While a student of Christian Science sat in a street car which ran for miles along the shore of the Pacific Ocean, her attention was attracted to the water fowl, commonly called "scooters," which are nearly always to be seen in large flocks along that stretch of sandy beach. The small birds kept close to the shore, and occasionally in their play one of them would forget to watch. The observer thought she knew the feeling of hurt surprise when a wave knocked the careless one over; for in the first days of her journey from sense to Soul she had clung to materiality, afraid to leave the familiar landmarks and the cultivated sense of their security, and had experienced self-pity when the currents of so-called mortal mind had found her unprepared to resist their worldly force.

A little farther out from shore a flock of older birds expressed greater freedom. These seemed to be warned by one of their number when a wave was approaching; and they would plunge through the billow. After they emerged, all ruffled, it seemed that before they had really settled down again, they discovered another roller right at hand. How symbolic of the student's action when, instead of abiding in the presence of the Most High, she had listened to the suggestions of mortal mind and joined with others in believing in a contagion of hatred, false judgment, lack of unity among church members, or perhaps in some sickness or calamity! Have not all who ever joined in fighting error found yet another wave of it appearing? A terse bit of advice regarding such appears on page 11 of "Unity of Good," where Mrs. Eddy writes, "Jesus taught us to walk over, not into or with, the currents of matter, or mortal mind."

As thought was lifted above and beyond the experiences of the feathered friends in the breakers near by, and memory recalled Mrs. Eddy's allusion to birds as symbolizing "the uplifted desires of the human heart" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 356), a few older birds were discerned away out at sea. At first their watchfulness was not apparent, but at last came the realization that they glided over the sea ever alert, serene, and calm. With gratitude for the little object lesson, and with a further understanding of the text, the student turned to page 536 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and read: "In the Apocalypse it is written: 'And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.' In St. John's vision, heaven and earth stand for spiritual ideas, and the sea, as a symbol of tempest-tossed human concepts advancing and receding, is represented as having passed away. The divine understanding reigns, is all, and there is no other consciousness."

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

On the Watch
May 21, 1927

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.