My friend George

George was older than the rest of us. He was what others euphemistically referred to as "slow." George's size, physical maturity, and struggles with schoolwork made him different from the rest of the kids. Those differences also tended to isolate him. I probably spent more time with George than other kids did. I liked him. He was gentle and good-natured, and forgiving.

I didn't see George over the summer. He lived too far away. When registration took place for the new school year, I saw George's mom and sister that morning. That was when I learned the awful news that George had died. It wasn't clear whether it was an accident or intentionally self-inflicted harm, but at the time that question wasn't what concerned me the most. The simple fact was, George was gone. George and what happened to him left a mark on my life. It was an experience that forced me to consider more deeply the value of life. I wanted to feel God's closeness and man's worth in a way that could not be lost.

There must be countless events in an individual's life that work toward an inexorable spiritual turning, that support receptivity to Christian Science and urge investigation of the divine Principle that underlies its spiritual promise and healing works. That spiritual turning can even be hastened by tragic events.

The husbandman
December 22, 1986

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