When a first grader made a passing remark to his Sunday School class about suicide, his teacher couldn’t imagine that the remark had any real weight of conviction behind it. So, it passed by with only a brief response. The following week when the child brought up the subject again, it was once more dealt with lightly at first. But the teacher discerned that the boy was reaching out for help. Throughout the next week she prayed for guidance on how to meet the needs of everyone in the Sunday School class, including this boy.
The next Sunday it became apparent that this child, whose mother had recently passed on, was becoming more and more convinced that his own death would reconnect him with happiness. The depth of his yearning was surfacing. The teacher prayed to hear and respond to the Christ, the spiritual idea of God that heals. A great way of thinking of the Christ is, "..the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to man speaking to the human consciousness." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p.332) She wanted to give the child an answer that would go beyond temporary comfort over the loss of his mother so the teacher turned her attention to listening for the Christ - the divine message that would meet the need...
An inspired turning point
Turning to her Bible, she opened to the story of the patriarch Jacob, and read aloud the story of Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons (see Gen. 37:1-36; 39:1-45:11). Jacob loved his son Joseph deeply and showered him with affection. This stirred up jealousy and resentment in Joseph’s brothers. When she came to this point, the teacher stopped reading. Turning to the class, she said, “You know, if Jacob had known his other children as well as he knew Joseph, he would have loved them just as much.”
This was a completely original thought; she had never seen the story in this light before, and knew the source of the inspiration to be God. Her prayers were answered. The boy immediately shared his feeling that his father seemed to love his brother more; but now he realized his father just needed to get to know him better. His face shone for the remainder of the class. He even sat up straighter as if some great burden had lifted. After class, the teacher was inspired to share the boy’s sudden realization with his father, who was deeply moved. He quietly responded, saying, “Thank you.”
The next Sunday, the child walked into Sunday School arm in arm with Dad. He was effusive with joy. He spoke of all the things they had been doing together during the week. For his remaining two years in that class, he made no other mention of death or of suicide. Today he is a healthy, happy, and secure young man.
Making a real difference
This teacher had been praying, and her prayer led her to the answer that would speak right to the need. Helpful words are not enough without a spiritual foundation to hold them up. The teacher’s inspired words sprang from her understanding of God, divine Love, and her own heartfelt conviction of the divine power of the Christ to bring healing. Her words rested on the foundation of spiritual understanding. Her intuition was open to God’s directing.
Everyone longs to feel loved and embraced by good. We can each hear the message that helps us know that our divine Father-Mother never abandons its creation. This loving Parent seeks us out the way the sunlight seeks its object. God’s love for us simply is. And divine Love, God, shining everywhere, is so practical, tangible, accessible. Love can be felt. Love leaves no one out.
Taking it to the streets
Let the love of Love be reflected in your thought and words today. Let someone near you know how truly precious they are. Listen, pray. Love will show you the way.
The links in this blog all lead to a deeper exploration of the highlighted subject. I hope you find them helpful, and I look forward to reading your comments!
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