Some years ago, our church was confronted with problems like church work not being fun, not too many visitors, not many testimonies, too many empty chairs in Sunday School. The need became felt among our members to honestly ask, Do I really live Christian Science? Am I really understanding what I read about it? Do I really believe what I say about it? Do I really know what my church is? Do I know who God is? Do I know who I am?
Those questions, earnestly considered, make one go on one’s knees and stay quiet and listen for answers. Going forward in this way was very much in the spirit of Mary Baker Eddy’s words about the importance of knowing ourselves before we can effectively minister to others (see Science and Health, p. 453).
It was a wonderful phase for our church—there was less talk about Christian Science and not as many “busy” actions. To me, it felt as though we came honestly to the point where we saw what was in our thoughts—and that it was not always good. That thinking showed itself in human will, pride, attempts to dominate, self-righteousness, discouragement, false accusations, envy. It was not comfy to allow all this to be seen and felt. Still, there was this deeply felt desire to live Christian Science, to really go to God.