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Don’t let it harden your heart

From the July 13, 2020 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


I cherish my alone time with God each day. I look forward to digging into the scientific truths that are uncovered during my study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I’ve always found such comfort during my study—even as a child. I remember my parents handing me copies of the Sentinel to keep by my bed so I could read testimonies from other kids who relied on prayer for healing. I loved reading those—they assured me that my daily reliance on God and prayer was not only normal, but effective! Never could I have imagined a time when I would feel that all was lost, when I wouldn’t want to reach out for those comforting truths.

However, not long ago both of my parents passed away, rather suddenly and only a few months apart. I felt completely gutted. I was unprepared to handle what seemed like such a monumental loss. Rather than turn to the Bible and Science and Health for comfort, I found myself pushing them away. I didn’t want anything to do with God. I felt betrayed by everything I’d ever known. It was very lonely and disorienting.

My sweet friends who are also Christian Scientists tried to reassure me that I would find comfort again—that, in reality, nothing had ever actually changed for me or for my parents, as our spiritual identities are always safe and secure in God. While I appreciated their outpouring of love, I wasn’t ready to hear it or believe it. My grief was following me around like a big dark cloud, and my anger and self-justification challenged my friends’ attempts to express love and compassion. Without realizing it, I was isolating myself from what I needed most. This went on for nearly a year. 

A year after my dad passed, I took a trip to see a friend of mine in another state. While there, I also had a visit with some dear family friends whom I hadn’t seen in many years. It’s hard to describe what happened next, because it was so unexpected. During my visit with these dear ones, I felt myself open up again. I felt loved in a way I hadn’t since before my parents passed. I could feel that these dear friends didn’t see me as overwhelmed by grief and loss; instead, they saw my unbroken identity as a spiritual expression of God—they saw me as I really am.

I can’t possibly lose anything good, because God is divine Love and He alone is my Father and my Mother.

One of these friends also said something to me that completely broke through all the resistance I was feeling and woke me up. After I shared how difficult it had been without my parents, this friend reached out to hold my hand and said in the most loving, mom-like voice, “Don’t let it harden you.” Whoa. That hit me right between the eyes. I felt as if all the wind had been knocked out of me—almost as if my own mom had just spoken. That was exactly what had happened—I’d let myself become hardened. I had been so mesmerized by the sense of loss that I had forgotten the scientific fact that I can’t possibly lose anything good because God is divine Love and He alone is my Father and my Mother. This was a turning point. Once uncovered, the lie of separation from good simply dissolved into dust. Isn’t that what Jesus taught when he said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)? I was free!

I felt lighter than I had in months. It was so clear to me that God was talking to me through those dear ones. It was as if He were grabbing my hand and saying, “I am always with you and you are so very loved.” It reminded me of one of my favorite passages from the Bible: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God” (Isaiah 41:10). I truly had nothing to fear because God was with me every step of the way. And the mothering and fathering qualities I had been yearning for from my parents were being so tenderly expressed by those friends, it was a powerful reminder that these qualities can never be lost. 

Since then, my sense of family has expanded and lifted. I understand more clearly that all of us express the mothering and fathering qualities of our Father-Mother, God. None of us can ever lack anything good when we see ourselves and others as we truly are. No longer do I claim loss for myself—I know that my parents’ love always had its source in God, and therefore continues on. And God’s love isn’t abstract; it’s forever active and tangible!

My gratitude knows no bounds. Christian Science reveals the truth of our unchanged identity as taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus. Now, more than ever, I understand more deeply what it means to be free. And I’m so very grateful.

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