Some months ago, I gave a testimony in church about how I had an opportunity to share ideas learnt through Christian Science study. This had happened in the most unlikely setting, and that with a six-year-old!
I remarked in my testimony that I find it easy to share Christian Science in church, at Wednesday evening meetings, and in the Reading Room, but find it difficult when I am around non-Scientists. But even in comfortable settings, I have found that what resonates best with the “sincere seeker” is when I relate my own experiences of relying on Christian Science, rather than just telling about the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings.
Well, last summer my husband and I were in Istanbul for a wedding. The bridegroom was a friend of the family. He and his brother and my two sons were childhood friends. Later on as grown men, there was a period when we were all living in the same city. The older brother’s young daughter would often visit with us and grew very fond of my son. When my son passed on, this family had moved to Singapore, and the little girl’s parents did not have the heart to tell her that my son was no longer with us. Just before we were going to meet for the wedding, her parents gave her the news, and she was very upset.
When I met the girl, she wanted to know why my son wasn’t with us, asking why “God had taken him away.” She had many questions, and when I thought I had answered them all, she looked up and asked, “But is he happy?”
I sensed that she was thirsting for meaningful answers. Right there in the midst of the festivities, I felt that I could do no less than share what I have learnt over the years. So we pulled up two chairs and I told her about God and our Father-Mother’s love for all His children—the old, the not so old, the young—and how His love never dies. I also told her that my son’s love for us all, his intelligence, and his “funniness” (sense of humor), would always be there for him to express and for us to remember and share with others.
As I was thinking of what more to say, I remembered a Christian Science article by Louise Wheatley Cook Hovnanian called “The Passing of the Sea Gull,” about a woman who has lost a loved one (Monitor, 1927). I shared some of the ideas from it—how a bird flies steadily and surely until it becomes a tiny speck in the sky, and finally we don’t see it anymore. Does it mean the bird has stopped flying just because we don’t see it? Does it mean God doesn’t love it anymore?
The little one was satisfied and ran off to play. I heard later that her needs seemed to have been met, and that she was no longer waking up at night with troubled questions.
More recently, I was able to share the article with someone familiar with Christian Science who was angry and frustrated that a young friend had passed on. She was grateful for thoughts shared, as was a relative with whom I had some extensive phone conversations as she was going through challenging times with illness and death in her family.
I am glad that I am more open to sharing with others what has given me so much strength and joy. It almost seems selfish not to share and help heal!