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Your Insights

In these pages we’ve gathered several shorter items—articles a page or less in length and excerpts from longer manuscripts that offer useful, inspiring insights. We hope you enjoy this kind of short-form nourishment in each issue. 

The message I needed to hear

From the February 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

When my wife passed on, I felt a terrible sense of loneliness. We had been married for over 58 years, and to say that I missed her would not begin to express how I felt. As a student of Christian Science, I turned to the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy in order to “lift the shade of gloom,” as she says in one of her hymns (Christian Science HymnalNo. 298). In so doing I found this question in Science and Health: “Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank?” As I read that I thought, “My wife was more than a personal friend, and yes—I feel quite a blank.” But in that same paragraph Mrs. Eddy wrote: “When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth” (p. 266). 

This seemed to me a pretty tough way to grow spiritually—but there could be little doubt of that necessity. The book of Hebrews says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (12:1). As I began to run that race, I received many comforting and thoughtful messages from members of my extended family and fellow church members. One of those comforting messages came from a friend of mine in the form of an article from the Christian Science Sentinel entitled “The Second Despatch” (Nathan Talbot, Dec. 30, 1996, p. 15).

The article refers to a statement in Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy writes of an erroneous message telling of a friend’s death—but that a second message comes stating that the first message—“a blundering despatch”—had been a mistake. She used that example to point out that the grief occasioned by the first message was without cause, as proven by the contents of the second message (see p. 386). Mr. Talbot’s article likened the “second despatch” to the Christ, which comforts and reveals “. . . that God’s idea, man, really never can come to an end.” Furthermore, “The Christ helps us begin awakening to the truth that man always has been, and always is, spiritual and perfect, sustained in God’s care.” Endeavoring to listen earnestly for the “second despatch,” I found this statement: “The transition from our lower sense of Life to a new and higher sense thereof, even though it be through the door named death, yields a clearer and nearer sense of Life to those who have utilized the present, and are ripe for the harvest-home” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896pp. 84–85).