MY father came from a non-Christian family and country. When his best friend became a Christian, my father vandalized the mission church responsible for the conversion, and burned its Bibles. On a second visit he set off to kill the missionary bishop. When he met him, the bishop invited him into the church, knelt down, and prayed for my father. My father had a perfect chance to do away with the bishop, alone in an empty church; the bishop was a small man, and my father was violent, angry, and strong. But as hard as he tried, something stopped him from murdering the bishop. He went away disgusted at his own weakness, puzzled at a power that had stopped him from doing any harm. He decided to find out more about Christianity, and as a result he became a Christian himself.
Thus both my parents were converts to Christianity, and were both disowned and cast out of their families. I was born into this Christian family. We never saw my relatives, and as children we grew up experiencing much prejudice from fellow countrymen. We felt we never really fitted into our country's society, always held at arm's length with suspicion.
When I came to the West, I thought things would be different. After all I was coming to a Christian country and I, too, was a Christian. It was a big shock to find that I didn't belong, this time because I was a foreigner! That is when I began a long search for my identity. I felt confused and lost. I just didn't fit in anywhere.
My search took me through many trials, experiences, and relationships. Then one day I was introduced to a book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. At first I didn't understand the language of the book. Many of its ideas were alien to what I had come to know. But I was given a copy of the Christian Science Sentinel with it, and as I read the testimonies in this magazine, I knew I had come home. This was what I had been looking for.
Finding Christian Science initiated the startling discovery of my true identity. It was like somebody had given me the key to let myself out of a prison, unlocking the mysteries of the Bible for me. I had an extensive knowledge of the Bible, for we had gone to church twice every Sunday and read the Bible every day. But although I loved the Bible, so much of it had been a puzzle.
Science and Health taught me facts about spiritual identity-that I am a beloved child of a loving Father-Mother God, and that I am perfect because God is perfect. (Before, I'd thought of God as a strict, gruesome deity who only dished out punishment and sickness and bad luck.)
It was most exciting for me to feel the motherhood of God. I no longer yearned for a physical motherland, because I'd learned that my home in God is with me, everywhere. In Acts we read: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (17:28). God's love filled me up full. I felt God's love all around me, and this made me satisfied and fulfilled. The power of His love allowed me to trust and love everyone. For me, there were no longer any barriers of language, race, culture, or traditions. I didn't need to be anxious or try to impress people in order to be accepted. People began to be friendlier to me, and they stopped asking me what country I came from. They accepted me. How could they not? Being linked to God, we were all complete and good.
Then I saw that this spirituality was also true for my dear parents. We could never miss out on family blessings, or inheritance, or love, by choosing to follow the Christ. Science and Health says, "Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance" (p. 259).
This was the Science of Christianity I was learning and accepting. It taught me the facts about existence. Understanding it enables us to experience the operation of the unchangeable law of God, which is always present with you and me.