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From the May 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

WITH SPRING COMES THE PROMISE OF RENEWAL—the possibility of new beginnings, transformation. The prophet Isaiah spoke to the spirit of this season in this passage in the Bible: "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (Isa. 43:19). Indeed, this is the need for so many: a way made plain right in the wilderness of loss, poverty, illness, violence.

When I think of the people in my life, my friends and family, there's been no shortage of hard times, wilderness times, really, for so many. My thought broadens. I think of all the people in war-torn nations, incidents of school shootings, and of what it takes to rebuild and regroup in the midst of struggle. And then I recall the countless deeds of courage and kindness expressed by individuals at such moments—the selfless outpouring of love, neighbor for neighbor.

That we can find blessings in the middle of desolation is certain. In Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy gave us this powerful definition of the spiritual meaning of wilderness. The definition begins: "Loneliness; doubt; darkness." And then there's a shift: "Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence" (p. 597). Mrs. Eddy's own life illustrated the first part of the definition. Illness, poverty, betrayal. But she also knew firsthand how a spiritual perspective of life changes everything. The example of her own life transformation and the discoveries she left for us are a road map and a promise: Right where everything seems to be falling apart, there's a sound, practical, spiritual answer to lighten the darkness, to show us the "great facts of existence"—the good God has in store!

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