A Christian Science perspective: When the author loses her wallet in a busy city, she realizes the value of daily prayer.

With constant reports of crime, angry reaction, and other disheartening news, it’s important to regularly celebrate the countless acts of goodness that actually surround us.

After an errand-filled morning during which my husband and I had driven all over the city, I suddenly realized my wallet was missing. I’d had it when leaving the house, so I knew it was somewhere – and we looked everywhere in the car. No wallet.

What struck me most was how calm I felt. Never for a moment did I doubt we would find the wallet, with contents intact. This wasn’t simply wishful thinking. That weekend had been filled with prayer and joyful affirmation of God’s presence and goodness, and at that moment I felt such a strong sense of closeness to our Father-Mother, God. This sense of closeness kept fear or doubt or the what-ifs from creeping in.

I thought of a phrase by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science: “Nothing is lost that God gives...” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 111). I realized that God, our all-good and all-loving creator, only gives goodness and blessing. I wasn’t praying for the return of the wallet so much as praying to acknowledge and rejoice in God’s presence and allness, affirming that peace, joy, and harmony are natural to all of God’s creation and couldn’t be disrupted in any way.

I had a strong inclination to return home, where I felt sure we’d discover where the wallet was. Walking down the sidewalk and up the steps, I didn’t see it. But as I turned to put my key in the lock, I noticed a business card stuck near the door. It contained a handwritten note: “Jennifer, this is Officer __ of the Boston police. I have your wallet. Give me a call.”

I did, and the kind police officer, brushing off my offer to go meet him, immediately left his precinct and drove 20 minutes to my door to deliver it. When we met, he told me he’d been driving by and noticed a bright pink wallet lying in the street near the curb. He couldn’t believe there was clearly nothing missing – including cash and credit cards. We both rejoiced. I was overcome with gratitude, and at the same time I felt keenly the rightness and naturalness of this outcome. I spontaneously hugged him, and we each felt blessed that afternoon, as my expression of thanks for this man and his fellow officers seemed to be a reassurance he needed to hear that day.

Best of all, though, was the reminder of the importance of daily prayer to feel more of the presence and power of God. My calm state of thought, and obedience to the inclination to go home, were not coincidental; it was clear to me that they were the direct outcome of my prayers that day and weekend, which strengthened and calmed me when the need arose and enabled me to see God’s goodness evidenced right then and there.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

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The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

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