I thought you might enjoy hearing some fruitage from my work as director of daycare at a large Presbyterian church. It is exciting to have the opportunity to live Christian Science in a multi-denominational setting.
I work with a woman whose children are cared for in the daycare; she is the director of membership in this Presbyterian Church. She loves her church and is eager to learn more about spiritual things. She came from an unchurched family, became a Unitarian, and has come into the Presbyterian Church in the last ten years or so. We have had several discussions about God, faith, and prayer. Every now and then I have given her a thought from Science and Health and she has latched onto it and shared it with others. One idea she loved was: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (Science and Health vii:1). She told me she had emailed it to all her friends!
My friend’s husband has a job that is strictly commission-based. Of late he has brought in no income and their debts are overwhelming. A few weeks ago, she came to me to work out payment of her daycare bill; we worked out a suitable arrangement. Then she confided that she was in really difficult circumstances; she had only $72 in her bank account, which needed to last until her next payday, more than a week away. She was worried she wouldn’t be able to provide food for her children with so little money.
I reassured her that her heavenly Father was ever-present and supplying her every need. I shared the first verse of Hymn 46:
Day by day the manna fell:
O, to learn this lesson well.
Still by constant mercy fed,
Give me, Lord, my daily bread.
We talked about how the children of Israel needed to trust God day by day; they couldn’t even store up manna for the next day because it would spoil. Well, my friend just loved the thought of “Day by day the manna fell.”
When I went home that night, I decided to print out all the words of the hymn for my friend. I also went to the cupboard to see what food I might pack up for her. Then I got a very clear angel message: “Let Me do it. Let Me do it.” I closed the cupboard without packing up any food. The next morning, I laid the words of the hymn on my friend’s computer keyboard. When I met her in the hallway, she told me she was thrilled to have the whole hymn. She said she was really loving that first line and trusting it.
Several days later, I asked her, “How is the manna flowing?” She was excited to tell me that “out of the blue” a friend had called to say that she was trying a gluten-free diet. She had emptied her cupboard of the food she was no longer going to eat. Could my friend use that food for her family? God had supplied her need so beautifully! I was so glad I listened to the angel message to let God work this out, because now she KNEW God was the source, not just me being compassionate or even feeling sorry for her.
Silly me, I thought that was the end of the story. But a few days later, my friend asked me if I had put a green envelope in her office mailbox. I didn’t have any idea what she was talking about and told her so. Then she told me that this anonymously given envelope contained over $500 in cash! She thought she should find the donor and return it. I reminded her it was not really the gift from a person, but God’s great goodness being manifested in her life. I also reminded her of the words of the hymn, “Take the manna of today.” Otherwise she was telling God that He was wrong! She suddenly saw it was God’s answer to prayer.
Recently my friend told the senior pastor of the church how this experience was helping her grow in faith, and that the whole thing had started when I gave her a beautiful hymn from my church, “Day by day the manna fell.” He put his hand on her arm and said, “You’ll be glad to know I am preaching about this on Sunday!” So the Christ-message continues its unfoldment in the Presbyterian Church!
The next part of this lovely experience was that my friend asked if she could attend our church sometime—she had wanted to come for a long time! I assured her I would LOVE it!
Last week in the course of a conversation with my friend, I shared the quote; “Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.” She immediately asked me to email the quote to her, which I did, also citing the author and the book (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, 454:19–21). I am excited to think what will continue to unfold!
In my role as director of daycare, I recently prayed for discernment in selecting a new staff member. As I prayed, it became clear that neither of the candidates I was considering was the right answer; subsequently I received a new resume that resulted in the perfect solution. I shared this experience at the weekly directors’ meeting of the four pastors of the church. The following week at the general staff meeting, the senior pastor expressed gratitude for the inspiration he had received from my sharing that experience of divine guidance. He told how it helped him make a hiring decision. I was humbly grateful.