Last week a member of this church – a mother - relayed a testimony about the removal of fear for her daughter and the freedom of trusting her to Father Mother Love.
I am that daughter. Thank you to whoever is reading this.
Like another family member who has graced the auditorium and airwaves this way, my perspective embraces – but has widened beyond – the Christian Science doctrine alone. However, it feels right to honour Christian Science tonight, and in particular: my Christian Science upbringing; this church and the accessibility it provides through Zoom and SoundCloud; Mary Baker Eddy (a poet like me) and the inspirational and healing gifts I continue to enjoy – often prompted by the hymnbook or via my parents.
As to this testimony? It’s rather paradoxical because it’s about NOT praying! Part of my expression of life and truth is supporting Extinction Rebellion’s activities. In the week preceding their actions in which I was involved, I shared my movements with my mum and dad in order to reassure them where I’d be and the underlying care the organisation took for its members’ wellbeing.
However, love’s learnings sometimes come in odd disguises! I received a call at a particularly inopportune moment from my dad. The media had been warning of mass arrests. He voiced their deep concerns. I was defensive and strident – barely letting him get a word in edgeways. Their worry upset me far more than the forthcoming actions!
It felt like a pretty inharmonious exchange. And I had signed up to non-violent behaviour! But more than that, I was filled with anxiety at the prospect of mum and dad praying furiously for me for days on end.
So, we come to the crux of this experience… As my mum explained last week, she surrendered me to Father Mother Love and became free of fear as she trusted. Meanwhile, I was doing the same for her and my dad, surrendering them, their worries and my worries about them to Father Mother Love. Unaware of each other’s prayerful journeys, we each turned to the hymnbook. And what rang through my ears was this stanza (and like my mum I often replace God/Thee with the word ‘Love’): ‘I love thy way of freedom, Lord, To serve Love is my choice, In Love’s clear light of Truth I rise And, listening for Love’s voice, I hear Love’s promise old and new, That bids all fear to cease: My presence still shall go with thee And I will give thee peace.’
I emailed an apology to my dad, filled with love, but still feeling free to serve in this way. The worry and irritation were replaced by great compassion and appreciation for my parents, and all parents. When I arrived for breakfast last Monday, there was a joyful welcome. There was a sense of confidence and closeness between us which was deeper, different. Before I set off, we all sang Hymn 99 which is about being safe under Love’s wings. My parents seemed quite relaxed! My mum even said they wouldn’t be praying for me because they were leaving it up to God. And, paradoxically, this gave me great relief and peace… Needless to say, I was in exactly the right spots at the right moment and met only warmth and grace from everyone I encountered, including police.
I am deeply grateful for the way Christian Science has taught me to treat every experience as a place in which peace, love and gratitude can grow, and especially for Mrs Eddy’s inclusion of the feminine ‘Mother’ in her definition of God. Thank you.