The Reading Room Window

It has been the writer's happy privilege to be engaged in Christian Science Reading Room work for considerable periods, in connection with two branch churches in widely separated areas. Conditions varied with the area, but both Reading Rooms had in common a most valuable and important asset, in that each possessed a large window on the street level. The magnitude and continuity of the silent, impersonal healing work accomplished by such a window cannot easily be estimated. Hour by hour it stands, offering to the passers-by, perhaps on shelves and easels placed at convenient heights for reading, open copies of the Bible, of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy and our Leader's other writings, and of various Christian Science periodicals.

To one Reading Room helper, the window seemed to symbolize the Christ Science entering into the highways and byways of human experience with all its suffering and turmoil an unrest, stretching out wide arms of loving appeal, and whispering, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Through years of service she saw many pause to read and heed this appeal, and witnessed much fruitage resulting from this pure, impersonal phase of church activity.

Seldom did an hour in the day pass that someone did not stop to read. A youth living over the shop opposite remarked that even in the small hours of the night some were attracted to the window, which was illumined by a powerful street light. Policemen, scavengers, people returning late from functions and from trains, even busy newspaper men hurrying back from their night work, had been seen to stop; and often they read all they could of what was displayed on the shelves. One came for weeks about midnight to read, and eventually commissioned a lad to buy him a copy of Science and Health.

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Sympathy or Compassion?
October 5, 1929

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