By now the whole neighbourhood knows the dog - and her. I shared my observation with her and we had a wonderful chat. I looked into a happy, and beautiful face. The transformation is stunning. There is a spring in her step and a happiness in her heart that is sheer inspiration.
How is that possible? Is there a principle behind it which points to a higher law? Can everyone experience such a transformation?
I was reminded of an instructive passage in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy:
"The effect of mortal mind on health and happiness is seen in this: If one turns away from the body with such absorbed interest as to forget it, the body experiences no pain. Under the strong impulse of a desire to perform his part, a noted actor was accustomed night after night to go upon the stage and sustain his appointed task, walking about as actively as the youngest member of the company. This old man was so lame that he hobbled every day to the theatre, and sat aching in his chair till his cue was spoken, — a signal which made him as oblivious of physical infirmity as if he had inhaled chloroform, though he was in the full possession of his so-called senses.
Detach sense from the body, or matter, which is only a form of human belief, and you may learn the meaning of God, or good, and the nature of the immutable and immortal."
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 261:8–24)
God is behind this. God, Good, is infinite and right here. How do we understand this? Evidently by letting ourselves be part of God's world filled with goodness. Whether it is a dear pet to care for, a neighbour to support, a part to perform on stage, a garden to keep, art to make, a topic we love to research - what we love defines who we are, how we feel, it influences our health and our lives. It shows forth dignity and worth and helps us feel the oneness of life, everywhere.
So let Good shine brightly in your life. Let Good be supreme. This is a game changer. This is the fountain of life.
Life, like a fountain rich and free, /
Springs from the presence of my Lord; /
And in Thy light we all shall see /
The glories promised in Thy Word.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 111:3)
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.