One year a friend and I took her convertible to our annual Christian Science association meeting, a day of spiritual enrichment and of fellowship with people who had taken class instruction with our Christian Science teacher. I always look forward to these occasions and leave feeling renewed and uplifted. The top was down on the convertible, and it was exhilarating to feel the warm sun shining down on us and the invigorating breeze blowing through our hair. Later, however, I noticed that I had an intense sunburn on my back that was very uncomfortable.
My memory of the meeting is that we focused that year on the significance of God as Soul, one of seven synonyms Mary Baker Eddy gives for God. In the Glossary of her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she defines sun as “the symbol of Soul governing man,—of Truth, Life, and Love” (p. 595).
I reasoned that there was no way such a beautiful representation of God harmoniously governing creation could be harmful to me. Nor could disease be the result of my attending a spiritually inspired meeting, the commitment to which was so meaningful and felt so God-directed! It seemed so unjust to me, and I could not accept it as something that God would cause or allow to touch my life. It had always been clear to me since my Sunday School days that God is good and doesn’t know or allow pain, and I prayed to hold more firmly to this understanding.