Once, on a farm in Africa, I was left alone at night with two...

Once, on a farm in Africa, I was left alone at night with two small children in my care. They were turbulent times politically. The place was isolated and deserted. In the valley below the drums kept up their beating. I was frightened. The farmstead, on a ridge with mountains in the distance and a river below, consisted of some huts and three whitewashed, thatched rondavels, each rondavel containing a single room. I collected my prayer book from the wooden hut I slept in, and gathered up the two sleeping children into the largest rondavel, which was used as a sitting room. I laid them there on rugs before an open wood fire. Then I shut the door and sat outside on the veranda, wrapped against the cold, starry night— it was winter in June—and sang at the top of my voice, toward the valley, every familiar hymn in my prayer book. All fear soon left me, and the rest of the vigil was passed in calm confidence. What didn't leave me was a great love of hymns.

This happened some years ago and I knew nothing of Christian Science then, but the memory of that night and the reassuring hymns has stayed. To me, one of the happiest links between Christian Science services and the church I used to go to—a continuing link, an unfoldment, no severance or break with anything that is good—is the hymns. We share so many of them. The spirit of praise has been kept alive by these lovely songs, through the ages in all lands, from the Psalms of David until the revelation of Christian Science was given to us. That beautiful and scholarly book Concordance to Christian Science Hymnal and Hymnal Notes is an inspiration and delight.

Testimony of Healing
As a young girl, I was thrilled to know about God
August 9, 1975

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