There's a new baby on the way. Grandmothers are happily knitting and piecing quilts. I'm hand painting a lamp for the nursery, but as I do this, I'm giving my real gift: prayer.
During one of the mother's regular prenatal visits, the doctor expressed concerns and ordered tests, which made the family anxious. My friend's report was interwoven with stories of past accidents and illnesses, as well as fears of future complications.
I immediately turned in prayer to God, gratefully recognizing an opportunity to feel God's mothering love. In her work "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy gave a spiritual interpretation of the opening line in the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father which art in heaven," as "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious" (p. 16).
As I prepared my brushes to begin the lamp project, I asked God, the dear Mother of us all, what I should know about this child. Then I patiently listened, confident from many past healings that turning to God would bring a new understanding of real being as spiritual, unviolated by the laws attributed to matter.
I was enjoying the way the paint colors were working so well together when I remembered a fragment of a Bible verse from I John: "Now are we the sons of God." Grateful for this inspiration as answered prayer, I began to think about what bearing the fact that God is Mother has on time, birth, and life cycles.
On the surface, a child is conceived, and, through biological processes, life begins where no life was before. Then, after a certain amount of time passes, the child is born, beginning a life that will eventually end in death, and the life that was will no longer be. But understanding God as Mother brings another view of time: eternity.
God, as Life, is forever unfolding in living things. This life, outlined by Love, does not begin with birth or end in death. In fact, Mrs. Eddy described "day" as "the irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love," and then referred to the account of creation in the first chapter of Genesis: "And the evening and the morning were the first day."
Further, she wrote, "The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded" (Science and Health, p. 584). Such understanding acts as a law, reversing dire human predictions as illegitimate.
Later, I looked up that Bible verse from I John, mentioned earlier, that reads: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
Mrs. Eddy gave the name "divine Mind" as a synonym for our Father-Mother God, and I affirmed that our being, everyone included, actually dwells now and forever as an idea in Mind, where all is in harmony. No past affliction is there to harm this child's perfect and natural unfoldment, since she has always lived in God, completely and beautifully formed, as an idea; and no future harm awaits her.
I continued to think of this precious one as continuously supplied with perfect being by her divine Mother. And this nurturing, protective activity was being carried out just as happily as the human preparations being made to give the baby a beautiful new home with everything she needed already present.
I continued to think this way every day for several days, until, as I was putting the finishing touches on the lamp, the news came that all the tests had come back with a good report, and the baby was fine. All the anxiety disappeared in the realization that Mother's "day" - the irradiance of Life - is present, now.