I didn’t realise when I first read Mary Baker Eddy’s words in Science and Health, how they had resonated in my own life.
“John the Baptist prophesied the coming of the immaculate Jesus, and John saw in those days the spiritual idea as the Messiah, who would baptize with the Holy Ghost, - divine Science.” (561:32-3)
A staunch Baptist Nanny brought Christianity into our Jewish family before my siblings and I were born. She quietly lived her faith, her rock-like strength steadying our family through many years of choppy waters. Later, her religious conviction paved the way for Christian Science to enter our home which changed my life forever.
Two special memories have always stayed with me:
Each Sunday evening before putting on her best hat and coat and leaving for her church service, she sat at the kitchen table singing along with the BBC radio program “Hymns of Praise.” Her purity and love made an impression I shall always remember.
I remember her bible stories as she towelled me dry on her lap after bath time. My favourite was hearing how Jesus called Zacchaeus down from the sycamore tree with the words “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.“ She shrilled the words “come down” which I kept asking her to repeat! (Luke 19:5)
Did I know that years later, in my late teens and in great need, Nanny’s Christian living had been planting seeds of love in our home, tucked away waiting to sprout.
When a friend later introduced me to Christian Science and I began reading Science and Health, its truth never let go of me. It’s been a foundation for my life ever since. (see testimony, Christian Science Sentinel, September 5th 1994)
In her later years Nanny loved the Christian Science Sentinel magazines, sharing them with others in her Baptist Care Home. She stood firm when the manager asked her to stop the magazines being sent to her. Nanny replied: “The magazines are all about God and healing!” She didn’t budge and she won the day as the Sentinels continued their healing journey into the care home to be shared with her friends and with others beyond its walls.
Nanny loved Christmas and introduced us to all its traditions but more significantly to Christianity. When I began my study of Christian Science which explained that God was loving and unchangeable, it had a marked effect, bringing a new tranquility to our turbulent family life.
I’ve never stopped thanking God for sending Nanny and her unshakeable Christian faith to our family. And In her twilight years whenever I thanked her for coming to look after us and bringing the Christ into our home, she just smiled. I think she knew she’d done God’s work.
The marginal heading in the above Science and Health citation “Spiritual idea revealed” is exactly what happened in our family, the Holy Ghost, divine Science brought unimaginable freedom and spiritual progress into our lives.