'A treasure map' to Truth
One hot and humid summer day in July 2011, I was riding my bicycle down the streets of Pensacola, Florida, in search of employment. I had been out of work for many months and was living in a homeless shelter at the time. As I rode, I felt directed to walk into the local Christian Science Reading Room.
On this special day, God’s love was reflected by the attendant when she gave me a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. After a pleasant conversation, I thanked this woman for showing me such kindness. Soon afterward, I began reading the “little book” (see Science and Health, p. 559). I read it in the city parks, in the day labor halls, and at night in the homeless shelter. I could not stop reading it, realizing what I actually had was a treasure map leading me to God—Life, Truth, and Love.
As the days continued, I began to sense that I needed to leave the street life and be alone to ponder what I was learning. I left Pensacola and traveled 60 miles north to my family home in the woods of lower Alabama. The next 16 months I spent there changed my life. In the early morning hours before dawn, just before the birds began to sing, I would read Science and Health sitting next to the house’s wood stove, using oil lamps for light since I had no electrical service. I read for six to eight hours a day, and when I was not reading, I was praying and reasoning with God while I did my daily chores, such as collecting firewood, washing my clothes with a washboard, or cooking rice and beans on the wood stove.
Having no electricity, TV, or radio didn’t bother me—the study of Christian Science absorbed my attention.
As I searched deeper into the Bible and Science and Health, I learned that Truth will always stand independently on its own—if divine Science is really a science, it can contain no contradictions. Sometimes as I prayed, a woodpecker or a bluebird would perch for a few minutes on my windowsill, which reminded me that all things beautiful are reflections of a loving God. Sometimes I would ride my bike for miles on the country roads, picking up metal cans to sell for scrap or going to the library to print out material from The Mary Baker Eddy Library’s website. Within a year, my precious copy of Science and Health had been read 10 or 12 times, and the binding was falling apart.
Metaphysically, I was beginning to feel a great awakening. Having no electricity, TV, or radio didn’t bother me—the beautiful sounds of nature were now my music, and the study of Christian Science absorbed my attention. I also read biographies of Mrs. Eddy and was impressed with her spiritual strength and compassion for mankind.
The seasons changed, and I continued to have very little contact with other people. But I felt compelled to continue studying Science and Health, and I understood that I was not really alone at all because God is omnipresent—filling all space with good. During all that time, I never forgot the love that was reflected by that Reading Room attendant, remembering that “… Love is reflected in love” (Science and Health, p. 17).
Early in 2012, a Christian Science family from Georgia began sending me copies of The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons. I was so grateful for their unselfed love. The testimonies and articles in the magazines became my company, my friends during this time.
That summer, I felt it was time for me to be with other Christian Scientists—yet the nearest branch church was 60 miles away, and I had no job or reliable transportation.
I began to pray about my situation, metaphysically challenging the appearance of poverty. I strove to grasp the radical concept that poverty was really an illusion, and that God’s abundance was available to me and everyone. I caught a glimpse of the truth that Mary Baker Eddy expressed when she wrote: “Our reliance upon material things must be transferred to a perception of and dependence on spiritual things. For Spirit to be supreme in demonstration, it must be supreme in our affections, and we must be clad with divine power” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 28). Daily, I prayed silently, wanting to know how to join a local branch church, and remembering Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
Within a couple of weeks of this prayer, I was hired part time at the local sawmill. I saved what I earned, placing my savings in a glass mason jar. Soon I had enough for a down payment on a car, which enabled me to attend the Christian Science branch church in Pensacola.
Today I continue to study the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings for several hours a day, and I recently completed Primary class instruction with a Christian Science teacher in Boston. Every day I am thankful for my discovery of Christian Science. It’s wonderful to know that we are all the eternal reflection of Love!