Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to header Skip to footer


The snake on the garden wall

From the January 1991 issue of The Christian Science Journal

As I looked out the window, I could see a small snake hanging, motionless, across the top rail of the garden wall. That evening two young relatives and I looked out through the same window. There was the snake. Oddly enough, it had not moved. "Let's go look at it," the children urged.

Once outside, we all exclaimed in disbelief. Our "snake" was nothing more than a sinuous, real-as-life crack across the top rail of the garden wall. No snake at all! Even the well-formed head was but a twisted pine knot. "You got fooled," the little boy teased. But the little girl was puzzled. "How could it look so real from the window?" she wanted to know. "Close up, it doesn't even look like a snake."

This seemed to me to be the perfect time to talk to these two little Christian Scientists about the illusory nature of matter, and to tie it in with our ability to reverse and destroy the illusions and claims of error by facing up to them with Truth and Love. Because God, good, is ever present, I assured them, evil is never present. Really knowing this proves that good is real, while anything unlike good is nothing but illusion, a bit like our "snake" on the garden wall. Little did I suspect that within a few hours this incident would help save my life.

Sign up for unlimited access

You've accessed 1 piece of free Journal content


Subscription aid available

 Try free

No card required

JSH Collections

Hundreds of pamphlets, anthologies, and special issues published over many decades are available to you on JSH-Online. There's a wealth of content to discover.  Explore the Collections archive today.

Browse all collections

More In This Issue / January 1991


Explore Concord—see where it takes you.

Search the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures