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Five smooth stones

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

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I love taking long walks on the beach at sunrise or sunset. A couple of summers ago, stepping out for one of these early morning treks, I felt reluctant about going.

I'd been at the seashore for almost a month, but I hadn't been able to take my walks. I felt there was something physically wrong with me – something inside me that didn't belong. I suspected a tumor. My pants weren't buttoning, and the symptoms were frightening. I didn't have a medical diagnosis, because I was treating myself by the spiritual means I'd always used in the past.

That morning I went anyway, praying to God for support – to be more aware of His presence than of this condition.

As I walked, I picked up a sea-worn pebble, which brought to mind a Bible story that mentions smooth stones. When David was preparing to meet Goliath, he used smooth stones as weapons instead of the unfamiliar gear that had been offered him.

Goliath has always represented to me a looming threat, and David's stones, familiar ideas that would defend against such an enemy. As I walked I collected five beautiful stones – all different shapes and colors. I didn't know what David's stones were meant to represent, but I listened in prayer to hear what spiritual facts might come to my defense and comfort me in my battle for health and peace. They came like this:

1. God made me.
2. God loves me.
3. God maintains me.
4. God showers me with blessings.
5. These are permanent facts – true now and always.

These thoughts gave me something inspiring to work with. I lined up the stones along my window, and each time I saw them, I remembered what each one represented.

A couple of months later, while on the beach on a blustery fall day, some wild weather blew in, and I was nowhere close to home. I could barely stand against the wind.

It was a metaphor for my feelings. I felt worn out from fighting this condition. I needed inspiration, a message from God to help face down this Goliath. Drenched in rainy tears, I stopped and asked myself, What are you so afraid of? The reply came: The problem is that, although you've faced down many things in your life, you have never felt such despair.

At first it made sense. But then I remembered some of the spiritual healings I'd had in the past, and I realized that fear had been a factor – even the threat of death. And each time, those threats had been faced down through prayer.

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