Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Keeping the connection with our children

Idea to practice: equality

At this point in our teen age sons' lives, they are finding their own way, their own likes and dislikes, political voice or lack of it, interests and finding out what are definitely NOT interests, etc.

Since considering having children, my husband and I have committed to seeing them as complete, not as little empty vessels waiting for us to mold and shape them. But really seeing that they are children of God, complete, entire, with their own God-given mission and direction. We are the ones priviliged enough to take care of them as they grow. Raising them has been an adventure as their own tastes and values grow, determining more and more their mission in life.

I have a framed poem On Children by Kahlil Gibran, given to me by a wise friend to celebrate the birth of my first son years ago.

On Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

That poem has constantly reminded me of the role each of us plays, and the equal respect and dignity each of us is expected to show toward each other. Now, one son is already out of the house and the other should be around for another 4 1/2 years. But this time goes by in a flash. Cliche, yes, but true!

So us, being the bow, and them, being the arrow, how can we keep the connection while honoring their steps into manhood? I think the best advice I ever heard was:

Don't make a big deal of it.

Keeping the connections open and being available are so important. One friend has taken up knitting. Her focus is on knitting which makes it a safe place for her son to crash into the couch next to her and talk. Driving also works, while your kid is at the wheel. Another friend cracks open a book and reads near a warm fire, making her accessible and interruptible at the same time. Talking, while doing something else makes things easier.

I am finding that conversations are becoming more conversational instead of instructional. Their ideas, questions, dreams and ambitions are blossoming and taking root. And they are starting to find their own answers. As one friend said, you are moving from a child/parent relationship to a place where you both act out from the fact that you are both children of God - on equal footing.

So, how do you keep connections with your kids??

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Beauty - redefined

Spiritual resource to share: Beauty

I am so into this new television series “Ugly Betty”! In a word, it is a television series centered on an average looking girl with a big heart who breaks into the glamorous world of fashion magazines. It takes the growing Latino population in the US and the backlash about the extremes of physical beauty and blends it into a series of engaging stories about what it means to be truly beautiful.

Family values, morality tales, unselfishness, and an unflappably good soul are all given top billing here. And like most popular programs, this one has expanded its message to include affiliations (like with Girl, Inc.) and with its own campaign (See Ugly Campaign.)

And another set of kudos to Madrid for leading the way pioneering normal beauty. They are not only taking waif-like looking models off the runway, but are requiring stores to display their mannequins with the average size of people today.

This has received a great response from the fashionistas in Italy and has been hailed in the US as well.

I am so grateful to see this discussion fully flowering. Beauty is emerging as a powerfully pure and natural spiritual quality that belongs to everyone and can be found, not in cosmetic surgery or in make-up, but in radiant gratitude, serenity, and unselfish goodness.

Mary Baker Eddy’s comments on beauty have been so helpful to me, that from time to time, I use this whole page as a form of my beauty treatment! Part of it reads,

Beauty, as well as truth, is eternal; but the beauty of material things passes away, fading and fleeting as mortal belief. Custom, education, and fashion form the transient standards of mortals. Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a glory of its own,--the radiance of Soul. Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense.

For an extra beauty treatment, treat yourself to my friend Evan's blog posts on beauty, exercise and diet. (Scroll way down on his blog site to get to these categories.) And check out the right hand side of this site for some more ideas on Beauty. AND, please share your ideas on what it means to be beautiful!

Photo from

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, January 26, 2007

the bully blog

Spiritual resource to share: courage and forgiveness

Both my kids had big bully issues in their 5th grade with kids in their class. Ooh, these were hard. But what pulled us through -- bottom line -- was learning to love. Learning to love ourselves, to love the bullies and to love (and forgive) all involved including the same teacher who oversaw both bully incidents when they happened.

I've come across two bully resources and are good!

  • had a live chat on A SPIRITUAL RESPONSE TO BULLYING: AT SCHOOL, AT HOME, AT WORK with Evan Mehlenbacher, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher
  • A new friend recently wrote in suggesting a good story about bullies in a book of short stories for kids. The book is The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan and in it is a story called "The Bully". It is about a boy who realizes his viewpoint created the bully (who turns out to be rather wimpy). Geared toward the ten year old set, she suggests its a good read for parents too.

The first bullying incident happened over a period of time and I wasn't told about it until months after it was over. I was furious with the teacher who withheld this information. In those months I worked and prayed closely with my son who was struggling over a nameless something that he never disclosed. Once the whole situation was brought to light, and then after talks with the principal about no tolerance for bullies, and then to this teacher, I still harbored resentment toward this teacher.

I didn't really realize this until recently ( this would be years later) when I was talking to my son. As we talked about this incident, I could feel the resentment start to creep in. Later, I thought about this. Here was my son, who had already moved so beyond the situation, I think he was surprised that I remembered it. He had forgiven those involved and actually liked the teacher! He learned so much from that experience. A month or two after the situation, I remember him telling me how he helped another kid who was new in school deal with a similar situation. He moved on.

I remember some wisdom from a Christian Science nurse I worked with. Once, she was bandaging up a cut on a young boy's arm. After she was done, she calmly told the parent, "He won't remember this accident. And you don't have to remember it for him."

I needed to apply this to my own situation. My son moved on. I could too. I didn't need to keep remembering this situation as a failed moment for me - feeling that I failed to find out exactly what had gone on and failed to "fix" things quicker than they were fixed. I needed to see that he was always in God's care and God strengthened him, protected him and guided him. I knew I needed to forgive the teacher....but I needed to forgive myself.

Acknowledging that God is my son's Father AND Mother - I needed to see the teacher and myself as children of the same God, all being cared for, all working out our own salvation and all being loved. Then I could move on.

Bullying needs to be stopped in schools and many schools are developing a no tolerance for bullies approach to the problem. But I know that praying and affirming that not one of us are ever separated from God's protection, and knowing that we are all children under one God, helped to deflate the situation and erase any painful memories.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

what does loving unconditionally mean to you?

Spiritual resource to share: unconditional love

Two people loving each other unconditionally in the reflection of Chicago's Kapoor Sculpture in Millenium Park.

This question came as an email from my aunt who sent it out to me and my eclectic extended family. It's a good question given that "The conclusion is always the same: love is the most powerful and still the most unknown energy in the world." -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

So here is my shot at it (after first laying down some definitions and salient points):

First – what Love is
There are many kinds of love: eros (sensual love); phileo (brotherly love) and agape (divine love) , but I think that all forms of Love start from our highest concept of Love – that is of agape. In that way, Love is the purest, most elemental and radical life force. God is Love. Love’s synonyms are harmony, balance, attraction, fulfillment, contentment, adhesion, and so on.

Second – we are made of love stuff
Being made in the image and likeness of God, we are made in the image and likeness of Love. Love is the new/old normal. We are so embraced by love, we can easily take it all for granted. It is what we yearn for, recognize immediately, can't live without, take daily doses of - all because it is the stuff out of which we are made.

Third - that we are loved unconditionally
Seeing that we are made in Love’s image and likeness, we are constantly companioned with Love – with thoughts of love, with harmony and balance in our lives, hope; these attributes of Love wash over us continuously and we are loved by God without conditions.

Fourth – that we are lovable and loving
Being made of love, we are naturally lovable and loving.

Fifth – we can love unconditionally
We are at our best when we love; stress disappears, distrust dissolves, joy emerges and forgiveness flows. The body relaxes and the thoughts are free to explore what is genius, spontaneous and intimate. We love the same way birds fly. We can love unconditionally because we were made to do this. When we go against this natural response, we clog up, resulting in all sorts of uncomfortable feelings and dis-ease.

SO - what does loving unconditionally mean to me?

Loving unconditionally means to be able to see others and myself as God sees them -- as good, beautiful, harmonious and free; and then to rejoice - be deep down happy - that we are all the children of Love. It is loving from a pure basis and not fearing.

It is easy to wax poetic about love - I Corinthians 13 does it best ( this is from The Message - a Bible paraphrase)

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

SO - what does loving unconditionally mean to you?

photo by Kim

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 19, 2007

We are all healers

Spiritual resource to share: our passion for healing

Traces in Blood, Bone, & Stone Edited by Kimberly Blaeser

"I cannot think of any collection of American Indian poems.... in which Native writers continue to bring the past into the present, celebrate the future, [and] not just survive, but thrive as a vital part of world literature."-Joe Brachac, Abenaki writer and storyteller

In my last post, I shared our progress in identifying and working together to eliminate racism in our community in the first of a series of town meetings. There was much more to that meeting.

At that meeting, as the larger group gathered, we were warmly welcomed not only for our willingness to help value our youth, but also for the wisdom we brought. Then, as a way to maximize our time together, we were put into small discussion groups and were told to answer two questions.

As we introduced one another, I found that I was sitting next to a woman from Russia who is a healer, and an Anishinabe healer and of course, me, a Christian Science healer. As others introduced themselves, we acknowledged that we were here to do good, that good is universal, and that respect and honor help to forge unity in a diverse group. In the light of that, we realized we all came together as healers.

During that meeting, each small group gave summaries of their answers to the larger group. Although we were half and half in our group, I was asked to give the summary. Deferring to the eldest Anishinabe in the group, I gave the summary and then bent down and asked if I did it right. The group laughed, I got hugged, and an elder walked behind me and said, "Now we can accept you." This meant so much to me. Humility and respect go a long way.

As the group talked about the healing in the community that was needed and the great need to value and nurture our youth, I heard of the long history of abuse that led to further problems of alcoholism, abuse, racism, and violence. We agreed: We needed to first be healed ourselves so we can provide a safe foundation for our children. We need to heal the fractions and divisions amongst ourselves.

The three healers spoke:

  • We need to break a pattern of behavior that has not moved us forward. We can, together, break out of that and envision what peace can look like in new fresh ways.
  • We need to start with ourselves and develop our self-worth and learn how to heal in a community of so many diverse belief systems. We need to honor our healing prayers, healing ceremonies, our healing sweat lodges - all the healing we bring.
  • We can start by recognizing that now we are complete. Now we are made in the image and likeness of God. The Creator created us perfect. All we do in healing is lift off the obstacles and barriers to reveal what is already complete and perfect.

The others in the group shared ideas of what steps could be taken. Each was taking responsibility and sharing their Truth. It reminded me of something Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.

Later I prayed. The history of prejudice and abuse seemed long and impenetrable. But the bright light went on when I saw that the length of time of that abuse only means what we make it to mean. It isn't the length of time that determines the severity. It is only our thought. I could see that now is the only time we ever have. Right now, we have the consciousness of Truth. And we always had that consciousness every moment of our lives.

In Mary Baker Eddy's autobiography, she writes that "the human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged." Not that history is ignored, as its importance lies in how we progress beyond each step we have taken. Mary Baker Eddy's take on time helps show that it is our spiritual growth that is important - and that is our measure of progress.

The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded.

What moment of time do we want to be defined in? Now seems to be a good time. Now seems to be a good time to break out of those repeating patterns of destructive behaviour. Now seems to be a good time to shed light on who we really are.

How long does it take the light to lighten a room that has been dark for a day? The same amount of time it takes for a light to lighten a room that has been dark for decades.

If we have the power and dominion to determine the meaning and impact of the past, we have that same power and dominion in envisioning a future. We are free to see our future as our Creator sees it : an ongoing expression of goodness, respect, honor, creativity, productivity and meaning.

We can see that we are all healers and sing with the song of David

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my
lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

And learn again with the Anishinaabeg that the fundamental essence of life is unity - the oneness of all things.

More later.......

Photo from cover of Traces in Blood, Bone, & Stone - Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry edited by Kimberly Blaeser ISBN 092614717X available through LoonFeather Press

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea and Christian Science healing further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'll walk with you anywhere

Spiritual resource to share: humility

The Ojibway work “Dodaem” means “That from which one draws one’s purpose, one’s meaning, one’s being”, and comes from the root word “Doodem”- to fulfill, and “Doodosh”- that from which I draw my substance.

There has been a slow boiling racism going on in this community for years between the Ojibway (Anishinabe) and whites. Moving here last year, I hardly noticed it right away, but little by little, different experiences came my way that indicated this was a problem with deep roots.

Recently there were racist threats at the high school, a preventative lockdown was called and now there are regular community meetings happening -- all in the efforts to heal this festering division.

I went to one of the meetings last night. It was put together by a dedicated and earnest group who had already had some successes dealing with this issue. They set up the meeting, identified the mission of the meeting, some rules of engagement, broke the group up into smaller discussion groups and gave them all two questions to answer - all this as a way to get to some solutions. The meeting was to end at 8pm.

The trouble was, the whole meeting was unnatural to the way the Ojibway worked. They expected to share their hearts; not be timed as the came up with their answers to prepared questions. By halfway through the meeting, all the elders of the tribe had left. Out of about 50 people remaining, only about a dozen were Ojibway.

After the agenda was completed, each one started to speak. First chastising the group for not allowing people to come and speak what was in their hearts, then taking the group to task for not addressing the issue head on - racism. Others spoke of the need to tell the truth about racism.

Richard spoke.

Racism is a division where words of fear and anger separate us. But it is our love that will bring us together.
Our children - we keep burying them. Why is that? Something is missing inside and we need to find it to give it back to them.
I remember a teacher who accepted me. She was Finnish. She encouraged me to go to college and I did. It was that spirit of love that she had. That spirit that is in all of us.

In this group, I just met Greg. I would walk with him anywhere. I don't see his color, I just see his fuzzy face.
Racism scares me. But it is love that keeps me going.
When you don't get your way, don't walk out the door. Don't walk out on one another. We can apologize to one another.

I don't care what color you are -- you came here to help. I'll walk with you all anywhere.

The meeting turned. Others spoke, recognizing that everyone who came, stayed to help.

It doesn't matter what color you are. You are here. I want to welcome you here. Wherever the next meeting is, I'll be there.

We appreciate the hard work that has gone into getting us all together. We can change the structure of the next meeting. But I love this community and it tears at me to see it be divisive. I want this community to unite.

I am shocked at the racism here. I want so badly for this crap to stop.

We need a strong community effort. We need to keep working together. We need us all.

What moved me was the humility of those who set up the meeting. There was a passion to do something. The community is in crisis. And so someone had to have the courage to step forward and do something. Even if it meant falling on your face.

What moved me was the humility of the participants. Not comfortable with the structure of the meeting, they participated and then spoke their peace and graced the rest of us with their forgiveness and encouragement to keep going.

And I know that what will deepen this experience in all of our hearts is the humility and love that persists until healing is revealed.

We draw our purpose from the same source. We draw our substance from the same source and we are fulfilled by the same source. In humility, we will come together and find healing. More to report on later...............

Would love for you to share how you have overcome racism in your life and community...

...or be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Celebrate dignity and freedom/celebrate Martin Luther King

Spiritual resource to share: kindness and service to others

The late Coretta Scott King has been quoted as saying: "The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others."

Martin Luther King's statement "Life's most persistent and urgent question: What are you doing for others?" is answered by this statement from another great humanitarian: "We should measure our love for God by our love for man;and our sense of Science will be measured by our obedience to God, — fulfilling the law of Love, doing good to all; imparting, so far as we reflect them, Truth, Life, and Love to all within the radius of our atmosphere of thought." (from "Love Your Enemies" in Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy ).

In celebration of Martin Luther King's life, I have posted some of his quotes taken from , and

ON RELATIONSHIPS: "No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent."

ON BOLDNESS: "I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up."

ON FREEDOM: "Freedom has always been an expensive thing. History is fit testimony to the fact that freedom is rarely gained without sacrifice and self-denial."

ON VIOLENCE: "Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers."

ON LOVE: "Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it."

ON NONCOMFORMITY: "This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a
nonconforming minority."

ON SILENCE: In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

ON NON-VIOLENCE: Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

Enough said. In honor of Martin Luther King, may we all find more ways to be kind and so scatter that mustard seed of peace more widely. Happy day.

photo by

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, January 12, 2007

we are the ones

spiritual resource to share: your "deep gladness"

I saw this quote on the banner of Spirit on the Job's website recently: "The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." (F. Buechner)

God is calling us all to act. In fact, I believe that we are each born with a mission, we are each born with a role to play in loving God (magnifying good, beauty, and intelligence) and loving one another.

But how do we approach our life's mission? How do we even get the courage and confidence to deal with our own dilemmas, let alone global issues? You may think you have nothing to give. Mary Baker Eddy answers this very question in her book Pulpit and Press (p.4).

Perchance some one of you may say, "The evidence of spiritual verity in me is so small that I am afraid....Because of my own unfitness for such a spiritual animus my strength is naught and my faith fails." O thou "weak and infirm of purpose." Jesus said, "Be not afraid"!

"What if the little rain should say, 'So small a drop as I can ne'er refresh a drooping earth, I'll tarry in the sky.'"

Is not a man metaphysically and mathematically number one, a unit, and therefore a whole number, governed and protected by his divine Principle, God? You have simply to preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with your divine source, and daily demonstrate this. Then you will find that one is as important a factor as duodecillions in being and doing right, and thus demonstrating deific Principle.

Last year we saw almost unprecedented giving by the world's wealthiest and famous towards the elimation of national and global concerns. This is giving big time - making a huge impact - the "duodecillions."

But what do we do -- those of us with far less material wealth?

"Ye are the light of the world." Christ Jesus assures us.

Remember the story in 2004 about the school girl in Indonesia during the tsunami? She saw the water recede very quickly from the beach resort in Indonesia where her family was vacationing. She remembered from her schooling that these were the signs of an impending tsunami. She quickly told her parents, who warned the authorities and they cleared the beach in time to save hundreds of people.

The backstory is that she was taught by teachers. Her community felt it was important that girls have access to schools. Something in her upbringing gave her the confidence to share this news. Her parents knew that something could be done. There were authorities who trusted their citizens and would listen to them and then, they took action and evacuated the area.

So -- it was the enlightened community that produced schools, the dedicated teachers who taught, the authorities who listened, the parents who raised a confident child, and the little girl who had the courage to speak up - each one had a role in doing something that was life-saving.

Noble efforts have humble beginnings.

What can one person do? Apply what you know. Love others.

The brother of a very dear friend of mine did just this. Rippan Kapur started an organization to help underprivileged children in India with 50 rupees, and 5 other friends sitting around his mother's kitchen table. Soon, Child Rights and You (CRY) was born. And it grew. And not surprising. Godlike qualities of unselfishness, compassion and intelligent care have the natural capacity to multiply.

His example, and thousands others like it humbly get us to ask ourselves if there is more we can do. Sometimes this comes as gentle nudging. Other times it comes to us like a preacher on fire.

A couple of years ago Jim Wallis gave a talk on "Building Global Justice: We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For" at Stanford. Here is an excerpt:

Now at the beginning of a new century and millennium, I see a new generation of young activists coming of age and committing themselves to build global justice. A rock star, a Chancellor, and young people across the world are all talking about globalization, HIV/AIDS, and reducing global poverty - and all in the prophetic voice of Micah.

I am convinced that global poverty reduction will not be accomplished without a spiritual engine, and that history is changed by social movements with a spiritual foundation. That's what's always made the difference - abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, civil rights - they were social movements, but they had a spiritual foundation.

This will be no different.

We are spiritual. The work that we do comes from the spiritual qualities we express. Out of this spiritual mix of compassion, genius, love, and responsibility, we get innovative groups from the likes of KIVA - a microfinancing internet opportunity which allows people to get involved in supporting small businesses in developing countries for as little as $25 to the mega-group like Clinton Global Initiative dealing with many global concerns to which millions of dollars have been donated.

Each unselfish act - as gentle as the encouragement given to a friend - moves us all forward. It builds a spiritual foundation where more and more good works thrive. We are the ones who can share our deep gladness with others -- and everyone is blessed!

Photos by; Child's art by Radhika Mehra-11yrs

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

shared prayer

Posted by Picasa Spiritual resource to share: sharing what you love

I am now involved in two ecumenical groups - both of which are involved in caring for others: one at the hospital ( I'm on the prayer team there) and one for the entire community. I am so deeply touched at the mutual respect and inspiration we share. During one meeting, people got to joking about how each of their churches are focussed on converting others to their fatih. The Evangelist was joking with the Catholic who was joking with the others. When asked what I focus on as a Christian Scientist, I had to stop and think, because as a church, we don't convert people. "We focus on healing." More laughter, I think in large part because everyone felt so open and delighted with each other!

I love these groups where everyone feels so comfortable in sharing what they feel is most sacred and everyone honors one another's efforts to do good works.

Our prayer team put up a beautifully framed statement welcoming people to use the hospital's chapel. It is a welcome to people of all faiths or no faith. It reads:

Welcome to [this chapel]. You are warmly invited to use this space for quiet reflection and prayer. It is a space especially set up to acknowledge the space that reflection and prayer have in our lives today.

This room is never empty. It is filled with purposeful activity. There is light, order and beauty emanating from this room.

As we acknowledge the attraction and healing presence of God, people are drawn to this space. Like the Star of Bethlehem over the manger, we place our star above this little chapel and recognize that God is continuing to lead all His children to peace, grace and well-being.

Has your shared prayer brought you closer to others and to your community? Would love to hear about it!

(photo by kim - gracias a mis amigos argentinos)

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right

Monday, January 08, 2007

Truth is changing our world

Spiritual resource to share: trust in Truth

I have been thinking about how Truth (another word for God) works on human consciousness after reading how Jesus "[brought] to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies and giving a better understanding of Soul and salvation."

You may recall the story about Jesus and the adulterous woman. In this story, she had broken a law and, by that law, was sentenced to be stoned to death. As a self-righteous crowd gathered, Jesus said to her accusers: "He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." One by one, Truth worked in the consciousness of each person, until everyone was gone. The story goes on to illustrate many salient points, but this point - about Truth working on consciousness - is the one that fascinates me today. Jesus must have trusted the powerful transforming effect that Truth has on each individualized consciousness.

Not only can we heal by understanding Truth, but this Truth is powerful, forever influencing and transforming thought to a change of base - from a limited materialistic view, to a spiritual, freeing and firmer basis. This has an impact and can turn around one's challenge at the office, dissolve the discord in a community and change the direction of a nation.

Jesus' clear declaration and demonstration of Truth has worked on consciousness into a saving grace for all of the world to experience. That Truth is influencing a wider and wider sphere of thought and scientifically breaking apart supposedly rock solid fears of prejudice, lack and discord, I have no doubt. This is something we experience today.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote about the accumulative impact of Truth practiced faithfully and what we can expect. She wrote in Pulpit and Press (p. 21)

If the lives of Christian Scientists attest their fidelity to Truth, I predict that in the twentieth century every Christian church in our land, and a few in far-off lands, will approximate the understanding of Christian Science sufficiently to heal the sick in his name. .... When the doctrinal barriers between the churches are broken, and the bonds of peace are cemented by spiritual understanding and Love, there will be unity of spirit, and the healing power of Christ will prevail.

In my little neck of , literally, the woods, I am seeing this. I enjoy my conversations with the local hospital's chaplain where I am on the prayer team. When talking about the practice of healing prayer in churches, he commented that there are many churches that claim they practice healing prayer.

Harrison House is a Christian publishing house who supplies many of these churches. Their vision is "Proclaiming the truth and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with excellence; and challenging Christians to live victoriously, grow spiritually, and know God intimately." They have published a little book called The Pocket Bible on Healing. (I don't know if they still carry it, as it wasn't on their website.)

Now this group is not affiliated with Christian Science, but acknowledges and encourages the practice of Christian healing. This is what is written in their introduction:

First Peter 2:24 in the Moffatt Translation of the Bible says, 'His [Jesus'] bruising was your healing.' Past tense! The Amplified Bible of this verse says, 'By His wounds you have been healed.' Again, past tense!

If the bruising and the wounds Jesus took at Calvary were for our healing - as well as for our righteousness and prosperity - why are so many Christians sick in their minds and bodies?

Solomon said God's word is life and health to the person who will meditate upon it and not let it depart from his or her eyes. (Proverbs 4:20-22.) It's time to rise up in your faith - believing and speaking what God says, as opposed to what circumstances dictate - for the resurrection Spirit that is alive in you as a child of God and that [which] is alive in God's word is greater than any sickness or disease. The compilation of healing Scriptures in this Pocket Bible has been made to help you rise up in your inner man and throw off all of the oppressive works of the devil (Acts 10:38) by believing, recieving, confessing, and acting upon these healing truths.

The following page of the book has a beautiful prayer. While reading it, I realized that there is lingo and references that I would not use, but the substance of the prayer has those healing principles that "approximates" what I have learned in Christian Science. The prayer reads:

“Father, I now understand that it is your will that I walk in completeness, soundness, and perfect wholeness in my spirit, soul, and body. Jesus Christ, Your Son, and now my Lord and Savior, paid the price in full at Calvary’s cross for my health and well-being. I refuse to be robbed of this provision any longer, in Jesus’ name.

The alien forces of wrong thoughts, oppression, depression, torment, fear, affliction, infirmity, sickness, and disease cannot reside in me, because You live in me now, Lord Jesus, through the Person of the Holy Spirit. With the authority You have invested in me I command every alien force to be replaced by Your resurrection power.

Today, I receive an exchange of Your strength for my weakness; Your joy for my sadness; Your pleasure and delight for my sorrow and heaviness; Your hope for my despair; Your peace for my torment; Your prosperity of spirit, body, mind, finances, and relationships for any lack I have experienced; Your ability for my inability; Your acceptance for my rejection; Your obedience for my disobedience; Your soundness for my brokenness; Your comfort for my pain; and Your courage, Lord, for my fear and timidity.

I command my muscles, tissues, cells, and blood to come in line now with Your resurrection life, Lord Jesus. Thank You for fully aligning my spirit, body, and mind – and every other area of my life – with Your perfect soundness provided for me through Your shed blood at Calvary, Lord Jesus. Through daily doses of Your Word and meditation upon Your promises, Lord, I will walk in divine health, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

I can't help but feel what an exciting time we live in. We can experience Truth and trust that it will continue to transform all of us into accepting the Truth of our being: that God is Love and we are His/Her children, being given protection, provision and harmony in all things.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Raising sons

Spiritual resource to share: an emancipating love

(from my former blog: Mothers of Men)

I have done some pretty good things in my life, but none so good ( and engaging, rewarding, eye-opening, tiring and wonderful) as raising two sons. After adjusting my quota of number of sons I would like to have to be happy ( from five to two ), my husband and I have been happily tripping up the steps of parenting boys. I've read excerpts from a couple of books about raising boys, but I think my favorite is Speaking of Boys by Michael Thompson, PhD. Here is an excerpt:

For a mother to raise a boy means she gets as close as one can get to crossing the lines of gender. She will see the world through her son's eyes, and the world won't look the same. Mothers get to be adored by their sons, and that is really fun. She'll get to celebrate everything she has loved in men and help her son to become a good man. She will struggle with everything she has found regrettable in men, and at moments she will despair and say, "They're hopeless."

It will be an amazing trip, just as it is for fathers who have daughters. Your son will open your eyes, broaden your knowledge, and help your sense of humor. I guarantee it.

Its chapters are arranged in themes (like Sports, Friendship, Girls, Love and Sexuality, etc.) and have a Q&A format. They deal with the infant son to the adult son.

And speaking of fun and engaging books: a GREAT book for young boys is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak; for preteens The Call of the Wild by Jack London ( is there a theme here??) and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

My all-time forever favorite though is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (surprise! surprise!). Other books may enlighten me to the likes, dislikes and behaviors of children ( and others) , but I have not found any book that goes this deeply to define the spiritual and enduring nature of every individual and the relationship we all have to an infinite Father - Mother God.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's resolution: to love

Spiritual resource to share: spiritual intention

I woke up this New Year's day to about three inches of fresh fallen snow. A friend once commented, "I love new snow. It makes me feel that we have all been redeemed."

What a great way to start the new year!

Looking ahead, I'm going to promise myself one resolution. My one resolution from last year:

I am practicing living more simply and more closely to my prayer. My new backbone -- the only thing on my "list" for this new year is to praise God. That's all.

I liked this "list." It was short and to the point and I did it. So this year, on my list, I have one thing and that is to love.

Mary Baker Eddy's take on Love is penetrating and powerful, and individually empowering. In her book Miscellaneous Writings on page 250, she writes an article entitled "Love"

What a word! I am in awe of it! Over what worlds on worlds it hath range and is sovereign! the underived, the incomparable, the infinite All of good, the alone God, is Love.

Later in the article, she gets into the demands on love:

Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occassions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfiet, having no ring of the true metal.

Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power.

The New Testament speaks of God as Love, a Love that casts out fear. In agreement with this, Eddy makes the point that Love demands expression and that that expression brings us into alignment with harmony. So powerful is this Love that an understanding of it heals.

She writes about the practice of Christian Science:

If the (Christian) Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine.

I remember reading that Eddy was asked how she healed, and she responded, she just loves. Far from being a simple answer, it is that Love that I want to explore more deeply. And knowing that the Bible mentions love 280 times ( King James version) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Eddy mentions it 121 times, I think that's a good start for the year.

If you had one resolution to make for the year, what would it be?

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.