Kicked to the curb–for good
I grew up in Christian Science, but I avoided learning about Mary Baker Eddy’s life for a long time. I knew a few people when I was growing up that seemed to put Eddy on par with Christ Jesus. It made me uncomfortable. So, I didn’t read anything about her life until I was in my mid-twenties. What I learned gave me an entirely new perspective on Christian Science, and on myself.
There was this moment in Eddy’s life that really stood out to me–a moment of decision. She had just been thrown out of yet another boarding house because the owner did not understand that Eddy’s ability to heal was a good thing. With her only earthly possessions, a bag with her few clothes and a wooden chair, Eddy stood in the cold rain with nowhere to go. Family had offered to take her in before, but only if she would give up her search for a deeper understanding of God, stop healing, and live quietly as a proper lady should.
I couldn’t imagine what must have been going through her head as she stood on that curb. Whatever it was, though, she did not give up.
Eddy had the kind of love for others that helped her move forward no matter what obstacle seemed to get in her way. That scene from Eddy’s life then, was and has continued to be, inspiring and motivating. Studying and practicing Christian Science is a privilege for me. It gives me the tools to get through the challenges in my life and to take full advantage of the good. However, it is not always an easy way to live (but what way is?). When I feel stuck, without answers, or if a physical healing is taking more time than I would like, I remember Eddy, homeless in the cold rain with nothing but a bag and a chair. I remember that it was her love of God and mankind that gave her the courage and strength to press on when the future was unknown and human comfort invisible.
That original experience of learning a bit about Eddy taught me that there was a way to get to know her, her struggles and triumphs, that would inspire me without getting too much into her personality, or tipping the scale over into inappropriate adulation. In a way, she has become a friend–someone I can look up to who did so much good–but also someone who had her own struggles and less than perfect moments. Maybe she made her way through it all by remembering how much she loved.
I can do that. I can remember to love when fear and frustration try to fill my thought and I can know where my ability to love comes from. I can remember to love when everything seems too challenging for me to handle. I can remember to love when it’s all really good, too. And if I get stuck or make mistakes, I have a great example to follow in Mary Baker Eddy. It’s an example that always, always leads me back to trust in God.Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at 10:04 am | Follow responses with the RSS feed
Topics: Mary Baker Eddy | Tags: boarding house, evicted, eviction, homeless, homelessness, outcast, renter