What really expresses church is the pure love in my heart, in my thought and actions

I would like to give gratitude for one particular testimony that appeared on the website. This testimony continues to be a beacon—a tremendous help to me. It was posted on April 19, 2010 and was titled “Healing church by keeping the beam out of our own eyes.”

There have been a number of decisions made by our branch church that have seemed contrary to what Mrs. Eddy has given us in Science and Health and the Church Manual. There have been things we have been asked to do in our church and Reading Room that I feel so uncomfortable with. But the experience described in that testimony has helped me to see more clearly the true way and the true church. It is our own thought that is the issue. I loved the student’s recognition that the beam (the belief in the reality of many minds) needs to be cast out of my thought. God is the only Mind of all. I loved being shown that what church members decide to do is not the important thing; it is the pure love in my heart, in my thought and actions, the spiritual sense of what is true—“each member is an idea of Mind and seeks Mind’s guidance”—that really expresses church. The reminder that it takes constant watchfulness and effort is so important.

Two years ago I had a “church healing” that started me on the right path. Before this healing I had occasionally spoken out about something I felt was a wrong direction to take. Then I felt there were two sides. With knots in my stomach I voiced what I thought was the right one. Of course it was difficult for me; often I felt marginalized, and sometimes I became ill. 

Then two years ago when a change in our branch by-laws was to be voted on, I decided just to be quiet. I spoke to a practitioner-friend. She counseled me to pray about it and to listen for God’s guidance; if I felt led by Him, I would know what to do and to say. I did this. It was the first time I really worked to gain a much more all-inclusive, spiritual sense of the activity and of my fellow members. I prayed a lot, read articles, read Robert’s Rules of Order. I felt peaceful and uplifted. I stayed with Mrs. Eddy’s statement, “Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love (S&H 106:9).”

It was the first time that I have felt so peaceful. When the time came to discuss the issue, I felt right about speaking, felt such love for my fellow members. The right words came.  Other members felt the same way. We voted; we did not change the by-law.

I can see that this was a first step for me on a much more spiritual approach—and a better understanding of church. This year there have more difficult challenges, and the testimony “Healing church by keeping the beam out of our own eyes” has been a constant help. There is so much in it to ponder and follow. I am so grateful for all this good.