It was probably because of a junior- high biology class, where we talked about creation. I lay awake for hours one night, thinking about the origin of life, the reality of God, and my place in creation. The details of my young girl's reasoning are vague 40 years later, but I remember arguing backward. If humans came from monkeys, where did monkeys come from? What gave amoeba life? Where did electrical impulses come from? Who made the sun? Instinctively, I knew there was too much order and beauty in the universe for it to be an accidental, chaotic chain reaction of matter.
But the significance of that experience wasn't the accuracy of my theological line of argument. The significance was that whatever depth of thinking was going on made me feel loved and cared for - a fact which, in retrospect, feels like a miracle in itself in light of the painful things I was dealing with. At 12 years old, I was coming out of a history of sexual and physical abuse; my parents would fight so badly that my mother would threaten to take the kids and leave. I was alienated from my mother and had no one to confide in.
But that night at the end of seventh grade, I reasoned about God and my place in the universe and found some comfort, despite all the unresolved issues. Why? Because I believe God was speaking my prayer. He loved me in a way that moved me mentally to a space outside the ugliness that threatened to swallow up my life. It would take another 10 years of struggle to feel worth, purpose, and the confidence to trust another's love, but now I feel an unshakable security in my life that depends only on my relationship to God.
This intimate communication is what made God known in Bible times. God's word called Elijah out of the depths of suicidal tendencies to continue his work despite opposition. David sings in the Psalms of God's comfort when the king he adored pursued him with malicious hate. God's communication guided and reassured prophets like Jeremiah when his people's corruption had brought them into Babylonian captivity. God's word was surely part of the resurrection of Jesus.
The primary evidence for God has never come directly through external circumstance. God has a much less cumbersome (and tidy!) way of making Himself known. He speaks to the human heart, bringing our thought into accord with Him.
The human mind is a thick soup made by all the leftovers in the refrigerator of human experience. But cutting through the soup is a clear channel of communication - God's love making itself known. God is the Mind that gives us fresh ideas when a project gets stuck. God's truth gives us our conscience and keeps nudging us to our highest sense of right. When we feel like we can't figure out who we are, God is the Soul that makes us notice the goodness that is the foundation of our day. When the chaos of human life confuses and scatters our thought, God is the Principle that reestablishes order. It is God's love that tells us we are worthy of love when relationships are broken or strained.
It's true that even when you admit God communicates with us, it still seems like the messages can be erratic, selective, and sometimes unknown for too long a time. But Christian Science explains that the only reliable source of consciousness is the Mind of God, unfolding to His children strength, inspiration, and peace. The belief of human minds separate from God, trapped in the vagaries of materialism, seems to interrupt that communication. But the more we admit we love the freshness of what God reveals, the more we stay close to the good ideas. The good news is that even if we forget this perspective, God's love moves us out of the preoccupation with explaining evil.
The book of Isaiah presents God's word in this way: "My people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I" (52:6).
It is God's divine intention that we know our divine origin and the love with which we have been blessed.
Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness
and leads into all truth.
Mary Baker Eddy
(founder of the Monitor)