Gratitude and Healing

Well does Mrs. Eddy say on page 3 of Science and Health, "Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks." Recently, when the thought of unselfed gratitude was brought out in connection with some of our Science work, it reminded me of the way in which I had to develop this quality some years ago. When I first went to the Christian Science church and listened to the many expressions of gratitude, and then my own healing began, the thought came that presently I too would have that same feeling; but I did not, nor did I then think much about it. The process of healing was slow although steady, and I expected the gratitude would come; but as it did not, this fact began to worry me. I did have a certain measure of gratitude, but it seemed a very poor thing and something I was not at all pleased with.

At one of the Wednesday evening meetings I heard a woman say that gratitude with her had been a matter of demonstration, and that she had been in Christian Science a long time; so I began to think of it in this way. Soon the thought came that God's child cannot be ungrateful, that any seeming lack of this quality is only a phase of wrong thinking, and is to be overcome in the same way as any other wrong thinking. I worked for many months trying to see what gratitude was. Finally one night there flashed into my thought a most vivid and perfect picture of a summer morning, and immediately with the utmost clearness came the words, That is gratitude ! Then it began to unfold, and the thought was that as you step out into the perfect beauty of a summer morning you do not look around and say, I am so grateful for the trees, the flowers, the grass, and the sunshine; you just love it. You love it for what you know is there, whether you see it all or not. You know, too, that beyond where the physical eye can see, the same beauty exists.

I saw there had been too much of self in my thought, and that gratitude should be not only for the good coming to me but for the good going forth. Just as I might see the particular beauty of the flowers or trees or landscape near me, so I could see in the healing and regeneration in my own life, and in the lives of those about me, the individual manifestations of the love of God; but that love was even more universal than the sunshine, and what came to me was only a part of the perfect whole. I learned that gratitude, to be real gratitude, must be broad enough to take in and rejoice over the good coming to all of God's children.

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