Emerging Gently

How many students of Christian Science read the words in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 485), "Emerge gently from matter into Spirit,"as though their author, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, had written, "Emerge slowly." Yet such an interpretation is at variance with the whole tenor of our Leader's writings, for throughout them she exhorts us to energy and vigor and urges us to "put off the old man" as fast as practicable. No, we do not need to emerge slowly from the shades of materiality into the radiance of infinite Spirit, but we do need to emerge gently.

A study of the words "gentle" and "gently" will be enlightening. These words are found in close companionship with such words as "nobility," "refinement," graciousness," "tenderness." From this it would appear that in order to accomplish anything in a gentle manner we must first chisel and smooth away the harsh, rude, rough edges of human character. This process requires patience, perseverance, and untiring effort, and is manifested in a little more grace here, a little quiet refining there. To attain to gentleness involves also the acquisition of poise—a poise so based on the demonstration of man's oneness with God that no sudden storm of external circumstances can shake it, no unsuspected internal instability betray it. Gentleness requires, also, that spiritual understanding of Love which forestalls as well as forgives wrongs.

Once in pondering these words, "Emerge gently," the writer learned a valuable lesson from the flowers. Because of very bleak and cold weather conditions, the blooming season was delayed and it seemed as though the buds would never mature. Suddenly the weather changed to sunshine and warmth, and the flowers quickly responded. There was no slowness once the flowers were given their normal conditions, but how graciously gentle was their unfolding!

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Man's Identity
May 10, 1947

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