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A healing in the Reading Room

From the January 2021 issue of The Christian Science Journal

As assistant librarian in my local Christian Science Reading Room, one of my duties (delights!) is to decorate the windows and rooms monthly, generally centered on a topic or theme that comes to me through prayer. 

One morning I was finishing up with the windows when I noticed a young man outside digging through a trash can. Then he walked over to the Reading Room’s main window, where he was absorbed in reading the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson, which was displayed there. The attendant on duty jumped up out of his seat and walked outside, strolled over to this fellow, and began speaking with him.

I grabbed a couple of mandarin oranges I’d brought to snack on and went outside and offered them to the young man during a pause in their discussion. He gratefully took them, and as I walked back inside I could hear some of their conversation. The topic was God’s all-encompassing, universal love for every one of His children and how we are all God’s children, loved and cherished. I noticed the young man nodding in agreement.

I thought how lovely it was to witness this picture of Love “reflected in love” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 17)—the attendant’s sincerity, and the young man’s intent listening to these ideas. I was very touched by this brotherly love being shared between them. It so warmed my heart!

As I went back to my project, I suddenly felt discomfort come over me; my heart was racing and pounding hard. I felt as though I would faint. I also felt some fear.

I quickly rebuked the notion that my body could have any say in my well-being as God’s child. With this strong mental protest, I sat down to pray and feel the allness of God’s love that surrounds each one of us.

After a few moments, I felt I needed additional support and called a Christian Science practitioner. She shared these lines from a poem by Mary Baker Eddy: 

   O Love divine,
   This heart of Thine
Is all I need to comfort mine.
(Poems, p. 24)

I also realized that my true heart, or substance, beats with God, who is divine Life itself and is always harmonious.

This was just such a beautiful and perfect healing message for me. I felt uplifted, with no trace of fear left.

As I continued praying, the attendant came back in and began sharing some of the ideas he had discussed with the fellow outside, unaware that I was having a problem right then. As he spoke of God’s endless, impartial love for us all, that same young man came into the Reading Room and said to the attendant, “I think I need to speak with you some more!” And their conversation about our loving God and our true nature as God’s precious children continued for a few more minutes before the young man gave the attendant a big smile and a “Thank you!” I felt God’s presence and love so tangibly.

Very shortly thereafter, the irregularity with my heart stopped completely. And with a new surge of energy I was able to finish up all my tasks, including vacuuming and cleaning the windows. Those symptoms have not returned since.

On my way home later that morning, I reflected on that earlier scene—the young man hungry for food as well as inspiration, the alert attendant, my efforts to beautify the Reading Room for our community. It suggested to me a beautiful tapestry of interwoven lives, touching each other in special, inspiring, spiritual ways, coming together in the sanctuary of the Reading Room. It reminded me of one of my favorite lines in Science and Health: “The divine Science of man is woven into one web of consistency without seam or rent” (p. 242).

I just don’t have the words to express my gratitude to Mrs. Eddy for her courage, her determination, her love of humanity, and her steadfast leaning on divine Principle to guide her pursuit of the answer to the question, “How did Jesus heal?” She found that answer and gave it to the world in Christian Science.

Kathleen Smiley
Auburn, Washington, US

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