"Poor Tillie"

The writer recalls an incident in his youth that points up the vast difference between a false sense of sympathy and the spiritually enlightened concepts of being a good neighbor. A greataunt living nearby was usually bedridden with some illness. Kindly relatives and friends helped with her housework. Her physical condition was considered so chronic that people throughout the neighborhood referred to this unfortunate woman as "poor Tillie."

One day a Christian Scientist visited "poor Tillie" and told her that God had created her perfect, in His own likeness. The visitor told her that she should not accept as real the beliefs of sickness that she herself and others had identified with her. Tillie obtained a copy of Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy and began to study it. Gradually, as she gained some understanding of her perfect being as the child of God, she threw off the sick thoughts that had bound her. In two years her health was normal. Her appearance and demeanor changed so perceptibly that people dropped the word "poor" when referring to her. Instead they considered her with admiration. Tillie became an octogenarian and joyously entertained her great-grandchildren each summer.

How important it is to love our neighbor as ourselves by seeing him as God created him, in His own likeness! Actually a true concept of ourselves cannot be separated from that of our brother, for man, the compound idea of infinite Being, is one and includes all the qualities of his creator. The expression of these qualities is individual but always set to the standard of perfection. It is interesting that Victor Hugo in his work on Shakespeare referred to "an infinite variety possible only to unity." William Shakespeare by Victor Hugo, trans, by M. B. Anderson, 1887 Edition, p. 118 ; As one identifies himself and others with the only true creation, his human experience will be more harmonious. And all of those included in his spiritualized thought will be blessed.

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Teddy Wakes Up
December 28, 1968

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