Spiritual Birth

"Of all days in the year," said one, "Thanksgiving and Christmas give me the most work. Our empty chairs are never so apparent as then, and it certainly is difficult to feel thankful in the face of loss and loneliness. The inscription on our church wall almost mocks me, 'Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (Science and Health, p. 494). Wherein is my need met, when my chairs remain empty and my heart aches with pain?" Christian Scientists travel long roads of human endeavor before they learn that to lay down all for Christ is not to pick up human substitutes. We are tempted to keep all materiality that is pleasurable, and turn to Spirit only when the pain begins. Regarding this, Mrs. Eddy says that mortals "expect ... what is impossible,—a material and mortal sense of spiritual and immortal Truth" (No and Yes, p. 40).

He who is suffering from a sense of loneliness or loss, turns to this or that material circumstance or person, drinks of temporal water, and thirsts again. He does not recognize the pain of the situation as a false sense, and turn to God for His impartation of that divine truth which alone quenches and heals, but argues from a material standpoint that it is natural to grieve in the face of loss, and natural to be lonely with one's companion gone, and so arguing, forges the links that bind him. It is well for humanity that Jesus did not so argue; that he did not declare for the normality of any material situation which confronted him, and then conform to that sense of normality; did not declare for the naturalness of hunger after forty days of fasting, and satisfy that hunger materially; or on the cross aver the naturalness of death to a man undergoing crucifixion. He never temporized with any personal situation by yielding to the arguments of materiality, but always wrested therefrom a spiritual victory and healed the situation with the truth. Matthew records that Jesus refused on the cross to drink the medicated vinegar which was supposed to deaden physical pain, and in its place declared for the love of his Father, and rested in His outstretched arms.

As mortals we do not see the spiritual ultimate, and so the journey seems long and wearying. We will not turn away from material sense and look toward the eternal things of Spirit. Mortals would like to have every suffering experience medicated with materiality, if only its pain would cease, and this comes from mistaking the goal toward which we climb. Spiritual birth has its price. It comes to humanity with labor. Jesus clearly illustrated this in his statement regarding the woman in travail, who afterward "remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." Then Jesus made its application to his disciples,—"Ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." Unfortunately we do not always look at the birth of Truth's idea and the gain of its delivery; we look the rather at the sense of pain, and then surrender to it.

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True Sympathy
September 26, 1914

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