Have you ever felt that someone was sitting in your place? Felt a little crowded as you worked side by side with someone in the same area?
Not long ago I felt this way and learned something valuable as I thought about it. A relative was visiting our home. For some reason, every time she visited she would settle into my favorite chair. Well, why not? It was comfortable and cozy, right by the wood stove. It was the chair I loved to spend hours in with a good book. My favorite place was obviously this relative's favorite place, too - and this time she was with us for a lengthy stay! Every day she would say, "I'm sitting in your chair," as if to bring it to my attention in case I hadn't noticed! And I would assure her it was all right. Of course, I wanted to be polite and gracious, but at the same time I couldn't help thinking, "What's the deal here?"
One day as we were going through this routine, this Bible verse came to me: "[God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). I saw that we were really sitting together in the way we each related to God. At the same time, because we never stop being in the presence of God, we always remain in a perfect place all our own. I felt a togetherness, a oneness, a unity, stemming from this realization. And where my relative and I sat humanly then seemed unimportant, irrelevant.
The next day this relative suddenly found another place that she felt was much better suited for her to do her reading, a more private place. Of course, by that time it didn't matter to me in the least where I sat either. Harmony had prevailed - and without a word - when our spiritual unity was evident to me.
Not long after, this same relative was saying that she felt she was getting in my way. We would both be in the kitchen and end up almost colliding as we worked in the same area. During meals she asked me if I had enough room where I was sitting.
It came to me that what we really needed to make room for was grace. This verse from a hymn came immediately to my thought: "A grateful heart a garden is, / Where there is always room / For every lovely, Godlike grace / To come to perfect bloom" ("Christian Science Hymnal," No. 3). Also, this verse from a poem by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded this newspaper: "Forever present, bounteous, free, / Christ comes in gloom; / And aye, with grace towards you and me, / For health makes room" ("Christ and Christmas," Pg. 53). I had once been healed immediately of the symptoms of flu when I understood that message. Expressing grace makes room for health! In that instance, sickness had been literally replaced with health. In any human situation, making room for grace is what makes room for harmony in our lives; there is always ample room for us all to dwell together peacefully.
This idea came into play soon after. Our church was to hold a community function, and I had been watching my rose garden in anticipation of which roses I could cut for a beautiful bouquet. The evening before the function, this same relative, along with another family member, was going to a friend's house for dinner. She asked me if she could have a bouquet of roses to take. My first thought was that I had planned to cut them for our church and that there might not be enough. Besides this, she was already late. I felt I had neither enough roses nor enough time to cut them.
Then I remembered that the thing we need to make room for more of is grace. I immediately felt at ease. I got together a lovely bouquet in no time flat - and with grace! It meant a great deal to my relative's friends, and there were still plenty of flowers for another lovely and abundant bouquet the next day.
In these small ways, I was able to prove for myself a large truth: there is always enough room, always enough time, and certainly always enough opportunity, to make room for - and see the rewards of - more grace!
The Christian Science Journal, a monthly magazine, contains in-depth articles on Christian Science.