A Bible in ... the kitchen?

It may seem an unusual place to keep a Bible. But the Bible in her kitchen is one woman’s “most utilized ‘recipe book,’” offering inspiration that comforts, guides, and heals.

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Years ago, a neighbor who’d stopped by for a kaffeeklatsch saw a Bible on the cookbook shelf in my kitchen. She chuckled and said, “Who ever heard of a Bible in the kitchen?”

“Perfect place,” I answered. My next words came out so quickly and naturally: “The Bible contains the recipe for all healing.”

This was actually a quote from the book sitting right beside my Bible, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science (p. 406) – and I knew it to be true from experience.

We proceeded to have a neighborly visit, and I forgot all about the incident. Then, some weeks later, this neighbor stopped by again. “I just had to talk to someone,” she said. “I’m absolutely inundated!” Through tears, she proceeded to list the overwhelming tasks that had unexpectedly come up all at once, including caring for a family member in need across the country and selling her family’s house due to a work relocation.

Taking that handy Bible off the shelf, I shared this verse with her: “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). I’d read that verse just hours earlier, and it had spoken to me because I needed it, too. We can all have that assurance: None of us is stuck doing anything alone. God is a “very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1).

A month later was our last kitchen visit. She shared that things were working out so smoothly for her. Likewise, the pressing needs that I’d been thinking about that morning had also been met in a timely, orderly fashion.

This friend and I lost touch, but a few years later we ran into each other in an airport. We hugged, and the very first words out of her smiling mouth were “The Bible contains the recipe for all healing.” She’d remembered that all those years. She said she’d thought of that many times.

I’ve moved several times since then, but there’s still a Bible in my kitchen (and in nearly every other room in my home, too). It is by far my most utilized “recipe book.” In fact, I use it every day. It teaches of God’s ever-presence, almightiness, and invariable love for His children. God’s Word, expressed in the Bible’s message of God’s love and care, continues to comfort, strengthen, guide, and even heal me. I wouldn’t trade it, or the inspiring lens Christian Science brings to it, for anything in the world!

Just before our first child was born, while I was making breakfast one morning, a sudden fear of “What if I’m not ready for mommyhood?” grabbed me. Reaching for my Bible, here’s what I opened to: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).

This said volumes to me. That first part spoke to me of God’s fatherhood and motherhood, Deity’s strong and tender care for all His children (all of us). And the last part assured me that my husband and I wouldn’t be doing this parenthood thing alone. God would always be with us, guiding and guarding. And as God’s spiritual offspring, made in His image, we each reflect this divine Father-Motherhood, which inspires in us the ability to be responsible, loving parents.

The next day our son was born. I can’t tell you how meaningful and precious that inspiration was as we embarked on parenthood, and how many times it continued to help us along the way.

The Christ – the natural, necessary activity and power of God, divine Love – breaks through the mist of materially based, fearful, frazzled thinking, restoring harmony and health. The Bible, together with Science and Health, continues to help me grow in my understanding of God, experience God’s healing presence, and help others do this, too. In fact, that very verse from Isaiah that had so inspired me as a mother later inspired me to devote my life to the Christian and public healing ministry, as a Christian Science practitioner.

Is there a Bible in your kitchen? If not, you might think of it. You just may find, as I have, that nothing could be handier or more helpful.

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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.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

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.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.