Neighbourly harmony


One of the things I love about Christian Science is how it becomes a way of life for us, even in the minutiae of day-to-day living. Mrs. Eddy writes, “By purifying human thought, this state of mind permeates with increased harmony all the minutiae of human affairs”.

In the last few days, we have witnessed a wonderful unfoldment with our next-door neighbours. Over the years, this  particular household has proved challenging in various ways, not least in relation to their trees which overhang our garden. We have experienced various tricky moments with these neighbours, and at one point, I remember companioning closely with Mrs. Eddy’s definition of Gethsemane: “Love, meeting no response, but still remaining love”.

Over many months, after much prayer, the situation thawed and improved, and eventually we were exchanging garden produce with them, and chatting amicably ove rthe garden wall. Since then, the wife has passed on, and we have kept in touch with the husband from time to time.

Recently, we noticed that a huge tree in his garden had begun to lean heavily towards our boundary wall... during storms and high winds, this fir tree looked as if it might topple over into our garden at any moment! Mrs.Eddy’s definition of WIND was reassuring at these times: “That which indicates the might of omnipotence, and the movements of God’s spiritual government, encompassing all things”.

After a recent windy day, I decided the moment had come to approach the husband next door, asking him politely if he would consider having this particular fir tree lopped, or even removed, as it was causing us a great deal of anxiety, especially during stormy weather. But every time I thought of walking round to his house, I found myself hesitating... having seen uncomfortable situations with this household resolved in the past, there was no way I wanted to risk upsetting the status quo. The weeks went by, and I continued to feel uneasy about approaching the husband regarding the overhanging tree, which was looking more precarious with each passing day!

Then on Monday this week, Martin felt impelled to ring the husband and offer him some home-made soup. This dear one having recently been widowed, Martin thought that some mushroom soup would probably be most welcome. As they chatted over the garden wall, the husband suddenly said to Martin, “Oh, by the way, I’ve got a tree surgeon coming over in the next few weeks to do some work for me...would you like him to trim any trees which are overhanging your garden, or that may be causing you some concern?”

Without a word having been said to him, or without us appraising him of our fears about his fir tree, the offer to deal with the situation had come from him, in a very friendly and neighbourly manner. Later in the day, I rang this dear man to thank him for his thoughtfulness... he readily understood our concerns, and reassured us that the tree surgeon would be taking steps to make the tree safe.

There’s a paragraph in the article GOD’S LAW OF ADJUSTMENT, by Adam Dickey, which I have always found so comforting. By turning to God in any challenging situation, the answer is always at hand. Mr. Dickey writes, “When we are willing to give up our frightened and uncertain sense of things and let the divine Mind govern, then and then only shall we behold that “all things work together for good to them that love God”. It makes no difference how much is at stake or what is involved, if we succeed in getting ourselves out of the way, we can then be satisfied with the words of the prophet: ‘The battle is not yours, but God’s...Set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord’ “.

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