The phone call
A Christian Science perspective: In search of an honest way to make a living.
No one calls our home phone. We keep it around in case our cellphones go out or for Civil Defense alerts. But one day, its traditional trill rang out, and I was immediately suspicious. By the third ring I answered, “Who’s calling?”
A man responded. “This is Omar. Good afternoon. I’m calling to let you know of a large sum of money in the form of a cashier’s check.”
I resisted the urge to hang up. I was fed up with bogus calls but knew if I hung up, it would perpetuate the problem.
“Omar,” I implored like a mother in an intervention. “You don’t need to do this.“
“You are better than this.”
He went back to his script. “I’m calling about a large sum of money –”
“Omar, what you are doing is dishonest. It’s not right. You don’t have to do this.” He went silent. I told him, “You can change your life and do the right thing – the good and honest thing – right now. What you are doing is so wrong and hurts so many people.”
“Wait a minute,” he countered. “You don’t know me.”
“I know that inside you is an honest man and that you can make an honest living.”
“You don’t know me,” he repeated, frustrated. Then, in a scolding and defiant tone, “You don’t know why I have to do this. You have no idea what my life is like, why I took this job.”
“Ahhh,” my heart softened, “I get it.” We were both quiet for a moment till I broke the silence, “Let’s know that God has a better idea for you and you can listen for it and be obedient to what He is telling you to do. Let’s pray about it.”
Omar asked, “You mean if we pray about it, my life will change?”
“Yes,” I said, with absolute faith that with God all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26).
Omar must have sensed my conviction in the power of prayer and said, “OK” to my suggestion that we pray together.
In our conversation, I explained to him what I knew was true of man’s God-based identity as learned from my study of Christian Science, the Science of Christianity illustrated in Jesus’ life and healing works. We gave thanks that the one all-good God, made and sustains Omar’s true spiritual and perfect identity (see Genesis 1); that Omar, as God’s beloved child, is worthy and deserving of his Father-Mother’s blessing; that his desire to do honest work was a desire to do God’s will; that God blesses his hopes to be good, to love good, and to do good; and that his desire to live a good life can’t help being blessed by God.
After praying this way, I sensed a mutual appreciation for what had become our prayer.
“Love you,” I said.
“Love you, too,” Omar replied as we said good-bye.
After the phone call, I continued to pray to know that no immoral business climate could hinder anyone’s desire to live an honest life. This statement from Christian Science Discoverer Mary Baker Eddy anchored my prayers: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 494). I praised God with gratitude for the plethora of answered prayers in my own life as well as in the lives of others.
For several years, while working in the Middle East as a Christian Science practitioner, I had consistently seen how the families I worked with could leave behind immoral methods of earning money to feed their families. With loving and receptive hearts and minds, we prayed about God being their ever-present Father-Mother – divine Love itself – who cared for them as Love’s precious children. We saw that praying with an understanding of infinite, loving Spirit, resulted in their being supplied with all they needed, including safe housing, jobs, and food.
With so many proofs of God’s care, I’ve learned to pray for others doubt-free. I may never know the exact results of praying with Omar, but as a consummate spiritual healer, Mrs. Eddy expressed her confidence in the positive results of prayer this way: “Regardless of what another may say or think on this subject, I speak from experience. Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God’s gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind” (Science and Health, p. 1).