This quote from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 1:-1 was beautifully illustrated to my husband and I last weekend.
We decided to go out for brunch in a small urban village area that has a variety of independent shops as well as lovely coffee shops.
I dropped my husband off and drove round to find a parking place. On my second circuit I saw a man indicating a parking place, so gratefully used it. When I got out I thanked him he said you are right by the pay machine too. I was going to use the parking app on my phone but he said it wasn’t working so I would need to use my debit card.
As I was beginning to enter all the details into the machine I suddenly became aware that he was right behind me and then he began to talk to me flapping piece of paper close to my face. As I turned to ask him to step back he nudged me over and took my card out of the machine and ran off with another man down the busy street.
My immediate reaction was to shout, extremely loudly, that he had taken my card. As I stood there and within seconds, a large bag of cat litter was dropped by my feet, with the words ‘look after this’. A young man dressed in running clothes then sprinted off in pursuit. I watched him disappear down the road but the men with my card got away in a car before he reached them. However, he then stepped into the road, flagged down a passing car, got in and it drove off.
I found myself in a complete daze as this incident had only taken a couple of minutes but immediately people came forward to offer help and someone kindly found the number for the bank so I could stop my card being used.
The driver and the man who gave pursuit came back after about twenty minutes – they had been able to follow the car for a while but then lost sight along busy roads. Someone else came up with them with all the details of the getaway car. They even called the police for us.
To say I was grateful is an understatement. The outstanding expressions of love, unselfishness and genuine care for us were incredible. At every step our needs were met and as we left to go home these words from the Bible came to me.
‘The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
However as the day progressed I began to feel very unsettled and felt I should have been more alert to the situation I had found myself in. Vulnerability, ‘being a target’ and part of my identity being stolen were aspects that were particularly troubling.
I needed to restore my sense of peace and equilibrium and as a Christian Scientist I turned to God to find comfort and guidance. Over the next few days, I found many inspiring ideas. I affirmed that as a spiritual child of God, my true identity was intact and untouched. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health ‘The Divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal’ (p 70)
I reasoned that as God supplies only good, it can never be taken away from us. Honesty is a God given quality and no event can change the purity that we all possess.
The subject of the Bible Lesson that week was ‘Love’ and it sustained and strengthened me in so many ways and clearly showed me that ‘Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need’ (S & H p. 494:10-11)
My human needs that Saturday were considerable but looking back, every single aspect was immediately and lovingly taken care of by people I had never met but they all expressed generosity and love in the most unselfish ways. At every step there was someone to help and in writing this testimony I suddenly realised too that at no point at all was any criticism, anger or negativity expressed by anyone about the men who took my card.
The Lord will hear before we call,
And every need supply;
Good things are freely given to all
Who on His word rely.
We come today to bring Him praise
Not for such gifts alone,
But for the higher, deeper ways
In which His love is shown.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 342:2)
I share this experience with deep gratitude that God did hear before I called and more than supplied my every need!