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Windows of opportunity

From The Christian Science Journal - September 18, 2014


It dawned on me one day that I was not actively sharing Christian Science with others. I would bring it up if someone asked, which was a rare moment, but I was not initiating the conversation. In examining my thought, I realized I was afraid to share. I love Christian Science and have endless gratitude for the healings, growth, and the guidance it has provided me, as well as how it teaches me about new aspects of God and His creation every day. So, why wouldn’t I want to share it? 

My concerns included worrying that I didn’t know enough to share; I wondered whether if, when different views were brought up, I could give an intelligent answer. I had fears that others would not view me favorably if I expressed my religious views. These views were indeed coming from a mortal, contracted view of humanity and myself. I turned to the Scriptures to begin to set my thought on the “straight and narrow path” toward expression and communication from God (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 32). Peter instructs us “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10). So ministering, sharing the gift of Christian Science with others, was not only an opportunity I had as a witness to the grace God so lovingly gives us each day, but it was also a way to express love to our fellow man. Christ Jesus instructed his listeners. “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37), and Saul was told, “Go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). I found that to share divine Truth rests on our willingness to trust God to be the one who directs our path and unfolds the right ideas to share, and so as Christ Jesus and the apostles did—to love one another and share the gift of God’s message. 

The ever-operative Divine Science, our prayerful alertness and obedience, and the receptivity to follow God’s  leadings transform thought, inspire us and others, and open the way to a higher understanding of God’s creation.

I saw that my fears were unfounded since God is always governing our entire experience, if we let Him. I felt what Job said was true: “My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly” (Job 33:3). I realized that if I truly loved my fellow man, I would want to share the beauty and effectiveness of Christian Science. As our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, notes: “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 57). My doubts finally dissolved, and I knew that when an opportunity presented itself, I would be ready to express my love for Christian Science and my fellow man and be able to reflect God’s wisdom and clarity of thought.

It didn’t take long for a window to open. My husband and I were attending a financial conference. The agenda included an opening dinner, where we mingled and met other advisors. As we were greeting new people and waiting to be seated for the evening meal, we met a gentleman who shared that he was there alone since his wife could not attend. We continued chatting, and I found the discussion had shifted from one of idle comments to a deeper meaning when he asked me what I did. I told him I was the First Reader for my church. He asked what religion I was and I told him Christian Science. He then responded that he was searching for a place that felt like home to him within the Christian faith. It was at this point that we were asked to take our seats for dinner. Each table had place cards, and guess what? He was seated right next to me. I became keenly aware that this was a window of opportunity. I listened closely to God’s direction as the gentleman and I continued getting to know one another. The discussion found its way back to God and church when he shared that he had been attending three churches of different denominations in his area. He was a devout Christian, he said, but still looking for his church.

 

In my desire to help this man, I reasoned that, being interested in many religious faiths, he would surely love the Bible. So that was my starting point—the common love we both had for the Scriptures. I began by sharing that Mary Baker Eddy loved the Bible and that she had studied it diligently from a child. I emphasized her devotion throughout her life to studying the Bible and that she found, through Christ Jesus’ teaching and example, the way to heal spiritually as Jesus did. I referred to Jesus instructing his disciples: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils” and mentioned that Mrs. Eddy realized this was not only for those in biblical times, but for all time (Matthew 10:8). He responded that he’d never thought of it that way.

Sharing the gift of Christian Science with others was not only an opportunity I had as a witness to the grace God so lovingly gives us each day, but it was also a way to express love to our fellow man.

Over the next hour we talked about the universality of spirituality and prayer, about true spirituality being a way of life, one that directs all of our actions. By the end of the evening, he thanked me and said he had enjoyed learning about Christian Science and how he now knew that it was a Christian religion that helped its followers to see as God sees and to help others. One of his final comments was, “I never knew Christian Science was based on the Bible; it sounds like a very caring religion.”

As I pondered this first step into sharing God’s ever-presence and love, I realized the experience was so much more than one conversation with a gentleman over dinner; it was the correcting of misconceptions, the sharing of ideas, and for me a process of humble listening. It was two people sharing their love for God and mankind while wanting to rise higher in their understanding of Truth.

The ever-operative divine Science, our prayerful alertness and obedience, and the receptivity to follow God’s leadings transform thought, inspire us and others, and open the way to a higher understanding of God’s creation. The blessings from this conversation have been manifold. I now share Christian Science as windows of opportunity present themselves. Every discussion I have had has resulted in people expressing a true interest in Mary Baker Eddy and her discovery, Christian Science. It has led to the sharing of her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, to healings, and to that grander sense of one family “held in the gospel of Love” (Science and Health, p. 577). Everyone can recognize opportunities to share and allow God to unfold just the right ideas to “simple seekers for Truth” (Science and Health, p. 570), in the most effective way. Sharing Christian Science is a gift that blesses one and all. 

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