A Christian Science perspective.
Many years ago I was introduced to Christian Science by a neighbor. In our interactions I began to pick up bits and pieces of spiritual insight, and I often found myself thinking about Christian Science in times of need. One day I gave her a drawing I’d made her as a gift. She was always encouraging me to draw and share my talent with others. But time went on, and I eventually moved to another location and we simply lost touch. I later learned she had passed away, but I always considered myself fortunate to have met her.
One day, about a year ago, I was sitting on my deck and trying to pray through one of those times of need. As I sat watching birds fly overhead, I envied their ability to simply “lift off” at a moment’s notice. They had no baggage or responsibility, as I felt I did with a home, bills to pay, and a child to raise on my own. At that time I felt extremely out of place in my community and my life in general. I wanted a fresh start and was convinced that the only way to obtain it was to “fly away.” It seemed nothing I did was helping to bring about the life I envisioned for myself and desperately wanted.
I attended some Christian Science church services, but I didn’t feel I fit in with the congregation. I had a steady job with good benefits, but I wasn’t inspired by my work. I wanted a life filled with joy and passion and glorious relationships. A life that allowed me to use the talents God had given me.
I prayed for an opportunity to relocate and have a new beginning. Suddenly, this thought came to me: “You will know you’re home when you see a dove over the doorway of thought.” At first I thought I might have read that line somewhere in Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, but after I searched her works without finding the image referenced anywhere, I recognized that this might be God telling me I would find a peaceful resolution to my problem.
Though I found some comfort in the beauty of that idea, my circumstances did not change. I never found any dove over the doorway of a new residence, and I still felt unsettled. For a while, this thought was just another vague notion of God and His existence. I believed God was there, but I didn’t feel He was communicating anything to me that related to my daily life.
The book of Proverbs in the Bible says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (23:7). I saw that I had accepted the notion that I was trapped in a place that was not fulfilling and satisfying, and that unless I relocated, nothing would change for the better in my life. I decided to really apply myself to understanding God and Christian Science. The more I engaged in study and prayer, the more I began to see that “the loveliness of Love is all around,” as is described in the “Christian Science Hymnal” (Violet Hay, No. 64). Slowly, my spiritual awareness started to grow – allowing me to see home as a state of divine Mind. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Every step towards goodness is a departure from materiality, and is a tendency towards God, Spirit” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 213).
I’ve seen that the more I’ve committed to studying Christian Science, the more my sense of materiality has dropped away and the more my outlook has improved.
Recently, I was getting ready to take a walk when a woman came up my driveway. I recognized her as the daughter of the woman who had introduced me to Christian Science all those years ago. She had tracked me down to return the drawing I’d given her mother. She had been going through the family belongings, and she thought her mother would have wanted me to have the picture back. It was a drawing of a bird. Before this experience, I was unsure of God’s love for me and whether He’d heard my prayers for a fresh start. But when the drawing was returned to me, I instinctively knew it was the sign I’d been looking for; it was my “dove over the doorway of thought.”
For a long time, I had narrowed my view of home so much that I’d really only been concerned with its location. But, of course, home is God, Love itself. On page 215 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes, “being cannot be lost while God exists.” Neither can home.
When our eyes are spiritually opened, we’re free to experience all the good God has in store for us. Following this experience, I attended Christian Science Primary class instruction to develop a better understanding of God and myself as His image. I’m also enrolled in a college program starting next year and am preparing to pursue a new career path. I feel fearless, secure, and that whatever I attempt is blessed because God is good. I realize my home is “new” after all, because I’ve committed to Christian Science and I’m finally gaining a real relationship with God after all these years.
Mrs. Eddy often describes man as the spiritual image and likeness of God. If God is whole and complete, then I can, as God’s image, rest assured that I am also whole and complete. Part of being whole is feeling a sense of security and belonging, which I now know is possible anywhere.
Adapted from The Christian Science Journal.