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Church Alive

The following was written in support of Church Alive, a focus of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, that explores the meaning and possibilities of awakening to the spiritual basis and impact of Church.

Love's language

From the April 16, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


Church Alive

She didn’t speak English. I didn’t speak Spanish (well, I can count to ten). It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I was the attendant in the Christian Science Reading Room. My prayer that day was to see clearly God’s man, welcome people into our Reading Room, expect them to come in, and know that the Christ communicates to each seeker in a way that God’s love is clearly understood.

That prayer was in my heart and a young woman walked in the open door. She looked around for a bit, and then I greeted her with a welcoming smile and commented about the picture-perfect day outside. She replied in a flood of Spanish words and asked if I spoke Spanish. I was able to understand that she was very unhappy, afraid, and looking for help. About this point in our “conversation,” she was in tears. I offered her a tissue, a cup of water, a comfortable chair, and even a piece of hard candy. Then, in the most clear and tender voice, God said to me, “That’s not what she came for.” And I said to Him, “But you know I don’t speak Spanish.” And then another clear idea came to me: “Love communicates in the universal language of Love!”

At this point, I actually got down on my knees, next to this woman’s chair, and prayed aloud with her about God and about her. I prayed about God’s forever presence and goodness and lovingkindness, and the truth that she was the very daughter of God, made in God’s image and likeness—whole, upright, pure, and free. I prayed until I felt God’s presence, and the tears had stopped, and we both were calm.

I prayed until I felt God's presence, and the tears had stopped, and we both were calm.

I still wished I could have had a brief conversation with this woman, and I reached out again to God in prayer. Then a clear message came to call a certain church member. Although I had not seen this particular member at church in several years, I was obedient. I called her and she answered on the first ring. Yes indeed, she was fluent in Spanish and, in fact, had served on the board of a facility in our city for women who had encountered domestic violence. The church member and this woman had a wonderful and very healing conversation, and the woman left the Reading Room with a Spanish copy of Science and Health (and a cellphone number of the church member, who told her to call her if she ever had a need). As the woman left the Reading Room, we hugged, and she looked at me and said, in very plain English, “You love.” And I knew she had truly felt God loving her.


Maureen Loster lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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