Individual Issues

June 20, 2002

When the real is attained, which is announced by Science, joy is no longer a trembler, nor is hope a cheat.

Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy

Our topic arose after work on core issues over two weeks and was meant to give us some space to handle whatever residues remained.

Two new problems came up during the week and demanded immediate attention.

One member's ex-lover, now long-term roommate, became seriously ill and had to be taken to a hospital. While not a Christian Scientist, he had many times over the years responded to Christian Science treatment. This time our member sought the help of a practitioner to steady his thought as he visited the hospital. He was careful to see the divinity not only of his friend but also the other patients, their loved ones and the staff. Some of our readings are those he prayed with during the week.

Other members offered support and comfort to this member during the week and at the meeting. A calm and sober assessment of the presence of eternal Life pervaded sharing on this situation.

The other issue, while referring to last week's meeting, came to a head this week. One member felt that she had been the object of incendiary remarks by two other members and sent us a letter to be read at the meeting. Here's how it concluded: "That anyone in a supposedly spiritual meeting could find these actions either acceptable or appropriate appalls me. They were neither considerate nor respectful, as our guidelines suggest we be. And they were certainly not spiritual. I am deeply disappointed. This is not a meeting I could ever attend again."

Several members took the letter-writer's address and phone number to explore the situation and offer whatever conciliatory action was possible. One member said he had left the meeting last week unsure that he would come back, but decided the strengths of our format outweigh its dangers. He said however that we need to be vigilant to keep Love at the helm of thought in our meeting so that when potentially wounding statements are flung about we can quickly work things through to a healing solution. "Love is the only thing that matters."

We may eventually devote a meeting — or several — to the issues which appear to be driving last week's incident. They are:

1) How do we change our format or preamble? Is it a chairperson's choice to do so or do we need a more formal procedure, like a business meeting?

2) Are non-LGBT people welcome at the meeting as full members?

3) Can we feel free to come or not come to meetings as the spirit moves us, without any need to generate a regular attendance record?

4) Is there a level of pain and resulting animosity below the surface in the above that could be cracked open for real healing?

For next week, which is Gay Pride Week in New York City, we wanted to focus on some aspect of that and selected Enlightenment.

The Bible

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy

As the children of Israel were guided triumphantly through the Red Sea, the dark ebbing and flowing tides of human fear,—as they were led through the wilderness, walking wearily through the great desert of human hopes, and anticipating the promised joy,—so shall the spiritual idea guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, from a material sense of existence to the spiritual, up to the glory prepared for them who love God. Stately Science pauses not, but moves before them, a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night, leading to divine heights.

If man ever existed without this perfect Principle or Mind, then man's existence was a myth.

The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history.

Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must "have her perfect work."

You render the divine law of healing obscure and void, when you weigh the human in the scale with the divine, or limit in any direction of thought the omnipresence and omnipotence of God.

Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard or check its perpetual and harmonious action.

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