Some experiences touch us poignantly. Experiences that impact many areas of our life, and teach great lessons. They remind us of God’s all-presence, and give us fresh conviction that all things are possible with God, thereby proving these tender words of Mary Baker Eddy: “Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 149–150).
One such experience happened recently. It reminded me of the indispensability of persistence, expectancy, and trust.
Last summer, while I was in a hotel room across country preparing for a long talk the following day, “HP”—my Hewlett Packard computer—began acting most irregularly. I had urgent work to wrap up. The situation appeared daunting. In my heart, however, I knew that all would somehow be resolved. God being all-knowing and all-powerful, this had to be true. I also had a most devoted Christian Science practitioner supporting me through prayer during this time.
As I sat in my hotel room, listening for the Father’s guidance—for His angels, or spiritual intuitions, to show me the way—it came to me to telephone for the hotel’s computer “fix-it” man. He arrived momentarily and began extensive work, trying many different procedures. Eventually he announced that the computer had a virus, and that it had affected everything. He said he couldn’t do any more, and that I needed to take it to a computer shop.
A computer shop! There was no time for that. I quickly resumed praying and waiting on God. I needed results. Soon it strongly occurred to me that because God is divine Mind, and each of us reflects this Mind, the divine intelligence that is expressed in one is expressed in all; therefore, the fix-it man in my hotel surely expressed the intelligence he needed. This divine Mind is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and ever active. I knew God had made each of us able to hear Him, understand Him, and obey Him. There had to be an answer. All the labor put into this project couldn’t be lost or wasted!
In spite of the dire prognostications the computer man had issued, he kept working persistently and uncomplainingly. Then, all of a sudden, HP was working. I could continue! The computer would be fine, but for 24 hours, only, the man explained. Nevertheless, I was jubilant.
Two days later, following the talk, I took an overnight flight back to New York City. Soon after landing at our huge international airport, I was in a cab, homeward bound. Upon arrival I discovered my computer was missing! I recalled I’d never identity-tagged the briefcase, HP’s storage pouch. Thoughts (fear, really) poured in regarding the possible loss of over a decade of research, reports, correspondence, and more, housed in HP. Along with this was the fact that I hadn’t one bit of confidence in my unsystematic back-up practices. I remembered, too, that there was other important material packed in the briefcase, including jewelry!
I took all the human footsteps I could think of, including calling the major New York City cab companies, the airline’s lost-and-found, the airport’s lost-and-found, and whomever else it occurred to me to contact. No word on the situation. One individual suggested I return to the airport—something I hadn’t entertained.
I continued to pray, affirming that, as God’s complete idea, I couldn’t lose anything that was eternally included in my real being or that expressed God’s love and goodness. Therefore, I couldn’t lose anything I needed. I claimed that no one wanted what was not theirs, since God’s children were honest, upright, good. I knew, too, I couldn’t suffer for being involved in a right activity.
The following day I returned to the airport and endeavored to search every conceivable place a “lost” computer could be. This included my specific airline’s lost-and-found department. There, a most attentive and caring employee greeted me. She not only advised me of further pertinent places to check, but personally accompanied me to other possible airport retrieval areas. She even allowed me into the “untagged” lost baggage room, not a normal custom. Still, no briefcase. At one key post, the attendant was both negative and defeatist. He felt that practically no one finding a computer would return it. He checked rather cursorily the lost and found provisions, with no success, and then assured me that there was no more he could do.
Finally I boarded a city bus, disheartened and slightly weepy. This couldn’t be right. I proceeded down the bus aisle and sat down. I commenced praying again, with an emphasis on listening. Listening and listening for divine Mind’s guidance. Gently, but somewhat urgently, came the thought to get off the bus—immediately! And if I didn’t, I’d just be returning to the airport later that week.
I quickly got off, and felt literally ushered into the airline building and straight to the booth where the employee had been so negative. To my surprise, the next shift had begun, and there stood a new employee. I relayed my situation to this new fellow. He went directly to work, diligently searching through the lost items protocol system. Then he made one phone call and described the briefcase and its contents. Hallelujah! Thank you, Father! They had it. Then I had it! Everything, including my jewelry, was in the briefcase. I thanked the gentleman from the bottom of my heart.
Later, I was most grateful to find that not a shred of HP’s contents was lost!
This instance of HP’s retrieval reinforced for me the fact that our Father-Mother never fails us. He-She takes us every step of the way and meets our every need, and truly is the “sustaining infinite” —on whom we can always lean (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. vii).
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