A boy of thirteen was to take part in the closing exercises of the school from which he was being graduated. It was his first public appearance; and as the time approached, his parents began to feel anxious. Both were trying to be Christian Scientists; and the boy himself was in the Christian Science Sunday School. The day before the graduation, his mother asked him if he did not think she had better call up a practitioner and have her do a little work for him. The boy hesitated. "Why, mother," he finally said, "the Lesson last week said, 'Fear thou not; for I am with thee.' Don't you think that ought to be enough?" The parents accepted the unintentional rebuke, and left the child to make his own demonstration. The moment arrived; and he stepped out upon the platform to make his maiden speech. At a certain point he was to turn to a blackboard, on an easel behind him, to illustrate something. He turned at the proper place, but, alas, some one had forgotten to put up the blackboard. With a poise and self-possession for which a finished speaker might have been grateful, he waited without any embarrassment until the blackboard was found and put up, even assisting in placing it correctly, and then quietly went on with his speech. God was, indeed, enough, as he had proved.

One older, and supposedly wiser, student of Christian Science was grateful to sit mentally at the feet of that child, and learn the lesson which the child-thought is ever teaching to those who have ears to hear. For is there not a growing tendency abroad in the land to-day to enter the kingdom through another's effort? Does not mortal mind have a way of suggesting that it is easier to go to the telephone and call up a practitioner than to get right down to work ourselves? But what is the mission of the practitioner? To carry a person along, year after year, as "my patient," or to heal him so effectually that he not only finds physical surcease, but also has pointed out to him so plainly the beauty and naturalness and simplicity of Christian Science that he is encouraged and inspired to want to begin at once to prove the truth of it for himself? This surely was Jesus' method.

This by no means is intended to mean that if any one has ever been healed or even helped by a practitioner, it is not right to seek help again from that same one. It is only spoken as a loving incentive for us all to try more and more earnestly to do our own work, as occasion requires, rather than to depend upon the efforts of some one else, however patient and willing. If all made more of an honest effort along this line, would it not bless the one needing help, and at the same time leave the practitioner freer to bring the blessed healing truth to those who have, as yet, never experienced it?

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"The labourer is worthy of his hire"
May 5, 1923

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