My husband and I were so happy when our long-held dream of owning a pool at our beach-side home became a reality two years ago. We felt that we lived in paradise! Our family did, too—especially the little grandchildren, who were just learning to swim.
However, early last year that dream seemed to become a nightmare. Every day for a period of almost two months grackles (large blackbirds) deposited their waste in our beautiful pool and on the pool deck.
We researched many possible solutions on the Internet. Suggestions ranged from a few dollars to several hundred—from setting up giant balloons with scary eyes to machines emitting loud or ultrasonic sounds of a “known predator” to scare them. Of course, each “solution” had the negative side effect of taking away more of the beauty and quiet of our home.
The evening we arrived home after a trip, the problem came to a head: We found the pool and deck completely littered with waste. I was so frustrated and angry.
That’s when I came up with a plan …
The next morning I took my phone and my books (the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy) out onto the deck. That way I could study and simultaneously shoo away these invaders with the spray from our water hose. Whenever I did, the grackles would immediately fly off, but then a little while later they would come back.
The second day I took up my post, prepared for the same routine, but soon after I sat down I received a phone call. A friend was feeling disturbed about a family situation and asked me to pray for her. I agreed to pray. But when I got off the phone, I realized the total irony of the situation, since I felt so disturbed myself.
I yearned to feel a sense of peace, as did my friend. “Help me, Father,” I prayed. “I just want to feel Your peace. Tell me what to do.” These Bible verses came to thought: “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace” (Job 22:21), and “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3). I also recalled Mary Baker Eddy’s assurance in Science and Health, “All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible” (p. 514).
The thought then came to me to log on to JSH-online.com and search for ideas about how to pray effectively about this dilemma, since my human efforts to resolve it had failed. In a few moments I came across a Christian Science Sentinel audio chat called “Caring for God’s creatures” (May 22, 2012). As I listened, I felt it was just what I needed to hear.
The speaker shared many helpful ideas, one of which was that divine Love alone governs the universe, so we can cherish the loving ideas that are God’s creatures. The speaker also mentioned that we live in a universe of thought. He explained that the earth is a manifestation of collective thought, of human consciousness, and as thought improves, or becomes spiritualized, the human situation improves.
Reality check: What was I thinking and seeing? Was I seeing that God governs all? Was I seeing that we all live harmoniously in the universe of divine Mind? Was I seeing what God created?
As the spiritual ideas voiced during the audio chat penetrated my thinking and became clearer to me, I could feel all the frustration and resentment drain away. And just like the prodigal son, I came to myself (see Luke 15:17). I knew without a doubt that all the beauty, peace, and joy we’d felt in our backyard couldn’t be gone because “joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy” (Science and Health, p. 304). Those words from Science and Health really touched me. I felt an incredible sense of peace.
As I prayed for my friend, I realized that what I was affirming about her and her precious family members had always been just as true for me. That prayer went something like this: “You reflect the deep calm of all-encompassing divine Love, the bliss of Soul. All of God’s precious ideas living together in harmony, in one Mind, the kingdom of heaven, is what you know, understand, see, and accept as real. There are no intruders or impostors in Love’s kingdom. There are no unwelcome or aggressive ideas there. All is well. Love keeps you in perfect peace.”
I’m glad to say that my friend’s problems were soon resolved and that the situation with the grackles improved. I still see the grackles flying around. Some even come to the tree and birdbath in our side yard, but I haven’t noticed any messes in our pool or on our deck since last year and through the same season this year.
More than anything, I am so very grateful to have been reminded that God loves and governs all Her creatures.
Carol Lee Price lives in Indialantic, Florida.