OUR new reading lamp wouldn't light. Tiny rough edges on the metal plug had kept it from going all the way into its receptacle. It wasn't connecting. When that problem was solved, there was a flood of brightness. The incident reminded me of another much more important event in my life.
I was first attracted to Christian Science because it presented God as loving and cherishing His creation. I remember being moved by what Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She says: ``Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation."
I also had friends who had been healed by studying Christian Science. But as desperately as I tried, I couldn't seem to make it work to solve my own problems. It wasn't until I learned that healing depended on God's abundant love for His creation--not on my own abilities--that I was able to experience for myself how reliable Christian Science healing is.
Here's how it happened: One day when I was sick with a cold, I also heard that the company which had been buying almost all of my freelance work had gone out of business. Frightened, I tried to pray. ``Our Father," I began. But even though I'd been saying the Lord's Prayer for most of my life, I couldn't seem to get beyond the beginning. The words at first were a kind of singsong repetition from memory, and I needed more than words! Suddenly what Mrs. Eddy had written about Father-Mother being the name f or Deity came into my thought. My parents and I had always been close. Now it occurred to me that I had a parent-child relationship with God, the creator, as well, and that this relationship was even closer! Even more important, I saw it must have been in this same sense that Christ Jesus himself had addressed God as ``our Father."
In the previous months I'd talked a lot about God, read many articles about Him and about what miracles prayers to Him could achieve, but only at that moment did I feel, at last, what I would call an actual connection with Him. I began to see that our Master's awareness of that ``tender relationship" had been one of the main themes of his whole mission. He really had known his Father would unfailingly hear him. He had said precisely that, for example, when he had restored Lazarus to life.
In the Bible, John's Gospel records the event in these words: ``And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou has sent me." This wonderful healing exemplified Christ Jesus' understanding of what God and all His children were to each other, and all that such a fact might mean.
Jesus taught his followers, including us today, that all God's children have free access to their heavenly Father. So we must naturally inherit spiritual qualities from our creator. If that is so, I reasoned, how could I or anyone be sick or defeated? Even as I thought it, I really did feel spiritual strength in myself. I had a surging eagerness to learn all I could about my relationship, my indestructible connection, with God.
The cold I'd been suffering from vanished. And within a few days I found another market for my freelance work. I felt more safe and loved and brave than I had ever felt before. It was as if, to use the homely example of the flawed lamp, I'd at last made a connection with a warm and wonderful light that would illumine my way forever. And, indeed, I had.