Sharing Christian Science with my community
I grew up listening to Sentinel Radio each Sunday morning prior to leaving for church and Sunday School. I sometimes wasn’t eager to listen to it, but at some point during the program, invariably something would be shared which “hit the mark” for me. The 30-minute program always left me in a better place than it found me because the truths were timeless and the healings shared were so inspiring.
When Sentinel Radio stopped recording new programs, the prerecorded shows continued to be aired on a major AM station in Baltimore. Shortly after our family relocated to the area, I began to listen to the program again and found the recorded episodes to be just as fresh as I had remembered them.
I was disappointed, though, when I learned that even the rebroadcast episodes of Sentinel Radio were going to be discontinued because of lack of local funding. I had never thought about all the behind-the-scenes work that had gone on in order to provide the program to the public, but I felt strongly that it was crucial for it to continue to play on air.
I could eliminate a lot of unnecessary work and worry by quietly listening to God and trusting divine unfoldment.
Subsequently, I was contacted by a member of a local committee representing multiple branch Churches of Christ, Scientist, in the Baltimore area. They sponsored the rebroadcasting of Sentinel Radio, and invited me to look at the program’s financials to explore ideas on how to have the program continue. I appreciated the outreach, as I was relatively new to the area. I felt such a commitment to supporting this program’s public focus because several friends and acquaintances had mentioned how they’d appreciated the show through the years. With an open heart, I agreed to meet.
Before I knew it, I was Chair of this committee and helped organize a fundraiser to keep Sentinel Radio on-air. It was a “loaves and fishes” experience, as each time I looked at the balance in our account it never appeared to have enough funds to make it through the year; but our needs were met for the program to continue for that year and several more years (see Matthew 14:14–21). I learned to stop fixating on the balance sheet and instead to turn my focus on trusting the one true, unfailing source of supply, God. I found it important to express gratitude at the start of each fund-raiser rather than waiting until it finished to recognize how God’s goodness was present—not waiting in the wings.
Late last November, I received a call from the radio station manager (this was a radio station with which we had a long-standing relationship) explaining that the station had decided to eliminate all religious programming. They said they would carry Sentinel Radio for only four more weeks. This left me with little time to find space for the program at another station.
Initially I felt angry and resentful. I had just completed another fund-raising drive and had promised members that the program was going to continue. Now, the situation had changed, and I felt that it was up to me to fix it. I took some practical measures and contacted several other stations, but was left without good results to report.
God, divine Love, provides for us beyond what we can ever hope.
After a few days of making no headway, the thought came to me to leave it with God. I wasn’t throwing my hands up in defeat, but I had developed more of a confident trust that God already had answered the need, and that I could eliminate a lot of unnecessary work and worry by quietly listening to God and trusting divine unfoldment. My prayer was to know that sharing the content on these programs was a right idea and right ideas can’t be displaced, ignored, or tossed aside. I didn’t have to depend on a human option, which might or might not work, because the spiritual solution, or fact, was already established. An outcome that would bless all parties was inevitable.
With only two Sundays left for Sentinel Radio to air, I heard from a station manager for another AM station. He said that he’d heard we were looking for a home for Sentinel Radio and that his station was interested in meeting with me to discuss it the next week.
When we met, the station manager’s opening offer was for the exact day and time we wanted. It was clear that the station needed the ideas Sentinel Radio was sharing as much as we wanted to broadcast with the station. We were able to air the rebroadcasts of Sentinel Radio with no interruption.
In fact, our prior station notified me that they would continue to air Sentinel Radio for an additional two weeks beyond what we had originally negotiated with an announcement of the program’s relocation so listeners would know where to find the program. There were two weeks where we were aired on both stations—at no additional cost.
I continue to be in awe of how God, divine Love, provides for us beyond what we can ever hope. As Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494).
[Editor’s note: You can find audio resources under the JSH Web-Radio tab on the homepage of JSH-Online. You’ll find programs like the author mentions, as well as chats and podcasts.]