Absalom in the Reading Room?

Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!” grumbles King David’s son Absalom. With ambition growing unchecked in his thought, he positions himself at the gate of the city and steals “the hearts of the men of Israel” (II Samuel 15:4, 6).

My first few weeks as a Christian Science Reading Room attendant, I floundered. I felt like I messed up every interaction I had with visitors and customers. Whenever someone would come in and ask, “What is Christian Science?” or a related question, I would freeze. How could I possibly explain something so close to my heart and make it meaningful to someone else? I started trying to “sum up” Christian Science in a few sentences so that I could have a quick one-off answer anytime someone asked. But these responses, as they were based on fear of scorn or disbelief, were less than satisfying. I left these interactions with others feeling that I could have done better.

One day, I opened the Bible at random to the story of Absalom at the gate. Absalom’s behavior suggests ambition, pride, and greed. His ambition ends up causing a civil war in Israel, thanks to his attempts to wrest the throne away from his father, David. 

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Spiritual Lens
August 18, 2014

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