“It was an example of grace not just ‘adequate,’ but abounding.”

Grace has sometimes seemed both the only thing to rely on and at the same time has brought out a larger sense of God and Love’s great and exact clarity.  The human mind can’t see over its own horizons, and in praying about the assignment I’ve remembered times of walking by faith not by sight amid situations that seemed complicated and thatched with difficulty. 

We may seem mixed but divine Mind is not mixed and delivers us to the mind of Christ and perfect selfhood in what we call healing.

These healing situations gave the inspiration in Science to move forward:

My job has required extensive travel and several cases of grace and the joy to keep moving came to mind.  In 2005 I was working on a writing project about the 100th anniversary of the Portsmouth Treaty, the peace plan between Japan and Russia in 1905. The war had been bloody and barbarous and MBE asked the church to pray about it at one point.

I got an invitation to a special conference in Tokyo on the Treaty but it was in the Japanese language. I was living in Asia amid many demands, but agreed to go.  But I neglected to find a room in Tokyo thinking I’d stay at the usual place.  But that place was undergoing renovation. Tokyo, a 15 million strong urban area can seem bewildering sometimes to the traveler.  I had to leave the next day and felt an urge to secure something.  I was aware of our CS class notes that spoke of the aerospace engineer who had let spiritual sense tell him the right spot to identify for a weld or bolt on an airplane design. (CSS January 3, 1959, pp. 28-30)  The choice of hotel was through similar prayer in Science.  It wasn’t blind faith but praying to infinite intelligence.  After calm and quiet I felt strongly led to a hotel.

When I arrived the next day I asked the front desk to read the invitation and write a note for the taxi.  The desk person looked up and said it was being held in the building exactly next door to the hotel. In all Tokyo, Mind helped choose a place next door!  There was even a walkway from the hotel the building with a clear, translucent enclosure to protect from rain and elements.

A few years later on a quick and packed trip to Berlin, I was doing a final interview at the down town [Friedrichstrasse] station waiting for a train to the airport. When we got up to leave, my bag with computer, notes, and many valuable items including a friend’s unpublished manuscript, was gone.  I looked everywhere but had to go to the platform. Feeling despair, I called a practitioner.  She told me straight off that she felt the bag would be found.  I felt this was good and understandable “CS talk,” and was right in helping to pull me out of the bad moment.  I got on the train to leave the country, feeling I could work metaphysically to know that I could lose nothing good given by Mind.  I prayed about reconstructing my notes from memory.  Yet Mind had something more graceful to offer, moving forward.  The next day at home 400 miles away the Berlin hotel called to say the police found the bag in a trash can and tracked me through a hotel receipt.  They confirmed the computer and notes were all still there. (I had canceled a back up credit card which in fact turned out to be missing).  I called and told the practitioner, “You have more faith than I do.”  It was an example of grace not just “adequate,” but abounding.  (see II Cor. 9:8)

Last fall came another example. A project seen as good and salient got freighted with contention and personal sense.  Finally there was agreement to allow a brief trip to a US city to meet a group of overseas Chinese Christians that seemed essential to complete a credible product. The trip required doing background plus finding this rather peripatetic group and their organizer and to make calls and simultaneously track other leads.   (Frankly, it felt like being asked to perform a ballet in an elevator car.) I interviewed the main fellow, a Tiananmen survivor, then found out as they moved to another appointment they were leaving the next day.  We agreed I would meet them that night at their hotel, in the suburbs, well outside the city, around dinner.  As late afternoon approached, I got on the subway but after a few stops I felt literally pulled out of the car.  I got off and took the car back several stops.  I felt guided to sit at a place I knew and to wait.  I did so.  And prayerfully worked.  Soon a call from the Chinese minder came saying their plans had changed and they were about to arrive at a Chinese Sichuan restaurant.  Could I please join them shortly?  I said yes, then hung up.  I looked up the address on Google maps and it was my same street three blocks away.  A four-minute walk.  We met amid pork and chili and mapu dofu and had a roaring good talk that helped seal the project and allowed moving forward.  Had I run off to the suburbs there may not have been the same kind of sharing, given that they left in the morning.

The experiences seem to prove how detailed and precise is grace, which humanly can seem gauzy or merely miraculous.  In the same way that the correlative to the “scientific statement of being” is 1 John, what has seemed more clear is that grace is not a happy afterthought or a side benefit but the heart of things, as MBE said about the impetus and impulse of her 1866 discovery. (“Whence came to me…?” S&H 108:1)

Importantly, these examples of grace were not merely clinical!  They brought the overall and very needed joy and inspiration to keep moving amid doubts and complications, brought a joy to go forward, even if other things want to destroy or harm.  That dimension of grace, the coincidence of the human and divine with the human yielding, gave a settled sense of being on the right path even we or the circumstances seem less than perfect.