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Of Good Report

The year of perfect attendance

From the October 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Raising a family of three active boys brought many opportunities to turn to divine Love in prayer. What I was learning of God and man through the study of Christian Science was both preventative and curative in maintaining the boys’ well-being. 

One fall when our two grade-school boys were beginning a new school year, I made a promise to myself that I would pray specifically for them every morning as they left for the bus. As I sat in my plaid chair by the picture window and watched them disappear down the driveway toward the bus stop, I would talk with God. 

Not a morning went by without spending the first minutes listening for the “ ‘still, small voice’ of Truth uttering itself.”

My prayers would be something like this: Thank You so much, divine Spirit, for filling all space. Your harmonious kingdom is everywhere and always present, and these boys “live, and move, and have [their] being” (Acts 17:28) there. In this perfect creation, You make all and make it good. There is nothing that can cause harm, so Your children can never be exposed to anything but good. I recognize Your allness, dear God, and Your goodness filling this neighborhood, the school, the community, and the world. I acknowledge You as the source of all health, and thank You for expressing this health and well-being throughout Your entire creation, including these boys. I know that they are protected and safe, surrounded by all-powerful Love.

Many mornings I would sing a hymn of comfort and protection from the Christian Science Hymnal as well.

As the seasons changed, and the woods outside my window turned golden, became a sparkling snow-filled landscape, then greened with the renewal of spring, not a morning went by without my spending the first minutes in that chair, listening for the “ ‘still, small voice’ of Truth uttering itself” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 323) and the message it had for me that day. 

Gradually I came to understand that we do not pray to protect ourselves or our loved ones from something “out there,” but to gently correct the belief in our own thought that anything could possibly exist besides God’s spiritual, all-encompassing creation. I was learning to understand a deeper reality than what the material senses presented, and to exercise a more spiritual sense of what is true from divine Mind’s pure perspective.

Gradually I came to understand that we do not pray to protect ourselves or our loved ones from something “out there.”

The results? Both boys received the school’s award for a year of perfect attendance. I recall volunteering in the second-grade classroom for a Valentine’s Day party, where the teacher said, “You don’t even want to breathe in here, the room is so filled with contagion.” Then she turned to me and said, “But Keith is never sick, is he?” What a sweet acknowledgment of the protecting power of prayer.

I relocated long ago from the woods of New Hampshire to the prairie of the Midwest. Now, with my children grown up, I have rededicated myself to beginning each day acknowledging the allness of God and His perfectly good kingdom, filling all space, embracing each one of us, our loved ones, our communities, and our world. In this kingdom there is nothing to harm us, to plague us, or to be magnified into fear-inducing images. As we read in Jeremiah, “Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (23:24).

Wherever we are in the world, we can join in this daily acknowledgment and praise of God and His all-encompassing goodness.

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