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Of Good Report

My ‘reason for existing’

From the February 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal


A much-loved quote from Mary Baker Eddy’s writings is often in my thought as I go about my daily activities. Mrs. Eddy writes in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, “I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing” (p. 165).

Sometimes, I’m not quite sure how to go about imparting truth, health, and happiness, but I am learning that, if we just look for them, opportunities can often be found in simple, daily contact with individuals.   

For many months now I have made a point of actively looking for these opportunities to extend fellowship to those with whom I come into contact, be it the cashier at the supermarket checkout, the young man in the pet shop where I get birdseed, or the woman selling vegetables at the local market.

I am reminded that it’s so natural to express love because we are the spiritual reflection of God, of Love itself. 

I have made a point of actively looking for these opportunities to extend fellowship.

In Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mrs. Eddy sheds light on the subject: “Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth” (p. 250).

Jesus instructed us, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). 

Recently, I had the opportunity to express Christly love when thinking of a neighbor. When I learned that this neighbor had been taken ill with a life-threatening disease, I determined that every time I thought of her, I would acknowledge the fact of her present perfection as the child of God, untouched by disease and suffering. My husband and I sent her a card and some flowers, and spoke to her husband from time to time, on each occasion mentally acknowledging this woman’s freedom as the beloved daughter of God.  

Then, when out shopping one morning, I bumped into this dear one in our local village. I gave her a hug, and asked after her. She said she was making good progress, and thanked us for our loving support over the months. A few days later, we bumped into each other again, and had a warm and animated conversation. These spontaneous meetings began to happen with such regularity that we’d both burst out laughing when we met each other yet again. I knew in my heart that these meetings were no mere coincidence—divine Love was bringing us together in healing fellowship and for mutual blessing.  

With each subsequent conversation, we grew closer, and I was able to share spiritual concepts and ideas that I sensed she might be ready to hear. On one occasion, she exclaimed: “We are so grateful to you and your husband for all your love. Thank you for being such caring and supportive neighbors!” Her doctors have told her that the disease is now in remission.

As I see it, one specific way of obeying Jesus’ instructions is to go out into our own respective communities, reaching out in love and fellowship to those we meet on our daily rounds. This certainly gives one a “reason for existing” and is essential for spiritual growth in Christian Science.

As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.

—Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 165

 

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