Unconscious Ministry

We learn in Christian Science that the most helpful influence we can exert is that which has the least flavor of personality. It is the fragrance of a flower that we may indeed bear to others, but its sweetness is its own product and impartation. From Stephen to the latest martyr the saints have ever been unconscious of their aureole, and the men and women whose lives have been most gladdening and stimulating to others have been those who were so responsive to the divine idea as to present no obstruction to its continuous and redemptive activity. As the grasses that cushion the summer stream mark its course by yielding to its flow, so have the world's best helpers revealed Truth's presence and power by denying everything of self that would have retarded its progress. The commands of a superior, whether parent or teacher, are remembered for a day, but the silent appeal of a mother's pure and unselfish living,—how it reverberates through the years!

The measure and explanation of true helpfulness are thus found not in our preaching, but in our spiritual attainment and potentiality, our unconscious reflection of the divine attributes. In so far as we have acquired the habit of being just and merciful, consistent and unselfish, honest and true, patient and loving, in so far we have become an open channel for the transmission of the things that are of God, and both our own progress in the demonstration of man's godlikeness, and our daily and hourly contribution to the betterment of others, are assured thereby.

The story of the garden of Eden takes on a new and richer meaning when interpreted in the light of this thought. It is said,—"A lake also sprang up in Eden to supply the garden with water and from there it divided and became four sources" (Ferrar Fenton's Translation). The description of these outflowing rivers and of their far-reaching distribution points to the unlimited range of that life-giving stream which, as John saw, proceeds "out of the throne of God and of the Lamb," and which, welling up an unfailing spring in the garden of individual consciousness, flows outward to water the thirsty lands of human sense. This possibility and promise of our transmission of good is one of the occasions for that abiding joy into which every sincere Christian may enter, and which will save him from the tendency to self-depreciation which forgets, if it does not deny, the fundamental teaching of Christian Science, that man is indissolubly linked to his Father-Mother God and, therefore, that through the simplest and humblest life His mighty works may continually be accomplished.

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The Building Fund
March 24, 1906

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