As a Reader in my local branch Church of Christ, Scientist, I was sitting at the front of church one Sunday morning, watching and welcoming those entering for the church service. I noticed the variety of people coming in, and I started to get caught up in thinking about their personalities, their appearances, and their conversations—in other words, paying attention to the congregation but not praying for it. As I realized this, I turned wholeheartedly to God in prayer, asking how I could view those entering in a way that would further the healing purpose of the service.
We had a lovely bouquet in the front of church that Sunday. It had a variety of colorful flowers and glowed with freshness and beauty. What came to me was to see the individuals in the congregation as individual petals of a flower—as God’s “petals.” It didn’t matter what was the color or shape; each petal (each person) had its own distinct beauty as an idea of God, each contributing to a whole “flower.” I was delighted with this new view.
Going further, I recalled Mary Baker Eddy’s statement that God “opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 506). That spoke to me of God at work in several ways: the healing purpose of the service; the specific purpose God has for each of His ideas; the loving care God takes to nurture each one.