During turbulent years in Indonesia in the 1960s, when I was a teenager, Christian Science was first introduced to me by a friend from a swimming club who attended Christian Science Sunday School.
I attended a Church of Christ, Scientist, for the first time on a Wednesday night, for a testimony meeting, and the atmosphere of love that I felt during the service was indescribable. That year I had the joy of attending Sunday School, the next year I joined The Mother Church, and the year after that I joined the branch church in Jakarta, my hometown. Soon, I attended a youth meeting in Boston at The Mother Church, and after that I took Primary class instruction in Christian Science.
My first big challenge was to work out what was next for me. I had to finish college, but I had no job and no income.
While I was reading one day in the Christian Science Reading Room, the chapter called “Prayer” from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy really helped me. As my house was not far from the church and the Reading Room, any time an opportunity allowed me to be there you would find me studying Mrs. Eddy’s writings. I enjoyed my daily morning walk in pursuit of learning more about the Science of Christianity, even when I had nothing in my pocket and could not even imagine having enough money to buy lunch.
In addition to praying with the chapter “Prayer,” I also liked this from Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 by Mrs. Eddy: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love!” (p. 307).
As I was praying and learning not to doubt God’s care, soon after this I was offered a job at a college helping a student. Half a year later I was offered work in New York, which I accepted. Later I took a new job in a big brand-new hotel that was going to open in Jakarta. How grateful I was for learning how God meets our needs and for receiving these opportunities! I was being asked to be humble and understand that God, divine Love, is All-in-all.
At the hotel, I was responsible for recruitment and training in many different areas. I started supervising 12 people, and when the hotel finally opened, there were 1,200 on the staff. In the six years I worked there, I faced many challenges such as blackmail, hate, jealousy, bullying, intimidation, but in all of these matters, I held to this statement in Science and Health: “It is possible,—yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman,—to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness” (p. 37).
With this understanding, each trouble was overcome. At one point, feeling under siege by what was going on at work, I had rashes on my body and suffered from sleepless nights. As I turned away from seeing people as my enemy to seeing them as children of God, reflecting love for each other and living in harmony, all the symptoms disappeared before a week had ended.
I’ve found strength from the following statements: Science and Health says, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” (p. 4) and, from the Bible, “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). The loving spirit that is expressed by God in His children was shown so perfectly by Christ Jesus, and we must follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
I have seen, over the years, how essential it is not only to express this Christly love, but to pray for myself daily. Starting with prayer for ourselves, and then praying and sharing the goodness of God toward mankind, we become more and more confident that harmony and peace must be realized and manifested as the only reality. Mrs. Eddy writes, “Watch, and pray daily that evil suggestions, in whatever guise, take no root in your thought nor bear fruit” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 128). We can allow God to shepherd and guide us, as we work to understand that divine Love is the only power. I continue to learn more all the time as a student of Christian Science.
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