One of my favourite hymns in the new Christian Science Hymnal Supplement is number 521, which begins: “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me”. Of course, the message in this hymn is particularly apt at the moment when thinking of the situation in Ukraine, but it also applies in our own everyday lives, in our contact with family, friends, neighbours and even strangers. In this hymn, I love the lines: “With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow: To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!”
I had a very small experience last week where I felt this sense of harmony and fellowship with a complete stranger. I had parked the car in the local multi-storey car park on my way to do the weekly shop, and I had joined the queue to pay the parking fee. The lady in front of me appeared to be having difficulty in paying for her ticket..she was trying to use her credit card, but it wasn’t working, and she was getting more and more flustered and upset. She looked at me apologetically, and without thinking I said to her, “How much money are you needing to pay for your ticket?” She replied, “Just £1, but I haven’t got any change on me, and the machine won’t accept my credit card!” And there and then it seemed the most natural thing in the world to give her a £1 coin. She looked at me rather increduously, and said, “Are you sure? I won’t see you again, so I won’t be able to pay you back”, to which I replied, “No worries...just pay it forward! Next time you see someone in need and you are in a position to help, then you can repay my kindness by being kind to someone else!” Her face lit up, and she said, “What a lovely idea! I will certainly do
that!” With that, I wished her a happy Easter, and then headed off to the shops.
Returning to the car about an hour later, I noticed something sitting on my windscreen. Puzzled, I picked it up, and found it was a chocolate Easter egg, and scribbled on the packaging were these words:
“Happy Easter from the lady you gave the £1 to. Julie. Xxx”.
Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love”. Standing in that car park I just felt the presence of divine Love, and I am sure this dear lady would have felt it, too. As I drove home, words from Hymn 521 came clearly to thought: “With God our creator, we are family. Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony”.