“the sweet and steady and certain joy of spiritual growth”

A week before receiving the assignment for 2014, I finished reading We Knew Mary Baker Eddy vol. II.  The last three reminiscences had particularly caught my thought that time around - those of Dickey, Still, and Rathvon.  In particular, I loved “sitting” with each of them and learning of the day to day with Mary Baker Eddy.  Rathvon’s writing had a warm, loving, steadiness to it and even a playfulness that I particularly appreciated.  In many ways it made Mary Baker Eddy so much more real to me as I read how she lived the lessons she learned in Christian Science.  The work she and these students did required such focus and courage and unselfing, but it is doable by each of us.

During the second reading, it was the first few reminiscences that particularly spoke to me.  As part of the Federal Office of the Christian Science Committee on Publication, I’ve been working on passing a piece of legislation.  Suddenly there came virulent opposition to Christian Science from various entities.  I hadn’t experienced that before. But the reminiscences in WKMBE vol II kept me upright.  I paid keen attention to the fact that opposition - much of it ugly and hateful - had dogged their steps all along, and even more so those of Mrs. Eddy.  Their examples inspired me deeply and Mrs. Eddy’s directives, such as “Always clinch your argument against evil saying, ‘It cannot abide, it cannot harm, for God fills all space, all time. God is the only presence’” were waymarks as we moved forward each day.  I saw how Church and Christian Science were ALL to Sawyer and Weller and all of them - well, God was all and this was their straight and narrow way in the world with God.

We Knew Baker Eddy, vol. II book showed me so much and continues to as I turn back to it.  From the directive that we are to swiftly handle destructive weather rather than just checking our phones for it, being impressed, and dressing accordingly (!), to the singular focus on practicing Christian Science rather than on achieving personal career goals and human comforts, to the unvarnished examples that sometimes, maybe even often, is a “rugged way” but absolutely worth it, to the sweet and steady and certain joy of spiritual growth and power to do unrivaled good for a world that aches - all of it showed me that I need to do much, much more.  I need to not be sabotaged by the inner thoughts that tie me up sometimes.  I need to love God with all the might and delight there is.

Mrs. Eddy’s leadership empowered her students to follow where she had walked, but it also enabled them to lead others forward through dynamic Christian healing.  Of course this leadership continues!  Her leadership is absolutely challenging and cutting edge and adventurous!  Of course, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, stands alone, but these books similarly (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy vol. I and vol. II) are never old, never dull, never irrelevant or out of date.  Also, most importantly, Mrs. Eddy’s leadership wasn’t about her but about the underlying Principle of good that she understood and is right there for us to know and live in.