One morning, while I was working in the warehouse, a fellow employee approached me quite upset. He began complaining to me about the deteriorating benefits of our company health-care provider and the increased out-of-pocket expense. The atmosphere was getting pretty heated as he began recounting specific instances that he and his wife recently encountered during doctor visits and drug store purchases that he felt were unfair, substandard, costly, and growing worse.
As these complaints were being fired at me and beckoning a response, I was praying to handle the suggestions of outrage, discouragement, anger, and the temptation to join in sympathetically out of a sense of courtesy, camaraderie, and so on. As my co-worker continued, I began to realize that his frustration was beginning to turn on me because of my lack of response. I made a few gestures to acknowledge that I was hearing him, but it wasn’t enough and he stormed off.
I continued praying to try to still the discomfort I was now feeling about the situation. I felt a mental burden. I seemed to feel his disappointment in me and realized I could not allow the frustration to fester. I ran out to the yard and caught him before he drove away. I said, “Hey, buddy, ya got a minute?” He said, “Sure.” I began by assuring him that I hadn’t been ignoring him inside, and he said, “That’s OK.” I then reminded him a little about my faith as most of the employees there think of me as being religious. I told him that I think of benefits in a different way, in the way the Bible teaches.
I asked if he would like me to explain, and he said, “Yes.” So I told him that I rely on a different benefits package, a spiritual one as outlined in the Bible, where God is the provider. I said that I pray regularly with verses from Psalm 103 and began to recite them. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases” (verses 2, 3).
I paused and asked, “Does your benefits plan forgive all your iniquities?” He answered with gravity, “No.”
I continued, “Who healeth all thy diseases.” I paused and questioned, “Does your benefits plan heal all your diseases?” He replied thoughtfully, “No.” I continued, “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction.”
“Does your benefits plan ‘redeem your life from destruction’?” Again, a thoughtful “No” was the response.
I told him that I think of benefits in a different way, in the way the Bible teaches.
I concluded with, “Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Does your plan include this? “No, it sure doesn’t,” he replied. I explained that this is the benefits package on which I rely, and, therefore, I don’t get caught up in or depend on the company benefits.
I shared a little about the teachings of the Bible and Christ Jesus’ healing works and instructions. I also spoke briefly about some of my healing experiences, including one that had to do with a diseased condition on my hands that the medical community could not even diagnose, never mind remedy.
I explained what a Christian Science practitioner is and how I phoned one of these professionals for help and was healed in a day (see “Severe hand sores cured,” Christian Science Sentinel, August 26, 2002). Also, that this experience re-established my faith and spurred commitment to the study of Christian Science. I assured him that through prayer God has been my benefits provider and He meets my every need.
My friend sincerely thanked me and said that I had given him a lot to think about as he hit the road. He was certainly enlightened and has since approached me to speak more on the subject of the Bible and God.
I am very grateful to have heard the call urging me to respond quickly. What a blessing for all, sharing this blessed truth. It’s great to recognize that we can be and are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13, 14) as we fearlessly, confidently, and joyously share Christian Science with honest seekers. My occupation allows me to converse with many throughout the day, and I embrace the opportunity to share spiritual truth with the receptive heart.
It’s part of the package.
Steve Berrie lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida.