"Before they call"

IN "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says (p. 559), "The 'still, small voice' of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound." Jesus demonstrated the same truth when he caused the boat to be immediately at the other side of the lake. Yet even the annihilation of space seems less mysterious to the human mind than does the obliteration of time, notwithstanding the fact that time annihilation is implied in the Scriptural statement, "Before they call, I will answer." If man is the image and likeness of God, then to him as to God time must be nonexistent. Was it not to this state of spiritual understanding that the angel was referring when he sware "that there should be time no longer"? Undoubtedly we are thinking that infinite good can be limited when we allow space or time to act as a barrier or gulf between our prayer and its answer.

Sometimes we are inclined to think that our prayers are not fully answered. This is often because we do not associate some blessing with the prayer which was offered. We have allowed the time sense to separate us from the unity and ever presence of all that is good. The writer's providential avoidance of disaster on board a vessel which was torpedoed during the last few weeks of the war brought home the far-reaching effect of the mental work for the church, done by himself and others. After over seventeen years of continual attendance at Christian Science services it became his duty to go on active service in the British Army. For three months he never saw a Christian Science church, society, or even a Christian Scientist. This in addition to the hardships of army life in a country where antagonism, open and concealed, to the British Army was generally manifest, made him at times wonder when he should have the joy of attending a Christian Science service again and feel that sense of freedom which seems stifled in an atmosphere of opposition. There remained, however, this joy,—that he could mentally work for the Church of Christ, Scientist, and enjoy that spiritual fellowship of the household of Principle which Christian Science had revealed to him. Mental work for the revealing of the glory and prosperity of the church was done every day, sometimes in a quiet hayfield in a few moments' respite from duty; sometimes in a sentry box in the middle of the night midst darkness, desolation, and torrential rain; sometimes—and this most often—sitting up in the night in the hut when the rest of the men were asleep.

At last there came the time when leave would be due in a few weeks. The usual drafts went from his regiment on Wednesday or Thursday, and as the actual leave was for only six days, it meant that on whichever of these two days one went, there would be no opportunity to attend a Wednesday evening testimony meeting. To get anything which involves a slight alteration of procedure is a very difficult task in the Army. When that "anything" requires special forms to be filled in by men often overburdened with work, the task is even more difficult. More than once while trying to get permission to go two days before the rest of the "leave" men, the writer felt like giving it up. Finally, however, the Regimental Sergeant Major, amidst his multifarious duties, very kindly made all the arrangements, got the necessary papers filled in and signed, and the writer was free,—free for eight days, six days' leave and two days for traveling. Words failed to express his gratitude at the Wednesday evening testimony meeting which he was thus able to attend, or his thankfulness to God for Christian Science and our beloved Leader, for the help that Christian Science had been to him during experiences so violently different from those of civil life. Yet the biggest testimony of all, although he did not know it at the time, was his presence in that church. The next morning the boat on which he would in the ordinary course of events have been traveling with many of his comrades was torpedoed, and he might have shared their danger. Incidentally, he is glad to record that the Regimental Sergeant Major, after two hours in the water, was one of those to be picked up and saved.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Spiritual Lessons
November 8, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.