''Remember the teddy bear coat!'' has become a saying in our family. It started when my daughter and I were shopping for a coat for her. In one shop we kept brushing aside a brown, rough-finished coat. We didn't think it could possibly be the right one.
But we had been praying to know that God, through His impartial, universal law of good, always cares for every need. No problem, however mundane it may seem, is too small to be solved through prayer. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, reminds us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. "n1
n1 Science and Health, p. 494.
Realizing that Love was taking care of us helped us to be more open-minded about our selection, and my daughter finally tried on the fuzzy brown coat. It was a perfect fit and just the right color and style! Even the rough finish was becoming.
Many times since then we've seen the need to be unbiased, and receptive to fresh ideas in all areas of activity. Preconceived ideas can close thought and shut us off from new experiences and blessings. The need is to keep thought open to accept the nature of God as divine Love, ever present and caring for His creation with tenderness and strength.
It was to this receptive state of thought that Christ Jesus brought healing. When he cured the boy afflicted with a ''dumb spirit,'' n2 for example, Jesus told the boy's father, ''If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.'' The man's response, ''Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief ,'' indicated a willingness to accept a new idea--that his son could be healed. And he was.
n2 See Mark 9:17-29.
Thinking that we already understand all there is to know about God and man's relationship to Him--or even deciding what we think the right solution is--can stymie our receptivity to fresh answers. A Christian Scientist, greatly perplexed about a decision to be made, asked a friend for advice. The friend replied, ''I cannot tell you what step to take, but I can suggest that you 'keep limber' in thought.'' This keeping ''limber,'' being receptive to the unfolding of ideas from divine Mind, God, resulted in a far better solution than the Scientist had thought possible.
Some of our most valuable lessons come through openness of thought, through listening for divine wisdom and actually accepting our unity with God. The prophet represents God as declaring, ''I am the Lord, and there is none else. . . . Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.'' n3
N3 Isaiah 45:6, 22.
Trusting in God's care and letting go of doubt, fear, willfulness, preconceptions, we are ready to receive the good He is already providing. As we are thus receptive to God's outpouring of good for us, we are cared for far beyond what human planning can conceive. As we read in Malachi, ''Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." n4
n4 Malachi 3:10.
So when my daughter and I say, ''Remember the teddy bear coat,'' we are really reminding ourselves to keep thought receptive. As we accept good ideas from God, we have whatever is needed. In Mrs. Eddy's words, ''God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.'' n5
n5 DAILY BIBLE VERSE Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust. Psalms 40:4 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307.