Are you a virgin? I am not asking about your sex life. I am asking about your thought life.
Are you receptive and ready for something new? One definition of virgin is "up to this time unused, unexplored, unworked, undiscovered." How ripe and ready are you to explore new thoughts and to discover new experiences?
Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” And sure enough one did. Mary's pure openness to the infinite possibilities of good, and her consciousness of God as the true creator, brought world rocking, life-saving, problem-solving, death-mastering new experiences to the world through her child, Jesus. This was the sign then. Could it still be the sign now?
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Have you ever considered that you may have a place in that prophecy? That you may be a present day expression of that virgin thought?
Now stay with me here. I am not talking about birthing babies or second Christs.
I am suggesting that we can be more - in fact, we must be more - open to the possibilities of the amazing and wonderful in our lives. Humanity is ripe and ready for more and more amazing proofs of God.
Mary was completely open to God. Her pure conception of God as the source and originator of good ushered the Messiah into the world. Christ Jesus healed the sick and dying, and brought the dead back to life. His teaching redirected the world away from the dogma of a far-off salvation and pointed to the vibrant, practical spirituality that is here and now, to be lived today.
Through her discovery of the Christ Science, Mary Baker Eddy perceived and proved the possibilities of healing through a better understanding of God as divine Love. She founded a movement on the healing power of the Christ - a movement that is reinstating primitive Christian healing in the world.
What now? Who now? Could it be that we, too, have thoughts to think and work to do that is uniquely our own?
Perchance some one of you may say,
There are no limits to the good that your virgin thought can accomplish.
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Gertrude Stein wrote in her book Everybody's Autobiography (1937), "It takes a lot of time to be a genius. You have to sit around so much, doing nothing, really doing nothing."
I must say I do agree. At least it can look that way to an observer. And it often feels that way to the one going through the process of sitting, thinking, squirming, waiting, wondering, gazing out the window, staring at the wall, clipping fingernails, thinking... all the while waiting for some outward sign of forward movement.
Oh, how many times have I experienced just that. Each time I think I will discover some new way to circumvent the process. And then, here we go again.
A couple of years ago, I was in the middle of what looked and felt like a "doing nothing" patch. I had been staring at the walls for a decent chunk of time as January dragged into February. When it looked like February might pass into March without much to say for it, I reached out to a Christian Science practitioner for help.
Christian Science practitioners (like me) pray for people to help them out of stuck places in their lives. I wasn't sure what I was looking for from this prayer, other than the ability to trust that all this quiet, and thinking, and sitting, and doing nothing but scrutinize my white walls, was OK... And to know that I wasn't nuts. Because, frankly, I wondered what was wrong with me that nothing seemed to be going on in my life.
So she prayed for me until I saw the reinforcing power that develops in deep periods of quiet. I would describe what I saw this way:
Think of the formation of a wave. A wave develops well under the surface on the ocean floor. The current (think undertow, when it happens near the shore) pulls back, and finally pushes up, propelling the water forward with amazing force. We glory in the beauty of the activity on the surface, not always recognizing the invisible, silent, essential build-up of strength that precedes it.
I turn to Mary Baker Eddy for a clear description of the metaphysics of this wave development. She wrote, "Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause, — wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 323)
No matter what it looks like on the surface, something powerful is happening.
I have been a pusher all my life. But I love to think now of these strength-yielding pauses. I believe it is absolutely essential to allow oneself the mental space - white wall space - to pause, to be - to think and wonder and even squirm (!), - as one waits on the onward push of God, omniactive good.
Its not really a time thing. I have had pauses that last but a second before the next breakers of inspiration jettison me forward onto the shore of some new adventure or activity. Others have been long. Really long. What looked, up close, to be a two month pause a couple of years ago, was really the last momentum-gathering undertow at the end of a six year deep-think pause. But the force of that build-up has carried me through some of my most productive and interesting years yet.
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Perhaps because I have myself experienced loss, these poetic words of Mary Baker Eddy have a special place in my heart: "The wintry blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.57)
Eddy includes in her Miscellaneous Writings what seems to me to be a companion piece to that passage, giving an explanation of the new growth and spiritual awakening that often follows particularly difficult life experiences.
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no