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To love beyond ourselves

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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A young mom was sitting in a grocery store parking lot late at night, wondering if she had the mental stability to go in and get what was needed for the boys' school lunches in the morning. The intensity of her single motherhood was overwhelming her yet again, and she didn't know how she would have the courage to keep going.

Sitting behind the wheel, she felt that her prayers were telling her that the blessing of going into the store would be greater than sitting in the car, so once again God gave her composure.

And then in the second aisle, she found the unknown friend who would teach her the lesson in love she needed. The new friend was a very short woman who couldn't reach the shelf that held the cans of large black olives. Instinctively, the troubled mom picked up the four cans, and they both acknowledged how good it was that they were on sale.

Then, the woman turned to the mother with such sincere love in her eyes and said, "Thank you so much." And without hesitation she added, "This is how I will honor your good deed: I'm going to look for a way to help someone else, and when I'm helping them, I'm going to remember this moment when you did this kind thing for me."

The young mom had to turn away quickly to hide the sudden tears that were warm on her cheeks. Somehow this stranger's generous grace had broken the spell of the loneliness and fear. The inspiration she'd received in the car was true: The blessing of making the effort to go into the store had proved to be greater than sitting in the car, because being in the store had given her a natural way to love and be loved.

The next morning, making the lunches seemed easier than before. There was a lightness and gratitude for the opportunity to be with her children. She didn't marry again until several years after they'd left home, but those years together were some of their happiest.

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