The renewal of our Church and our Cause (and of my branch church) is something I pray for each day. I was moved by James Rome’s letter to Mrs. Eddy about the construction of the Mother Church Extension (My. 61:11–25). “I saw at once that somebody had to wake up. I fought hard with the evidence of mortal sense for a time; but after a while…the conviction that the work would be accomplished came to me so clearly, I said aloud, ‘Why there is no fear; this house will be ready for the service, June 10.’”
Later in the letter to Mrs. Eddy, I found this statement arresting: “I noticed that as soon as the workmen began to admit that the work could be done, everything seemed to move as by magic; the human mind was giving its consent. This taught me that I should be willing to let God work.” Waking up, struggling with mortal sense, casting out fear, the God-given conviction that the work would be accomplished, and the human mind giving its consent—all seem to pertain to the divine and human aspects of church renewal.
As I thought about church renewal, I loved Annie Knott’s analogy of the string and precious beads found on page 107 of Paths of Pioneer Christian Scientists. Mrs. Knott wrote of the need for the establishment of a Christian Science church in Detroit because patients who had been healed in Christian Science had to return to their own churches, where they made little or no progress. She called the patients who had been healed “precious beads” that rolled away. “A Christian Science church was like a piece of string that brought all these beads together, providing structure and connection.” I thought this was an illuminating simile—our Church, “the structure of Truth and Love,” which connects all of us precious beads together.
One powerful observation in the preface to Paths (p. xi) was a revelation of sorts to me. Annie Knott writes, “It would be interesting to know how many there are who appreciate the fact that we are all helping to make history, and how many estimate in any degree their obligation to posterity.” (Journal, November 1903, pp. 514). I had never thought of myself as making history by practicing Christian Science. I found this new way of looking at myself—as part of the long chain of students who are helping to make history—incredibly inspiring. It brought home to me the importance of demonstrating Christian Science in all I do.