1. What did you find in the book that you would particularly like to pass along to fellow Scientists or family members or even those who know little of Christian Science?
I found the experience of Jennie Sawyer, right at the start of this volume, so engaging and inspiring, that I have recommended it to several fellow church members and other Scientists. I have found numerous experiences conveyed in her account, and in others, particularly helpful in relation to practice. I found opportunity to share some of what I read with family members or friends, particularly a couple who have left the church.
Most recently, three friends from the past were in contact with me, all of whom expressed some apology that they are not really practicing C.S., because their church closed, or because their church was sold and torn down, or because they have been too busy taking care of grandchildren. In each case, attending church or reading the lesson seemed to be the criteria for “practicing” Christian Science. This prompted me to mention some of these early workers who had no church, but needed so much the truth of what Mrs. Eddy was demonstrating and sharing in sermons and classes that they gave up careers and lifestyles to learn more of the truth of being, the truth that was healing them and others quickly, and that they wanted to know more of.
The fact that the Sawyers even gave up long-held practices as good Protestants and lost friends in the process, opened the way for them to also give up the medical opinions as well that Jennie could never be healed.
I will be seeing one of these friends who claims she isn’t really “practicing” Christian Science because her church closed. It has made me wonder if those who know relatively little of Christian Science are sometimes in a better situation than those who know Christian Science mostly through conventional modes and manners. In a way, it made me grateful for tough lessons, difficult, unsought experiences which turned me without reservation to God, good, perhaps because I felt so desperate. Facing these difficult experiences and turning to God, never failed to help me to understand more of the Christian Science Mrs. Eddy articulates in Science and Health.
2. Describe what you yourself felt from reading the book. Did it raise questions about how your own life could change during this crucial time in order to bring your best to serve this Cause? What can we learn from the sacrifices of the early workers and their obedience to Mrs. Eddy’s leadership? How does this leadership continue into the second century of Christian Science?
What I felt from reading the book was deep gratitude for the persistence of Mrs. Eddy, no matter how much resistance she faced, and for the loyal efforts of these early workers to follow what she was teaching, to follow the Christ-example, to learn the lessons of self-abnegation, surrender to the Christ, trust in divine Love. Most of all, throughout the reminiscences, there is a theme that she relied so unwaveringly on divine Love that her demand that the workers express that love of Love without fail as in the account by Clara Shannon. (pp. 211-213)