`COME with me, she said. "And I will make you a better mother. That's the main message I remember from the radio coverage of this woman's effect on people's lives. The broadcast described how she stands upright--strong and erect--and walks with great dignity and purpose. She is the coordinator of a large urban housing project. This project is clean and safe; drug users, drug pushers, loiterers, troublemakers, are not welcome. Strong security measures keep them out.
Most of the families are young black women with their children. The coordinator's loving but resolute manner makes it clear that these families are her family. "Continue your education, she urges. "Work. Apply yourself. Value your contribution! And when she sees yet another young woman in the halls struggling with her children, she says lovingly, "Come with me.
I'm not sure what motivates this woman, other than plain old love. But can't we see in her an effort to follow Christ Jesus' example? Whether we are trying to be a good parent, a good provider, or just a good person, following the Christly example of Jesus can make a vast difference. Jesus' example carries us forward to God, as when he said to two fishermen, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Because Jesus was unique as the example of the spiritual man that God creates, he could show others the difference that the wholehearted acceptance of God's power and presence makes in their daily lives.
And what a difference it does make! It brings redemption from sensuality and greed, from crippling disease, and even from death. Following Christ Jesus, though, isn't a casual undertaking. It never was. It's a life commitment. But because God is a loving, patient God our success is assured if we are really willing to follow wholeheartedly. Those fishermen who went with Jesus discovered that learning to be fishers of men required deep changes within themselves. For one, it meant accepting God on a far dif ferent basis than they ever had.
Perhaps the most important fact about God is His complete, powerful, active presence with man. Since He is Spirit, it's true that He's not visible to the material senses. But that doesn't diminish the fact of His presence, any more than the invisibility of the number seven, for example, negates its reality as a mathematical fact. You don't have to see seven apples or seven people to know that the number seven exists.
Today, Jesus the man is no longer with us in person. But the Christ--that spirit of love and truth so closely identified with him--remains to communicate the truth to man. Christ speaks to us directly through the Bible's pages. We can follow just as those fishermen followed Jesus. Our own prayers, our own desire to know more about God, our own yearning to grow closer to Him, make us followers.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, counted herself as a willing follower of Christ Jesus. Her own experience in healing the sick, combined with the spiritual light she found in the Bible, formed the basis and substance of her discovery of Christian Science. In Mrs. Eddy's life it's clear that she turned again and again to the Biblical record of Jesus' life. In the Preface to her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she says, "To-day, though rejoicing in some progress, she still finds herself a willing disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ.
What if more of us were willing to do this? Were willing, like that project coordinator, to feel the Christly motivation that impels us to help others? Wouldn't we have a wonderfully different world?