"Except ye ... become as little children"

Crossing one day over the suspension bridge which spans the little river near her home, the writer came upon three little children, the two elder of whom were vainly trying to coax the third, much younger, to finish her journey to the end of the bridge. This little one, feeling the slight swaying of the bridge, due to the passengers passing to and fro, and looking down to where she could see between the boards the green, deep, flowing river, seemed paralyzed with fear and unable to move, and crying piteously, she begged to be carried home. The two elder children gazed round in perplexity, not knowing what to do, until one of them, struck with a happy thought, said encouragingly to her little sister: "Don't look down at the water, darling. Look up, and then you won't be afraid." With instant obedience the little girl raised her head, and clinging to her companions' hands, she turned her still tearful gaze upwards; and then, stepping confidently forward, all three reached the end of the bridge in safety. Once on the other bank they were soon laughing and playing happily, the tears and the terror forgotten.

This little incident was the means of unfolding a profound and useful lesson on trust and obedience; and it is passed on in the hope of helping some other student of Christian Science. When the mental picture of the little children came later into thought, it was remembered how often and how emphatically our Saviour, Christ Jesus, spoke of the necessity of his followers becoming like little children before they could enter the kingdom of heaven. It was seen that one of the first essentials in our attitude towards our Father-Mother, God, must be that of faith,—not, however, the blind faith which, as one writer has put it, is often merely a blending of credulity and superstition, but the faith which is perfect trust, born of the understanding of divine Truth and Love, and which has no element of doubt or fear in it.

Strengthened by such a faith, it would seem to be an easy matter to take the next step in our progress heavenwards, namely, obedience to the demands of divine Love. We find that this, however, is by no means always the case. The test may not come in the form we would expect or choose. We may even be prepared to make some dramatic sacrifice of material things or desires; but the simplest demand upon our faith and obedience may be the most difficult thing for us to accede to, until we realize the truth of our Leader's words in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 266), "Spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth."

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The Fellowship of Saints
June 14, 1924

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