Human Need Supplied

"Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." On reading and pondering over this beautiful statement of Science and Health (p. 494) the beginner in Christian Science is sometimes puzzled to know how this can be, since he is also told that Spirit can take no cognizance of matter. Both the Old and the New Testaments contain striking stories showing God's nearness to His children and the tender protection with which He surrounds them, but the modus operandi, the way in which divine Love acts, may seem obscure. "How," the beginner asks, "were Elijah and the widow fed, if God knew nothing of the famine? How was Peter delivered from prison and Paul from shipwreck, if their needs and surroundings were unknown?"

Perhaps the following imaginary episode may be useful as an illustration: Bedtime has come, and nurse takes her little charge up to the nursery. She undresses and bathes the boy, tucks him into his comfortable bed, and after setting the room in order, sits down beside the fire with her knitting and croons a little hymn or lullaby. The flickering firelight half reveals her comfortable form, the pictures on the walls, and the other pleasant, familiar objects in the room; everything around the little sleeper speaks of safety, comfort, kindness. But let us suppose that earlier in the day some well meaning person, not realizing the fear she was instilling, had told the child for the first time the story of Red Riding-hood and the wolf. At the moment he eagerly drinks in the tale, giving no indication of the fear he feels, and afterward speaks of the story to no one; but as soon as he falls asleep the tale takes possession of him.

The boy finds himself in a great, dark forest alone. What are those bright, shining things glaring at him through the gloom? "It is the wolf, the dreadful wolf that ate up Red Ridinghood's grandmother! and there is no one to save me!" the child cries in his agony. At this point nurse becomes aware that the little boy is not sleeping comfortably; he is moaning in his sleep, tossing about and uneasy. At once she rises from her chair, and going to his bed smooths the pillow, arranges the bedclothes, places the child in a more comfortable attitude, and gently kisses his forehead. The sense of love and protection enters the dream, and behold the woodcutter of the fairy story with his axe, or father in his motor car!

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Time and Eternity
May 12, 1917

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