A FRIEND had sent the writer a parcel of flowers from South Africa. They did not look like flowers when they arrived; they were very unpromising dry stalks, sealed up at one end, while at the other was a cluster of hard buds, looking rather like a bunch of chrysalises. But we had instructions how to deal with them; and, full of hope and expectancy, we unsealed the ends and put the stalks into water. In a few days the little hard buds began to unfold in response to the water, the warmth of the room, and the light of the sun. Very gradually they became a bunch of exquisite pure white beauty, and it was difficult to associate such loveliness with the little dry sticks that had arrived so short a time before. As we watched their transformation, it was inevitable that a lesson should be learned from those unfolding buds. How hard and unpromising they had looked! But how readily and quietly they had responded to the right treatment!

There may be in our surroundings someone who strikes us as hard, remote, unpromising—someone, perhaps, whom we yearn to approach with the healing message of Christian Science, but who seems to reject it with uncompromising severity. Should we turn away with the hopeless feeling that it is of no use, and put the matter from our thought? Or should we bring to the student the warmth and sunshine of unfaltering faith and patience?

No forcing or urging would have hastened the unfolding of the bouquet of flowers; but there was a quiet, steady response to the warmth of their surroundings, which was just the right atmosphere for their development. And so it may be with the neighbor we would help. He may need something that we must be careful to offer him in the right way. Perhaps we have gone about it in the wrong way; but we can try again. In prayerful expectancy of happy results, we may bring "the universal solvent of Love" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 242) to warm and brighten the heart that seems unheeding, but may be only awaiting a touch of kindly understanding to unfold in gratitude to the wonderful message Christian Science has to offer.

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March 28, 1931

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