My father passed away six years ago, and I was very distraught. I was so disheartened that I didn’t even want to get out of bed.
As a student of Christian Science, I’ve learned that sadness doesn’t belong to God’s children, so I didn’t accept that depressed state of mind. I realized I needed to understand that although my dad wasn’t physically present, he, like all of us, is a spiritual idea of the infinite Mind, God, and an idea cannot die.
I called a Christian Science practitioner and asked her to help me better understand this spiritual truth through prayer. She recommended some readings from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. At first I was reluctant to read anything. So my children read those passages to me, along with the Christian Science weekly Bible Lesson, which is composed of citations from the Bible and Science and Health. This study prepares us spiritually to overcome challenges and helps us keep our thought in line with God, in communion with Him.
After a couple of days, I started doing some research on my own. I began with a promise from the Preface in Science and Health that filled me with joy: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (p. vii). I also found support in a poem written by Mrs. Eddy called “Communion Hymn” (Poems, p. 75). As I read it, the message that I needed to be free from sorrow began opening up to me. The poem says in part:
’Twas the Truth that made us free,
And was found by you and me
In the life and the love of our Lord.
This helped me realize that God was freeing me from erroneous thinking. The poem also says, “Mourner, it calls you,—‘Come to my bosom, / Love wipes your tears all away ….’ ”
These words were inspiring me to keep my thought in the light of Christ, in the message of salvation. The next lines of the poem add,
“And will lift the shade of gloom,
And for you make radiant room
Midst the glories of one endless day.”
To me this was a promise that I would completely come out of the darkness in which I felt immersed.
One day as I was pondering this passage, “The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit” (Science and Health, p. 468), I realized that as the reflection of God, we can never go through dark or evil situations.
At that time, I was serving as a Reader in my Christian Science branch church, so for me it was very important to be healed and to be free from this sense of loss and sadness. I felt that I couldn’t fulfill my tasks as a Reader if I had thoughts of sorrow, so I asked to take some time off from this work. But I soon saw that God, divine Love, is choosing us to work for Him, and we can be willing to do what is required of us. I couldn’t yield to sadness. I had within my reach the tools I needed, such as the Pastor of our church—the Bible and Science and Health—and the Bible Lessons, which could completely free me from those unhappy feelings.
In the Bible we read, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). Those words reassured me that God’s light is with us always and is protecting us constantly as we persist in understanding and practicing what He is teaching us.
One Sunday, I returned to my position as a Reader. The subject of that week’s Bible Lesson was “Sacrament,” and the Lesson included the same ideas that I had been praying with to be healed. When I finished reading that morning, I knew I was completely healed.
My gratitude to God is immeasurable. At every moment, in every situation, He shows us that He’s constantly present.
Susana Beatriz Rivarola de Vidal
Buenos Aires, Argentina