Archive for the ‘CHRISTIAN SCIENCE’ Category

A SISTER FROM GHANA TELLS OF HER HEALING OF A LIVER CONDITION!-’GOD WILL HEAL ALL OUR DISEASES!”

April 27, 2010

from spirituality.com

A Christian Science nurse from Ghana
Imelda Ammah
Reprinted from the January 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

The day I walked into a Christian Science Reading Room for the first time, I had no idea what a wonderful spiritual journey lay ahead. Five years before, I had come to London from Ghana (West Africa) to become a medical nurse. But for three months before I had come into the Reading Room, I had been very ill. A severe reaction to the medicine I was taking for a urinary infection resulted in liver damage and severe weight loss. The doctor finally told me that nothing else could be done medically. He discharged me from the hospital, asking that I come back every two weeks for blood tests.

During that time, my husband saw an advertisement for a Christian Science Reading Room that stated “Christian Science Heals.” I found the Reading Room and said to the librarian, “You people heal. Can you help me?” This wonderful librarian gave me Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and a copy of The Christian Science Journal to look for a practitioner. She also gave me a Christian Science Sentinel, which I read on the bus ride home. By the time I got home, I had already had a healing of painful boils on my ankles and legs.

The librarian had invited me to the Wednesday testimony meeting. At that time, it was unusual for people of color to go into any British church, and if they did they usually faced an unfriendly reception. Besides that, due to my physical condition, I wasn’t a pleasant picture to see. But everyone lovingly welcomed me. I felt such a great sense of love at that service. I went home and read the whole chapter “Prayer” in Science and Health. What I read greatly relieved me from the fear that my ill health was punishment for something I had done wrong. I went to bed, and for the first time in a long time I slept peacefully through the night.
I held dear in my heart the idea of becoming a Christian Science nurse.

The following day I went to see a practitioner. She prayed for me and told me to go home and lead a normal life. Two weeks later, I went to the hospital for a blood test and was told that I was well and didn’t need to come anymore. This healing took place in 1976, and I have had no recurrence of this condition since.

At that time, I wanted to serve the Christian Science movement in any way I could. I joined a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and The Mother Church, and I took Christian Science primary class instruction. I also learned about Christian Science nursing and held dear in my heart the idea of becoming a Christian Science nurse.

I left medical nursing as a career, but I took a job in nursing recruitment to support my three young children. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health, “Emerge gently from matter into Spirit.” I guess you could say I emerged gently, as it took almost 20 years before I seriously pursued Christian Science nursing.
I have witnessed many healings, including tumors dissolved and aggressive wounds healed.

My first step into Christian Science nursing was a short course on Christian Science home nursing. During the course we discussed in detail the Christian Science Nurse By-Law in the Church Manual (p. 49). After this, I went on private-duty cases with nurses who advertised in the Journal. They served as my mentors. In another three years, I also began to advertise in the Journal. I was the London Visiting Nurse for five years before moving back to Ghana to look after my very senior mother and to offer my services as a Christian Science nurse to those in my own country.

In Africa, Christian Science nursing is in its infancy. We do not have Christian Science nursing facilities as in Europe and America. Families still look after their own, so I do not receive many requests for my services as a nurse. I spend part of the year working at a Christian Science nursing facility near London. I’m very active in my branch church in Ghana, and I continue to pray to know how Christian Science nursing can be supportive for Christian Scientists in my country.

As a Christian Science nurse, I have witnessed many healings, including tumors dissolved and aggressive wounds healed. I pray to see every patient as the perfect “image of God,” as the Bible says. I continually remind myself that I can only see what God sees. In this way, I am obeying the commandment not to bear false witness against my neighbor. All nursing is an art, but the spiritual dimension of Christian Science nursing is awesome.

Imelda Ammah now lives in Tema, Ghana.
Spiritual Man:
Science and Health:
485:14 (only)
King James Bible:
Gen. 1:27

BLACK JESUS CHRIST BEING BAPTIZED BY BLACK JOHN THE BAPTIST!-RE-ESTABLISHING THE BLACK IMAGES OF TRUE CHRISTIANITY WHICH HAVE ALL BEEN REPLACED WITH FALSE WHITE IMAGES!-FROM THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL,SEPT 26,2005

June 8, 2009
from THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL,SEPT.262005,PAGE22-BLACK JOHN THE BAPTIST BAPTIZES HIS BLACK COUSIN JESUS CHRIST!

from THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL,SEPT.262005,PAGE22-BLACK JOHN THE BAPTIST BAPTIZES HIS BLACK COUSIN JESUS CHRIST!

THIS KENYAN BROTHER WAS HEALED OF PARALYSIS ATTACKS!-FROM SPIRITUALITY.COM

October 17, 2008

from spirituality.com

Thankful in Nairobi
Euphresia Likhanga
Reprinted from the October 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal.
Christian Science has been a way of life for me since I was ten. My brother learned about it through a healing he received by reading an article in the Christian Science Sentinel, which he was given by a friend in school.

After that, my brother introduced us to Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science, although at the time our family practiced a different Christian faith. My brother’s friend later introduced him to First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Nairobi. My brother then introduced my family to the church. And so I began attending Sunday School classes there.

I’ve been studying Christian Science ever since.

My brother and sister and I are all active in the church. My older brother has served as an assistant librarian at our church’s Christian Science Reading Room and as a Sunday School teacher. My older sister has also been a Sunday School teacher and is presently Second Reader of our branch church. Christian Science has been a source of encouragement for all of us.

I felt a need to serve the church.
Last year, when I turned 20, I finished Sunday School and applied for membership in my branch church because I felt a need to serve the church and join a community where we can share ideas as we grow spiritually. I’m now an usher at church and a member of the care committee. As a member of the care committee, I have been practicing Christian Science by assisting people through prayer and visiting the sick, helping them understand who they truly are in God’s eyes.

Every morning I study Science and Health, together with the Bible. And in the evenings, I read other writings by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science magazines, and the Weekly Bible Lessons, which I borrow from my former Sunday School teacher. I’ve been able to overcome many challenges and diseases by understanding what’s in these Bible Lessons, which teach me that God is All-in-all and that I am His child.

One of my first healings occurred ten years ago when I experienced attacks of paralysis. These attacks took place quite a number of times and were followed by severe headaches. That’s when my brother handed me a copy of Science and Health for the first time. He told me to read the book from page 600 onward, which is the chapter entitled “Fruitage.” I did this.

I came to the story of a man who tells how he recovered quickly from a cycling accident. He was cycling from work to home when he fell down and broke his arm. After he managed to get home, he began to read Science and Health. Within ten minutes the pain left. Very quickly his arm was back to normal, and he was back to work. His friends convinced him to see a doctor, who examined the arm and said it had been set perfectly. But no one had set it. The man also told about being healed of “sick headaches.”

I applied Christian Science and was healed.
After reading this, I stood up and walked toward the sitting room. I had forgotten about the pain. I kept on studying Science and Health and the Bible. After some time I realized how perfectly I was healed. I have never had such a problem again. The same year I got in an accident and had a fracture in my left foot. I applied Christian Science, and within a very short time I was healed.

For seven years (from 1999 to 2006) I suffered from poor eyesight, and on and off from severe headaches. I could not see and read clearly, and this affected my academic performance. After I had taken various medicines and used glasses to reduce the pain, an eye specialist diagnosed the problem as farsightedness. For many years I would visit the hospital twice a year for checkups. Sometimes I changed the lenses in my glasses. Finally, I was told that I would have to live with the problem because it was hereditary.

I stopped taking the medication last year when I began to engage in church activities. All this time, although I had been attending a Christian Science Sunday School, I had never thought of praying about the situation until this year, when my glasses broke at a time when my parents were facing a serious financial crisis. They were not in a position to replace my glasses. Yet I was still in school.

The solution for me started with my daily study of the Bible and Science and Health and with daily prayer for myself. I had used the glasses as recommended by the specialist, but all in vain. The glasses never stopped the headaches, nor did they improve my sight. I not only began to search the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings to gain clearer views of God’s nature, but I also worked to lay hold on—to understand—each new, fresh thought that came to me from this study.

I am the full expression of every quality of God.
I started to see that God’s nature is really the source of my nature and that as His dear child I reflect all that He is. Being God’s reflection, I realized, does not mean that God projected His divine being into a human “me.” In reality, I saw that I am wholly spiritual and always have been, because God, my source, is Spirit. As the reflection of God, I am not a pale imitation of the original, but rather the full expression of every quality of God—of His wisdom, life, intelligence.

I would pray, “Father, because you are Truth, Truth is the very substance of my being and the only thing I am really made of.” I’d continue this way, replacing the word “Truth” with one of the seven synonyms for God that Mrs. Eddy provides in Science and Health. This daily prayer, far from being selfish, helped me discover my real, spiritual nature. This clearer understanding of who I am healed me.

Several months have passed, and I no longer have headaches or use the glasses. This taught me that disease vanishes when consciousness is spiritualized. The Apostle Paul said, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” He also said, “We have the mind of Christ.”

Each day I watch to make sure that I am expressing this same mind. I am most thankful for the transformation of mind, body, and daily life that this study has brought me.

Euphresia Likhanga is working toward a diploma in the field of information technology. She lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

Life and peace:
Science and Health:
606:21-25
607:2-4 I will (to .)
King James Bible:
Rom. 8:6
I Cor. 2:16

THIS CONGOLESE BROTHER IS HEALED OF MALARIA! FROM SPIRITUALITY.COM

August 26, 2008

from spirituality.com

Malaria healed
Joseph Baleka
Reprinted from the June 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal.
I became acquainted with Christian Science when I’d had enough of going to church. I felt that even though I prayed, God didn’t give me any answers. I told myself that I was going to pray to God for the last time. I went into my room, and I addressed God the way one would address a man.

I said, “If in five days you don’t respond, it’s finished.” I think I had asked for shoes or a shirt. I said, “I’ll stop praying, and I’m going to govern my own life because there clearly isn’t any God.”

After I prayed, I got up to leave the room, but I thought to turn around. I saw a Bible, which a cousin had left on a table. It was the Jerusalem Bible. I decided to open it for the last time, and I saw the book of the prophetess Judith, which isn’t included in the Louis Segond Bible [French-language Bible].

I told myself, “Well, I’ll just read the story.” As I read the account, I realized that the people of Israel had done the same thing I was doing. When they were surrounded by the Assyrians, they had told God that if He didn’t send them rain in exactly five days, they would let the enemy come in and destroy the temple.

That really struck me, and I suddenly felt that there was a presence with me—that God was there.

During the next five days, it’s not as if I received what I had requested, but a friend gave me a book that introduced me for the first time to the idea that prayer follows certain rules. The book was based on Bible verses that said that one can move mountains with faith. I began to pray from that basis, and it seemed I received some results. But I wasn’t able to understand the concepts very well.

It was during this questioning period, when I was constantly talking to friends about this subject, that a Christian Scientist gave some French-language copies of The Herald of Christian Science to my friends, saying, “When you finish reading them, give them to Joseph, your friend who’s asking a lot of questions.”

This was the knowledge for which I was searching.
When I read a Herald for the first time, I told myself that these people must have the knowledge for which I was searching. But I didn’t know how to find that knowledge. I saw that they recommended a book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which could be ordered from Boston. I prayed and wondered how I could get the book.

Then one month later I met a person who had a Christian Science pamphlet. I was immediately attracted to it. I asked this person where he’d gotten the pamphlet, and he told me about the Christian Science Reading Room in our city.

When I got there, I found ten copies of Science and Health on display. That’s how I first became acquainted with Christian Science and Science and Health.

I asked the person working there what he thought was essential in this book. He showed me page 259, where it says that there is one perfect God, and that man, made in His image, is perfect. This passage helped me later when I suffered from malaria.

At the beginning, when I started reading Science and Health, I experienced small healings. For instance, when I had headaches, I would tell myself, “I can try to apply what I’ve read in this book to see if I’ll get results.”

I pray from the basis that I am God’s image.
Since childhood, I had suffered a lot with headaches. But now, with Christian Science, when I had a headache, instead of taking an aspirin, I would pray from the basis that there is a perfect God and that I’m His image, and that I do not have a mind that’s separate from God. Therefore, in order for me to have a headache, it would be necessary for God to have a headache first.

Whenever I felt ill, when I prayed like this, the illness or pain would disappear. But I would often ask myself, “If I have an illness that’s a lot more serious than a headache, will I be able to hold on to what I’ve read in Science and Health?” Two years later, 1993, I was to find out.

I had the symptoms of malaria, with terrible pains in my spine, and headaches. I had to accompany my nephews to the doctor, because they were also experiencing the same symptoms. After the medical examination, they were told they had malaria. Since I had the same symptoms, I asked the nurse to examine me, and they found that I had trophozoites in my blood, which meant I had malaria.

I told myself, “Oh my goodness. This is a really serious disease.” I was used to seeing people have quinine injected into their muscles to be healed of malaria.

I told myself, “On one hand, I’m working from a new basis, but from a medical standpoint, if I don’t take care of this illness with medical remedies, this means death for me. Maybe I should go see someone so that in case I die, they will be able to testify that I had placed my trust in Christian Science and that it hadn’t worked.”

I went to see a friend who was a Christian Scientist. I was showing all the symptoms of malaria. He promised his support in prayer. When I got home, I found that my cousin (who lived with me) had purchased the quinine injections that had been prescribed for me, but I threw them all behind a closet.

I read Science and Health to find comfort and peace.
The first thing I told myself was that I would review all the passages I had underlined in Science and Health so I could be comforted and find peace. That’s what I did during the first few days. But on the fourth day, I felt terrible. It was the turning point. I had atrocious pains and, still worse, a relative came to visit me to tell me that a cousin who had the same illness, and who had been hospitalized, had just passed on.

I almost panicked, but I had a deep-down trust in my understanding of Christian Science, so I didn’t panic. This was on Thursday. The symptoms were at their worst. I couldn’t even stand up to get Science and Health to read, but I told myself that I would apply what I understood, no matter what happened.

While lying in bed, I began by asking myself who was in the process of suffering at that moment. Based on Science and Health, I began to answer, I am a spiritual being made in God’s image. So if I’m not a material, mortal being, then it’s not me suffering on this bed. Since I’m the image of God, that can’t be me. For me to suffer, it would be necessary for God to suffer first. Therefore I’m not a mortal who’s on his bed in the process of suffering. I’m the image of God.

Everything stopped all at once. The headache stopped. It was all over. I got up. It was two o’clock in the morning, and I got up to nurse my nephews, who were still ill and who continued under medical treatment.

My neighbors were surprised to see me out fetching water.
When I got up that next morning, I carried a large bucket to wash myself, because we fetched water from a faucet. We were tenants in a home where there were a lot of people, and they were surprised to see that the frail person who had been on the couch yesterday could carry a big bucket today. I could hear them questioning among themselves.

This healing took place about ten years ago, and no symptoms have ever returned. After the healing, it was so astonishing for people that my friends said, “Listen, maybe it’s the type of psychological healing where the germs are still there. Are you really sure? You need to be examined.”

At their insistence, we went to an infirmary, and they told the orderly that they had come with a friend who was ill and they wanted a confirmation that he was healed. They asked to test me for malaria. I gave blood, and the orderly told us to come back 30 minutes later.

When we came back he told us to take another 30 minutes. When we came back again, he said that he didn’t understand.

“There’s nothing wrong with him. He’s well.”
“You tell me he’s sick, but the exam doesn’t show anything. There’s nothing there. All that I would maybe recommend is that he take a strong dose of some medication that I’ll give you, but I’m telling you, there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s well.”

I told my friends, “You see, it’s not psychological. There are no more trophozoites in my blood.”

In our country, malaria is an illness that seems to be everywhere. I feel completely disengaged from that perspective, completely above it. I think that if I hadn’t become acquainted with Christian Science I would be like the people who even today consider malaria to be like a ghost.

What Christian Science has done for me is extraordinary. It has elevated me to a view of this illness that is not what I had before. This and all disease are no longer scary to me. My relationship with God has allowed me to completely disengage myself from that fear.

Joseph Baleka lives in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.

Perfect God and perfect man:
Science and Health:
259:11
King James Bible:
John 8:32

SISTER CYNTHIA NEELY ON “CHURCH AND HEALING-THE ONGOING MISSION” FROM SPIRITUALITY.COM

June 24, 2008

from spirituality.com

Church and healing—the ongoing mission

Cindy Neely
Reprinted from the June 5, 2006, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

Church can mean different things to different people. To some members or attendees, church provides a worship service where they can praise and honor God, while to others, involvement in a church means paying homage and obedience to religious rituals and creeds. And still to others, church is a place to meditate and feel at peace.

To Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science in 1866, the concept of Church transcended a physical structure. She saw Church, in its spiritual meaning, as “the structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.” Unequivocally, she knew healing and Church as one—as synonymous.

In Mary Baker Eddy’s day, it was considered normal for people to be healed during Christian Science church services. Seekers came looking to be set free from whatever physical or mental ailments they had. Many who came to the earliest Christian Science services in Boston were lame, blind, or struggling with some disease, and they often walked out free and well.

Today, we can have that same kind of experience, when we realize that every service is a healing service. This very thing has happened to me.

One Wednesday afternoon many years ago, I suddenly became quite ill. I’d been planning to attend the weekly testimony meeting at my Christian Science branch church later that evening, but now I felt that was impossible. As I started praying for myself, the most startling and arresting thoughts came to me about Church.

A testimony meeting is a good place to be when you’re not well.

It occurred to me that a testimony meeting is the best place to be when you’re not well, because you’re going to a healing service that rests on Truth and Love, and those words are synonyms for God. These ideas roused my thinking as I realized that I could go to that testimony meeting and expect healing.

These thoughts, which I felt were coming to me straight from Truth and Love, awakened me to realize the full potential of church services. So, that evening, still feeling ill, I went to the meeting. And while others were sharing their testimonies of healing, I, too, was healed. I walked out completely well.

The next day, I began to contemplate what had touched and healed me during that service. Suddenly, I glimpsed and understood more fully the impact that Church and its healing influence had had on my consciousness.

And I saw the power of effective prayer. I had felt totally embraced by divine Love throughout that hour-long meeting, and the fear of disease just collapsed and vanished. The presence of the Christ—the voice of Truth that speaks to each one of us—had so permeated my consciousness that I was elevated to a spiritual oneness with my Father-Mother God. That church service had fulfilled its mission that day.

Each church member is an effective healer.

Every church service has a mission. Its true mission is regeneration and restoration, better known as spiritual healing. Each member of a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, can be praying to see everyone in the congregation and beyond, spiritually, as the child of God—whole, pure, loved, and sound. In essence, each church member is an effective healer.

That Wednesday when I felt ill, I’m sure that the members of that branch church in Virginia were praying, individually and collectively, for the healing efficacy of that service, and my healing was the fulfillment of that prayer.

Today, each Sunday and Wednesday Christian Science service held around the world is fulfilling the healing mission that Mrs. Eddy envisioned for her Church. She expected Christian Scientists to heal. She saw every member of her Church as a healer.

Are we demonstrating that expectancy by seeing everyone who comes to our services through the lens of Spirit, and not in any negative, material, or personal way? Do we truly love others?

Everyone attending those services will be blessed.

As we lift up our concept of man spiritually—from seeing men and women as burdened by limitation, deprivation, or inadequacy, to beholding those who come to our churches as complete, vibrant, and unencumbered expressions of Life—everyone attending those services will be blessed.

Whatever thoughts fill our consciousness—spiritual or material—determine what we experience. We each have our own comfort zones, but as we rise up in our thought and action to a greater commitment to healing spiritually and loving unconditionally, we will fulfill the desire to free others from illness. Healing always requires the spiritual view of God and His creation.

The spiritually correct view of all things shuts out the clamor of fear and doubt, which try to imprison human hearts and minds through oppressive pictures of human frailties, hereditary disease, cruel indifference, immoral behavior, or a financial crisis. Our prayers for church services set the captives of such circumstances free, and enable those who had been oppressed to become active healers themselves.

Love and Christian fellowship are vital.

A church of healers has a welcoming atmosphere, where the expression of universal and unconditional love is continuous. Love and Christian fellowship are vital to offering the community such a healing environment.

Once, I had a conversation with a minister in Boston about welcoming newcomers to church services. He told me, “Every newcomer wants to feel loved and accepted the first time they step inside your door, or they won’t return, because they are looking for a church family.”

In his church, they make sure that each visitor meets at least seven members, and he always asks newcomers to stand up so his congregation can recognize them later.

I so liked his idea that when I brought someone new to a Wednesday testimony meeting, I took my new friend around after the service and introduced her to almost everyone in the church. On the way home, she commented on how warm and friendly the members were, and said she’d like to return when her work schedule would permit it.

After that evening, I found it easier to make the effort to promote Christian fellowship.

In loving, we find forgiveness and grace.

As healers, we value Christian fellowship because it’s a vital part of Christian Science. When we interact lovingly with one another, we’re expressing the highest standard of ethics. We love, and it’s in that loving that we find forgiveness and grace.

“A Rule for Motives and Acts” in the Church Manual (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 40) shows how to provide a pure, healing atmosphere for the benefit of everyone attending Christian Science churches—by mentally refusing entry to thoughts of hatred, judgment, condemnation, as well as refusing to be influenced in a malicious manner.

Another time, I brought my next-door neighbor to a Wednesday service, and she fell asleep just as soon as the First Reader began to speak. I might have been tempted to feel discouraged. But when the service was over, she apologized and said that a heavy weight had been lifted off her, and that she felt so peaceful. Clearly, she didn’t feel condemned.

The only real structure of any relationship is Truth and Love.

The Christian Science church is charged to demonstrate that the only real structure of anything or any relationship is Truth and Love. This fact is all that can touch the receptive thought during a service—and it will attract everyone in your community to your doors.

A direct link exists between a Christian Science branch church and its community, a link we can see and strengthen through our actions. It lies in a spiritual oneness, a sister-brotherhood that oozes with Christly love. This awesome presence binds up the brokenhearted.

The Christ knows no boundaries, stereotypes, or closed doors. Through church members’ prayers, the outreach of Church extends beyond pews, location, size of congregation, to the hungry and receptive thought looking for home and rest.

This impartial Christ-presence reaches out and envelops all humanity with a comfort that meets every need. It spreads a wonderful assurance that, as healers, we have the opportunity every day to bear witness to God and His perfect creation.

Cindy Neely is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher based in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Church and healing:

Science and Health:
583:12
King James Bible:
Matt. 18:20

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A BLACK SISTER TELLS US HOW :”BUILDING AND REBUILDING COMMUNITIES WITH LOVE” FROM SPIRITUALITY.COM

June 24, 2008

from spirituality.com

Building and rebuilding communities with love

Live audio chat with Cindy Neely
February 21, 2006

The transcribed text has been edited for clarity. Scroll to the end of the page for audio links.

Starting with the Biblical examples of Nehemiah, who rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem, and the selfless Good Samaritan, Cindy Neely, a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science, answers questions from site visitors and explores ways to bring healing and restoration to communities struggling with issues of conflict, division, and frustration.

When we see the spiritual equality of all people, Cindy says, and recognize everyone’s true spiritual identity, we can restore elements of harmony and perfection to our neighborhoods, enriching our own lives as well as building and strengthening those around us.

Through boundless love, charity, compassion, honor, and respect—and realizing the effectiveness of the power of prayer—we can create a community that unites people and helps us all feel safe and secure.

spirituality.com host: Today, we’ll be talking with Cindy Neely, a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States, and our topic is “Building and rebuilding communities with love.” Even today, areas from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana, are struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. And other parts of the world, such as those affected by the mudslide in the Philippines, are also dealing with disaster.

And then there are events that affect our individual communities—our families, churches, work, and schools. That’s a lot of territory to cover, but Cindy is willing to go there with us.

Recently, she spent a year as President of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, here in Boston, where she worked with community groups to provide human and spiritual solutions to the city’s social and economic problems. She has traveled in the United States, Canada, Japan, Jerusalem, England, and the Caribbean, speaking on women’s issues—family, defeating racism, and overcoming addiction. So she’s got a lot to offer us.

Cindy, do you have a few comments you’d like to make to get us started?

Cindy Neely: Yes, I do, and I would like to start out by saying I’m so happy to be on the show today. As I was thinking about the topic, “Building and rebuilding communities with love,” what came to my thought most was that everybody wants to feel loved. And when someone can feel God’s love and His embrace, they feel safe, and they feel secure.

And as I was thinking about that, I went back to the Bible, to two stories, to get inspiration. The first one was about Nehemiah building the wall, and then story of the good Samaritan.

So I’d like to start out with Nehemiah building the wall. Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, and he saw the city and its wall in ruins. He went out at night, and went around the wall. And he had a vision that the wall could be rebuilt.

A few men went with him when he went around the wall, and when the people living in Jerusalem saw and heard his vision, they said, the Bible tells us, “Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” He had a vision, and then from that vision, he had a plan. So he rallied all these men together, and they began to rebuild the wall, brick by brick.

As I think about brick by brick, I think about quality by quality: determination, moral courage, spiritual strength, persistence, commitment, unselfed love, and service. And there wasn’t any mud of criticism between each brick; it was just that seamless web of love that was building and rebuilding that wall.

Now that’s not to say that Nehemiah didn’t have opposition, because he did. But because of his vision, he saw the opposition and overcame it. And what he did was, every man that worked had a tool in one hand, and had a weapon in the other. And the wall was finished within 52 days. Well, that was a very short time for that to be accomplished.

And as I think about that story, I think about today. And I think if Nehemiah were here today, what would he say about New Orleans? What would he say about Mississippi? What would his vision be, what would his plan be, to rebuild the city, or to repair the levees? What would he say to FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency]? What would he say to Homeland Security? What would he say to the mayor, or to the governor of Louisiana? He would have a plan, because he had a solution. And that’s really the hope that everybody is looking for, that there’s a solution and there’s a plan that can be carried out that would meet everybody’s need.

Then I think about Nehemiah, if he were in Boston—what would he say about the youth violence? What would he say to the parents that are struggling and are in anguish about losing their children? He would also have a solution. What about those that are homeless? Again, he would have a solution.

And as I thought about Nehemiah, I thought, it’s the vision. Behind every spiritual vision, the outcome is going to be a human solution to bring restoration right where despair and devastation appear to be. And to be able to see that, we need to have a vision.

So wherever you find yourself, or whatever circumstances you find yourself in—if you’re in Louisiana right now—there’s a solution that will meet your need. And God will communicate to those who need that intelligence or that wisdom or that understanding; God will communicate to them the plan. And God will also communicate to you.

Then, the second story is about the good Samaritan. Because after the plan—after you have your home back and you have your job, and the city is restored—there’s a comfort issue. Many individuals have lost loved ones, pets, employment, and so they need to be comforted.

And as I went to the good Samaritan, I came away with such enlightenment—again, a vision, but also a comfort that binds up the broken-hearted, that restores a true identity to its original state of being.

So I’d like to talk a little bit about the good Samaritan. There was a certain man that went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, and they stripped him of his raiment, and left him half dead.

And the story goes on that a priest came by, and when he saw him, he crossed on the other side of the street. And then a Levite, he avoided the injured man also.

But then the Samaritan “came where he was.” And isn’t that really the key? To come where the brokenhearted are. And he met that man. His heart went out to him, and he had compassion on him. He was binding up his wounds. He made him comfortable. Isn’t that what everybody that is a victim of Katrina—or a victim of violence or homelessness or crime or whatever it is—wants? They want to be made comfortable. They want to feel loved. They want to feel peace and heavenly rest.

So the Samaritan dressed his wounds, “pouring in oil and wine.” I thought about that: boundless love, compassion, mercy, charity, gentleness, unselfed service. The good Samaritan was so inspired by doing good. And that sense of doing good could just lift up thought, lift up that broken spirit, to restore it to its normal understanding of its true identity.

Then he took the man “and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” And then he gave the innkeeper two pence. When I was researching two pence, it said, two silver coins, and that two silver coins was the equivalent of two days’ wages. Well, you know, in that day and age, two days’ wages—that was a lot of money. So that was generosity. He was lavishly pouring love and harmony and joy into this man’s experience, into his consciousness. And then he told the innkeeper to take care of him, and he said when he returned, he would reimburse him for anything that he had spent.

Both Nehemiah and the good Samaritan are needed in spiritual rebuilding, restoring to its original perfection, restoring to its original identity. And so that’s what I hope we’ll be talking about today—how to bring this restoring element into our lives, regardless if it’s in the workplace, if it’s in Louisiana, or if it’s in the community in Texas that you’re struggling with, there’s a solution, because there’s spiritual vision.

spirituality.com host: We’ve got a lot of questions. I think your comments will help those people while they’re waiting for us to get to their specific question.

To start, Evan, from Kansas City, says, “I’ve just moved to a new city, and I miss the close-knit circle of friends and neighbors I used to have. What’s the best way for me to start building a new community for myself? And is that a selfish way of thinking?”

Cindy: Evan, your desire to reach out, it may seem selfish to you, but in the end it will become unselfish, because as you reach out, you’re going to go to different organizations. Maybe you have a church affiliation. Maybe you’ll find friends at church or in your community or in your neighborhood. But as you reach out to express that love, you’re going to find a like-mindedness. You’re going to find a spiritual attraction where people start to come into your experience that have the same likes that you have, and that you both can express spiritual qualities to each other. And it will be an enrichment, a spiritual growth to you, along with lots of fun.

spirituality.com host: That’s great. Nadine in Tucson, Arizona, is asking, “Should we pray for defined communities? Is it right to single out particular groups for prayer? Shouldn’t we pray for the whole world?” Perhaps Nadine is thinking of communities within communities when she talks about particular groups.

Cindy: I think that when our motive is just to reach out and see humanity, we find ourselves connected to those we can help, and they can help us. And we go past the barriers of cultures and find ourselves in settings that are comfortable to us and to them. We also, as we reach out, are attracted to other cultures and diversity that’s going to bless and enrich our lives.

I remember coming to Boston, and just reaching out to organizations and to clergy, and meeting new people. I was enriched by that. I was enriched by getting to know people of other religions and other organizations that I wasn’t used to associating with. So that was a blessing for me.

spirituality.com host: Harriet is writing from New Orleans, and she says, “There is such a feeling of uncertainty about what is coming next here in New Orleans, whether people are facing the question of if they should return to this region, or if they should rebuild, or will they be able to get insurance. And what will happen this summer as far as weather is concerned? And will the levees be fixed? Can you speak about how to handle that feeling of uncertainty?” I think that’s a real good question.

Cindy: I’d like to go back to Nehemiah, because there’s a statement in Science and Health, page 199, and it says, “The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible.” That sense of devotion of thought—Nehemiah had that devotion of thought, and he held on to that devotion of thought until it was evidenced humanly.

Harriet has already made a list of the things that she feels uncertain about. But there’s a solution for each one. And to be able to see that God will communicate to her what is just right for her, what is right for New Orleans. It will be revealed. There’s nothing hidden “that shall not be revealed.”

And God is a loving God. So if He’s included in the process of this spiritual rebuilding, He’s certainly going to impart to you, Harriet, what you need that’s going to give you comfort. He’s going to meet you where you are to allow that list to diminish until it’s no longer a list of questions and uncertainties, but it’s a list of accomplishments and achievements. And that you do see the solution. And your devotion of thought to that honest achievement is going to help everybody in New Orleans.

spirituality.com host: I wonder if we could just briefly go into the whole question of government bureaucracy and the uncertainty that seems to be tied in with that. How would you pray about government? Like when you were in Boston, surely there were some issues with city government and so forth, and seemingly the impossibility of getting answers. And I’m wondering if the folks in New Orleans maybe are struggling with that, too, at a state and city level.

Cindy: I’ve listened to the news, I’ve heard the bickering—there’s not any other way to put it—and the confusion, and the blaming. I think we need to go up higher. We need to let go of that human view of how it should work out, or how it didn’t work out, or what’s next. We need to go up. If we’re praying for solutions, then only the divine solution is going to meet the human need.

And so if we’re going up and we’re looking for spiritual solutions, then those ideas, those angel messages, that we need are going to come to the forefront of thought—for those in government, and also for those individuals right there in New Orleans. It’s going up higher and letting go of the limitations, the restrictions, and all the clamor and commotion and the unhappiness about it that are what really need healing.

There’s a statement in Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy said, “Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent.” And to be able to quiet all that unrest, all that fear and that uncertainty—when that fear has been destroyed, right in the midst of that fear is the solution that’s developing right now. Right now there are answers for every question that everybody has. There’s an answer. And those answers are being imparted to those in government. As we pray about that, then we’re going to see that more clearly evidenced, and we will begin to trust God more to bring it about. In the Bible it says, “And the government shall be upon his shoulder.” So we’re going up to a higher level of government.

spirituality.com host: That’s wonderful. And I just wanted to follow up one last time, and that’s with the idea of Nehemiah, as I’m thinking about him in light of what you’ve said. Basically, he didn’t let anything hinder his spiritual vision of God’s ultimately being in control. Even when enemies came against them, he still held to that vision. And it sounds like that’s what you’re saying.

Cindy: Yes. He was alert. He was aware of what was out there. But he didn’t allow that to have an impact on his vision. He didn’t allow that to make him come down. I’ve always thought of Nehemiah as the one that refused to “come down” in thought to the human level.

Right now, things may seem on a very human level. But if we go up and do that spiritual building, that’s going to allow the manifestation, or the evidence, to present itself in a natural way for everyone there.

spirituality.com host: That’s very helpful. Now we have a number of questions. Two are on similar subjects. Here’s the first one. It’s from Katherine in Houston, Texas. And she says, “What about making our communities more welcoming to people who may be considered outsiders? Do you have any practical advice?”

Cindy: Love. Love is really the key. I was in Houston in September, helping out at the George Brown Convention Center with the Katrina victims, and they felt displaced. They felt that they weren’t loved or welcomed. And to just bring in that Christly love was so needed. Everybody wants to feel they’re special. Everybody wants to feel that they have something to contribute. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Houston or in California, that same need is still present. Everybody is feeling the same way. And so to be able to reach out beyond yourself—in your communities or whatever—to be able to see someone else’s need and to meet that need is important.

There’s a statement, again in Science and Health, where Mrs. Eddy said, “The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood …; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.” And wouldn’t you say that’s what the good Samaritan did? He went beyond himself. That man wasn’t in his community. But the Samaritan saw a need, and he reached out, and he included him in his community.

I have had many experiences where I’ve been in new communities, and I have felt out of sync, didn’t feel like I belonged. But I was the one that grew. And I was the one that went beyond the barriers. And I was the one that began to become more comfortable in any setting, because I realized that Love was always there.

I can remember moving into Chinatown, and there were 12 townhouses—six on each side. I was the only one that wasn’t Chinese. So you can imagine how I felt. But I didn’t feel like I was out of sync. I felt like we were all embraced in Love. I had already had experiences before where I was a minority, and I had overcome that. So I felt like I was leaning on past experiences.

To make a long story short, they started talking to me. I remember this woman coming over and ringing my doorbell. I had a flower garden, and she said, “Will you help me with my flower garden?” And I went out and helped her dig up her yard. We went out to the store. When I was lecturing in England, that same woman did my banking for me. So, I mean, it made me feel more comfortable.

Diversity is a good thing, because then it doesn’t matter what setting we find ourselves in—we feel comfortable, because we know that Love is there. And it’s that love that we’re expressing to each other that makes us feel comfortable. We don’t feel separate. We don’t feel isolated. We don’t feel like we don’t belong, because it’s our understanding that Love is within us, and Love is within them, and Love is within that whole community.

spirituality.com host: That’s very helpful. And it starts to answer the second question, which is from Steven in Atlanta. He says, “I find it easier to fit into some communities than others, because there’s still quite a bit of prejudice and intolerance, even in otherwise sophisticated and intelligent parts of the country. How can I help build community when some of my neighbors do not want to include me?”

Cindy: Well, you persist like Nehemiah. You have the vision, and you build brick by brick—those qualities of mercy, compassion, understanding, forgiveness. And you just keep seeing that that’s what’s there. And that building is going on in your thinking.

I moved into an all-white neighborhood. They didn’t want me there. I was a single parent. The family to the right of me had a son, and she didn’t want her son to play with my son. He’d climb the fence every day. When the grandfather or mother saw that, out the back door they’d come. And they’d call Michael back over the fence. Can you imagine how I felt? Pretty painful.

Did I give in? Did I sink? Did I come down from building the wall? No, I didn’t. I kept knowing that Love was present. And I kept knowing that I was loved. And I went past race. I had to go past it to see, How did God create us? Was I going to view my life as material creation, as multicultural environment? Or was I going to see creation spiritually? And as I saw creation spiritually, I began to see that we all sit together, that we all honor and respect each other.

I think about the fall, and the trees and the leaves changing, I don’t hear the oak saying to the maple, “You’re too bright. Move over.” We just come together, and we begin to honor and respect and love each other. That’s the key.

The good Samaritan saw the need to go beyond himself. He saw the need to extend boundless love to this man, and to build up his broken spirit to completion, to wholeness, to be intact. So Steve in Atlanta, what you have to offer your community, they’re just waiting. They’re hungering for you to reach out and love them, and just knock those barriers down, those ruins, and build up true brotherhood right there.

spirituality.com host: Anne in Florida is asking something similar. She says, “Communities seem fragmented. They want and deserve their own identity. But they identify more with themselves than with their town or city. How can we help bridge cultural, language, ethnic, and other dividers?”

Cindy: It’s all the same thing. It’s all what I’ve been saying. Either we’re going to view ourselves from a material standpoint, with our flaws and our deficiencies and inadequacies, or we’re going to go up to the divine. And when we go up to the divine, that eliminates the fragments. The fragmentary element disappears in God’s wholeness of love.

“Blessed are the peacemakers.” As we become peacemakers in our own thought as to whatever the division is, then the barriers just collapse. They stopped calling Michael back over the fence. And he could stay, and he could play. And I remember the time when his mother invited us over for dinner. Can you imagine how I felt? I was like, “Hip, hip, hooray! The healing is intact.” But I worked at it, and I worked at it. And that understanding is within me now. It’s the foundation upon which I lean.

There’s a poem by Edwin Markham entitled, “Outwitted.” And it says:

He drew a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

So we open our hearts like the good Samaritan, and we let that love just pour into that community—the oil and the wine. And before we know it, it’s a different community.

spirituality.com host: I think that idea’s going to be helpful for the folks who’ve sent in this next question. They’re saying, “We’re from Rialto, California, First Church Sunday School. Last year there was a race riot at our school. The black kids and the Chicano kids started fighting. The school was closed down for a week after that, and the tension was intense all year.

“This year there has been some fighting, but no riots or school closures. How can we heal the situation?” I think they’re referring to a public school, rather than to the Sunday School. But they’re still saying, “How can we bring healing to the situation?”

Cindy: There’s a statement in Science and Health, where it says, “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.” A panoply is like a covering, or I call it an umbrella. I envision it as an umbrella, and we’re all under that umbrella of Love.

No one wants to react in conflict. No one wants hatred or envy directed toward them, really. And so, Love is the most healing element in rebuilding that whole situation. And to pour in the oil and the wine on that situation. So for that church to daily pray about that situation until there aren’t any more reports that there’s something brewing, because it’s just eliminated, because Love has replaced it, that’s the key. My experience with that family to the right of me—I had to persist. I had to keep going. And I had to turn straight forward and not allow any sense of reaction or retaliation to come into my thought, but to realize that Love was going to win. And that’s the key.

We have these situations in our world. We turn the nightly news on, and we’re hearing about it all over the place. So in California, that isn’t any different than what we’re hearing in the Middle East.

But as we pray about these situations, and go up like Nehemiah, and refuse to come down until the city is mentally rebuilt in thought, then that has to have a bearing in the human realm, in that community, with those kids, in that school. I would pray daily for that school until I didn’t hear any more reports.

spirituality.com host: That’s a very good answer. This is a question from Alison in Shreveport, Louisiana. She was at a lecture you gave in Shreveport and really enjoyed it. And she says, “My husband and I are in the process of trying to buy a house. However, the sellers are giving us a hard time about fixing certain problems, and it looks like we might have to pull out of our contract. We really love the house and want everything to work out. How can I use the topic for the chat to help with our dilemma?”

Cindy: It’s the same thing that I’ve been saying: you’re not going to come down; that “devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible.” And to know that if that house is yours, it’s yours, and nobody can take it from you. And if it isn’t right, then you don’t want it, either. And so, give it to God and know that it has to work out, it has to bless everyone: “… whatever blesses one blesses all ….” But then, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” So God is on your side, but He’s also on their side. So there aren’t two sides. There’s just one side, and that’s good.

And so to be able to see that by your eliminating sides, you’ve eliminated the contention. And what you’re doing is you’re trusting, and you’re knowing that there’s an answer, there’s a solution for both parties that will be agreeable.

spirituality.com host: Thank you. Barry, in San Francisco, in California, is saying, “We have a lot of homeless people sleeping in front of our Reading Room. Can you share the right kind of aid that we can give them?”

Cindy: Love them. See them as having a home. I have seen in many instances when I have lectured, that the homeless find themselves in front of Reading Rooms or churches, sleeping. I’ve seen that many times. So there’s an attraction, I feel, of comfort.

But, again, as you go up, and you’re doing the rebuilding, as you’re going up with this vision—to me the vision is that they have a home, the solution. That they’re not without their integrity and their dignity and their self-worth. They haven’t lost that; they haven’t lost sight of it. And that spirit isn’t broken. And that is an opportunity to go up and really see that their needs are met, and that there’s a home for everyone. Home and heaven are within you, and everyone has a home.

So they’re really calling out and saying, “We don’t have any place to go, and this is a comfort zone for us.” But as you pray about it and go up even higher, building that wall brick by brick, and seeing that the Comforter is within them, but also Mind is within them, and Mind is leading them. Maybe Mind will lead them to a shelter. Maybe Mind will lead them to some place for employment. But Mind is leading them upward, onward, and so it would have to be productive for them.

And so our spiritual building is restoration, is restoring to its original. So if they’re being restored to their original, that would mean that they are whole again. And isn’t that really what everybody wants to feel—is whole, intact? No one wants to sleep in front of a Reading Room or a church—I don’t believe so. And so to be able to see that our spiritual building as having an impact on all these issues, on all these problems, because Mind is providing us with the solutions, just like it provided Nehemiah and the good Samaritan with a solution and a sense of direction and a sense of compassion.

spirituality.com host: I love that idea about wholeness. This is a question from Nancy in New Orleans, Louisiana. She’s saying, “Rebuilding communities can involve neighborhood, city, regional, state, and federal support. How can we pray about integrity and leadership?” And that’s a kind of wholeness too, isn’t it?

Cindy: Yes. It’s seeing man from the highest instead of from the lowest. Regardless if they’re in government or not, that identification is what everybody is asking. How are we identifying ourselves? From our driver’s license, our birth certificates, or our passports? Or from the first chapter of Genesis?

And as we can see our government and our officials from that standpoint—you know, FEMA and Homeland Security, they’re not favored right now, it’s not a good time for them—but we can bring healing to that. And that really is what we want. Can you imagine Nehemiah looking down and getting caught up in all of that, and saying, “How did this happen?” and, “Wow, it’s too overwhelming for me to tackle”?

And then when they tried to kill him, to take his life, he didn’t come down. He became wiser. And so intuition, inspiration, is what’s going to communicate to you what you need to see that’s going to allow that spiritual building to take place in your thinking and in your experience.

spirituality.com host: And the first chapter of Genesis, of course, is where God created everything in His own image. And so are you saying that we can see each of these individuals really as spiritually created and under God’s government?

Cindy: Yes. Under His jurisdiction. At the end of that chapter of Genesis it says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and … it was very good.” And so if we’re seeing that about everyone there, that’s the only true view or vision that we could have that’s going to produce a right outcome. If we’re looking at them from the negative, that’s the mud, we’re slinging mud.

But if we eliminate the criticism and the judging and the condemning, and as we go up, just love with compassion and boundless love, it doesn’t mean that we are being foolish. It means that we are identifying man from the highest instead of from the lowest. And everybody likes to be identified from the highest. They begin to act that way, because that’s what’s being called upon them—to act out from the highest, instead of from the lowest, element.

spirituality.com host: You know, that’s so interesting, because as you were talking, I was thinking back again about Nehemiah and that idea of the highest. If he had gone down and played politics with the people who were against him, they would still be doing that. That wall would have never got built. It was keeping that sense of vision, and insisting on it spiritually. And his certainty that God would fulfill it. Isn’t that part of what you’re saying here?

Cindy: Yes, because those were part of the bricks—the determination, the steadfastness, not being talked out of it, not coming down, not being dismayed or discouraged. But being steadfast, that “devotion of thought to an honest achievement,” that stick-to-itiveness.

spirituality.com host: Now from RB in Indiana, we have a slightly different kind of question. He says, “For someone who has not been involved in the community, local as well as beyond, what would be a good way to begin getting involved?”

Cindy: Well, maybe you could look in the newspaper and see if there are any activities that are going on that you would be interested in becoming involved in. To see what’s around you—maybe tap on your next-door neighbor’s door and ask what he or she is aware of that’s going on in the community. Just becoming neighbors with the people around you and then asking them what activities are they involved in. They will introduce you to what they’re doing, and from there, it will just build.

spirituality.com host: Then there’s one here from Pearl in Idaho, who says, “How do we cut through the racial and cultural barriers that isolate some in the community?”

Cindy: You just love. We just love. The priest and the Levite walked by the injured man. But the Samaritan didn’t. He went there. We have to get to the point that we see man as God made him, and not the color of their skin; and that we are able to just love.

In this last year, I have traveled a lot in Spanish-speaking countries. In June, I was in Spain; and in October and November, in Guatemala; and now recently, in Puerto Rico. When you’re in a different environment, a different culture, you pick up their culture—“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Well, when I was in Guatemala, when you walk down the street, everybody speaks to you. So they’re always speaking to you according to the time of the day—buenos días, buenas tardes, buenas noches. Well, I was so concerned about speaking to them, one day this man said, Buenos días, and I said, Buenas noches. It was the wrong time of the day that I was saying, but I was so caught up in trying to do my part. And when we just come together, when we don’t feel isolated …. Love unites. It doesn’t divide. It doesn’t separate. It unites.

And Love shows us ways that we can unite so that we don’t feel like we’re an outsider, or we’re cut off and it’s this sense of many races or many groups. It isn’t. It’s one race, one brotherhood. And that really is the key. We have to live that, though. We have to prove that. It can’t be lip service. It has to be something that touches the core of our being, like the good Samaritan, that says, “I want to go beyond myself. I want to go beyond this.”

I can remember in Boston going into a meeting, an interfaith meeting. And I stood up, saying that I was President of The Mother Church. And there was dead silence. It was like, “Where did she come from?” Well, the average person would have run out the front door. But I stayed. And I continued to go to those meeting every month—until there was a change in me. It wasn’t that there was a change in them. But there was a change in me. I had to develop my own comfort zone to realize that there wasn’t a place that I wasn’t welcome; there wasn’t a place that I couldn’t be.

And in the end, the last day that I was leaving Boston, I went to that meeting to tell them good-by, and they called me up to the front of the platform, and they prayed for me. Here was a complete opposite turn from the first time, where it was no recognition that I existed—to the end result where they were blessing me. But I worked at that.

I can’t tell you the building that I have done, the spiritual building that I have done in the last 20 to 25 years. I can go anywhere, and I’m comfortable, because it’s within me. I don’t see cultures and races, I see mankind, I see brotherhood, I see my sisters and my brothers. When we can see our sisters and our brothers, aren’t we going back to Malachi: “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us”? That’s spiritual building. That’s going up. That’s the vision. But it’s a vision that has to be proved. We have to prove that. And each and every one of us that’s proving it to some degree, is blessing the whole world.

spirituality.com host: That’s very inspiring. And we have a question, speaking of the whole world, from Stacy in New Jersey. She says, “When events like the Philippine mudslides happen, what can we do to help? The whole community has been destroyed. Is prayer enough?”

Cindy: Sometimes, God shows us how to help, where we’re able to either send supplies, send money, to do something. And so that desire to not only pray, but to do something in a tangible way is practical. You can see that the good Samaritan, he didn’t just pray for the man, he did something. So, we can do that.

So I trust that God will show you, if your desire is to help them. How you can help them will be revealed to you. It will just come, in some way. Maybe on the TV there will be a fund that you can contribute to, or something, but your desire will be fulfilled.

spirituality.com host: This is a question from Tom in Montreal, Canada. He says, “Mexicans are going through similar events that the community in Virginia went through a few months ago, with mine workers being trapped. How can we pray for those hundreds of relatives and friends who are waiting for those miners to walk out of that nightmare?”

Cindy: The same way that we were praying for those in Virginia—we don’t stop. And we should be getting better at it because of Virginia—our thought should be, I would feel, more immediate and more effective, so that these types of disasters cease.

So to me, it’s a call upon us for our prayers to be more effective, for us to be able to see through that disaster to the point that we can see God’s face right in the midst of that. So if God’s face is right in the midst of that, that vision would be whatever needs from a human standpoint—maybe there are things there that need to change, regulations, policies that need to change—that those will come to light. And they will be implemented, and then there will be a change, and then that won’t happen in the future.

So it’s a complete plan. It isn’t just working about the mines, that they have better safety regulations, but it’s also those relatives that are waiting for them to come out. And then if they don’t come out, there’s the grief and the sorrow. It’s to be able to see, again, that the Comforter is there and the Comforter is revealing itself to everyone that’s there. In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy says, “The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father’s loving-kindness.” That, again, is that oil and wine being poured into that situation in Mexico.

spirituality.com host: Thank you. This one is from Fred in New Hampshire, and he’s saying, “Rebuilding communities can be difficult, especially if there are many different agendas present. How do you coordinate everyone’s plans toward one goal? How do you maintain the harmony?” That’s a good question.

Cindy: Well, number one, you’re not maintaining the harmony, God is.

spirituality.com host: Touché!

Cindy: And you’re bringing your harmony with you, and so you become the neutralizer. And so instead of looking at the friction and the inharmony and the confusion and misunderstanding, you’re bringing your view to the table from a spiritual standpoint—from that vision that Nehemiah had, you’re building there. And so what you are bringing with you has to have an impact, has to make a difference. You’re seeing something different.

You can’t see harmony and peace and joy and true brotherhood, and then also see conflict and division and separation. You can’t hold to two opinions at the same time, so you have to choose which one. And again, it’s that devotion of thought to an honest achievement that makes the achievement possible. If you desire to bring healing or freedom or brotherhood to that situation, then those angel messages are going to come to you, and they’re going to be revealed to you in a way that you can see the change that’s taking place right where you are. And then you’ll continue until it’s permanent, until it’s complete.

I continued with my next-door neighbor until it was complete. I didn’t stop until there was a definite change. And she became my friend. And she helped me. I remember when I had a flat tire, I called her, and she came to get me. She became my friend. It wasn’t just, Okay, Michael can play with my son. She became my friend.

spirituality.com host: That is a big difference.

Cindy: Yes.

spirituality.com host: Well, speaking of families and family demands, Eduardo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, says, “When I try to help members of my community with prayer or similar assistance, I too frequently find that my desire to help has been used to manipulate me into material assistance—money or something like that. How do you handle this type of situation?”

Cindy: Again, as you’re going up—and the clarity of your thought and your motives and the purity of your thought—you couldn’t possibly be taken advantage of, you couldn’t possibly be manipulated, because you’re listening. You’re listening to Mind, you’re listening to God. And so He isn’t going to have you do something that isn’t right, for you or for them. And this, again, we’re going up. And I would say the mud is that there’s a manipulator out there.

All these pictures of man from a material standpoint, need to be changed. The first chapter of Genesis shows a spiritual view of creation. That murky view of man is not in the first view of creation. And as we begin to go up and to see man as totally spiritual and are able to define, What does that mean?—that’s integrity.

What I hear you saying is, There’s a lack of integrity, there’s a lack of honor. And that lack of honor and integrity is there. But honor and integrity are there, are present. Maybe you can’t see it because of the mud, so we need to wash that mud off until the true view, the true identity, shines forth and that’s what you’re seeing. So that’s your spiritual building—restoring to its original. Restoration, regeneration. You’re going up.

That woman next door to me, I would say, if I were to share how they treated us, that you would say that that person was a racist. But you never heard me say those words, because I never saw her that way. I would never see anybody that way. I would never call anyone that. I would only see the highest.

And what you’re seeing is what you’re going to receive. If you’re seeing what’s true, then what’s true is going to come back to you. And if it’s not evident today, you don’t stop. You keep building and building and building, and then you become so confident and so assured that under the mud is the perfect child of God, is the loving, caring child of God. Somebody needs to wash away the mud.

spirituality.com host: That’s great. Jean in Auburn, California, says, “How can we get past the political polarization? Even in our letters to the editor, name-calling and rancor seem to be dominating over the issues and finding solutions.” More mud washing needed, huh?

Cindy: It’s all the same. It’s our ability to go up, and to say, I’m building, and I’m not going to come down to that level. You’re not avoiding it. You’re not turning aside like the priest or the Levite. You are looking at it, but you are doing something to it. That’s the difference. The priest and the Levite did nothing. They didn’t want to have any part of it. But the Samaritan did something about it. I’m sure he was a different person, and I’m sure that Nehemiah was a different person in the end—because the building went on within them. And it was evidenced outwardly.

So if we’re looking at the name-calling, if we’re looking at this in the newspaper and on the TV, or whatever, it’s still coming to us as an opportunity for us to go up and to say, I’m going to put a different brick up. I’m going to see a different quality. I’m going to see man totally clothed in his rightful mind, loving, including righteousness, right thinking, right acting. That’s restoration.

spirituality.com host: Daisy, who’s writing from the West Coast says—this is sort of a comment, actually—“Do you think perhaps that Nehemiah’s weapon in one hand and tool in the other could be representing his mental defense, which denied any negative influence, plus his positive tool which affirmed his confidence in God’s protection?”

Cindy: I would say so. He was working at it. He was building. And that tool of putting on and seeing the completion of that task, but also seeing that there wasn’t any opposition, and that this spiritual building could come to fruition. And isn’t this what all those comments and those questions are saying? They’re really yearning—the one who wants to buy the house in Shreveport—for fulfillment, fruition. That’s what they want. In New Orleans, Harriet—it’s fruition, fulfillment, completion. Everybody, that’s what they’re saying.

But that’s all part of being the child of God. We include fulfillment. We include that perfect, complete state of being that has everything. As we see that about ourselves, it isn’t just for ourselves, it’s for the world. And the world is hungering for that view. And as we can pour that view, that oil and wine, on our day-to-day problems and our day-to-day issues that confront us.

Then we’re binding up those thoughts, those criticisms, those condemnations. We’re binding them; we’re burning them. And if they’re burned, there isn’t any place present for them to be seen. And the place one’s seeing them, shall see that no more.

And so your confidence rises, too. I can imagine that Nehemiah’s confidence level had risen at the end of the 52 days.

I would imagine that he was stronger at the end of 52 than he was on day one. And I would encourage everyone to build and to build. Maybe get a journal and write down the ideas that are coming and the challenges that you’re confronted with—and the date.

And then look back five days later and say, Where are you today in the view that you had on day one? Day 52 would have to be entirely different than day one. And that would give you such a storehouse, such a staff to lean on. So that when something came up—like in Shreveport, when they can’t seem to come to agreement—I’m sure in your storehouse of experience in praying to God, you would have many experiences where the confusion and the disagreements just fell. And so you can go back and lean on that, and say, It happened then, so it will happen now. It’s our assurance that allows the obstacles and the limitations and the restrictions to fall, because we’re so convinced of the solution. Nehemiah was convinced of the solution.

spirituality.com host: That’s really helpful. Susan in Boston is writing, “Do you have a favorite story of seeing community rebuilding happen in your own experience, working with The Mother Church?”

Cindy: Yes. I have lots of stories. Don’t have time for all those stories. But the most favorite story is Rosie’s Place. I had given two lectures for the Peace Institute, and the fliers had gone out electronically to all the churches and all the organizations in Boston.

And there was a woman at Rosie’s Place that saw the flier, and she called me up, and said, “I just saw your flier about this lecture that you’re giving on overcoming anger and retaliation and replacing them with peace and harmony.” And she said, “I can’t come, but I’m wondering—we’re getting ready to do an interfaith, healing service, and I’m wondering if you’d be a part of it.”

That was a connection. I didn’t even know her, but she saw the flier, and she felt like that she wanted me to be a part of this interfaith event. So I said yes. And for the next two months, we worked together. There were Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics, and Baptists, and Rosie’s Place.

spirituality.com host: And Rosie’s place is…

Cindy: A homeless shelter.

spirituality.com host: Was it for women?

Cindy: Yes, for women. And then, there was also a program for those struggling with alcohol. And it included Jewish women. So we were part of this interfaith healing service.

A man at the service stood up and said that he had been struggling with alcohol for the last 15 years, that he was a recovering alcoholic. And he talked about how he had stopped drinking and how he was overcoming it. And he said, “It’s a disease that I’m working to control.” And there were other people that participated.

Then it was my turn. I stood up, and I shared how I had been healed of [using illegal] drugs. And the significance of saying that over 25 years ago, I had been healed of drugs. I wasn’t recovering from drugs, it had been healed, I had been set free of it. And because I had been set free of it through prayer, I was now going out and helping others to be set free of it also. I can’t tell you what an impact that had on the audience.

There were over 60 people. And for them to come up afterward and to thank me, and to say, “You’ve given me hope that I can be set free of this,” that one incident—I mean, there were others, but that one incident of being right in the midst of community. I was in community, and I was building bridges. I was helping them to see that it isn’t that you’re recovering from something, and then you’re struggling with it, and you’re going to struggle with it all your life, but you’ve been set free of it. And that was what they needed to hear.

spirituality.com host: That’s really great. We’re running close to the end of our time, but we’re going to extend it a little bit, so we can answer about four more questions.

This one is from someone who hasn’t given his or her name, but is in Eugene, Oregon, and the writer is saying, “How does one address spiritually what would appear to be cultural incompetence, that is, statements and behaviors that seem to perpetuate old stereotypes? Unfortunately, we live in a very ethnically homogeneous city that has been historically racially homogenous. Is there a way we can get past the politically-correct way of interacting with persons who appear to differ from us phenotypically? As a person of color, I pray about this daily. But I’m finding that though I don’t want to, I’m feeling alone and somewhat alienated.”

Cindy: It goes back to everything that I’ve said. It’s spiritual identity. I’ll go back to my experience. If I really had believed about the person next to me that there was a difference in the way God loved us—that she was white and I was black, and so God loved her more because she was white and me less because I was black, I acted a different way than she did, or had a different mind than she did, whatever, or that I had less than she had, and she had more—I couldn’t have brought healing, I couldn’t have brought restoration to that situation, because I would still have been looking at it from a lower level, a human level. I would still have been seeing flaws and inadequacies. We’re always going to see that when we look at man from a human standpoint.

When we go up and see man from a spiritual standpoint, it’s a different view, it’s a different experience. And that eliminates all the barriers. It just eliminates it. You just feel so connected.

I was in Guatemala—and I’m not fluent enough in Spanish to say that I could go there and just start talking. But I was with a host family and wanted to be able every day to speak a little bit more to them when I had my meals with them. But there wasn’t any distinction. It wasn’t like, They’re Guatemalans, and I’m an African-American woman. We were all breaking bread together. But do you know why? Because that’s the way I see myself.

So if I had gone there and was thinking that the culture wasn’t racially diverse, and I was alienated and separated, then that’s what I would have found. And maybe even if I hadn’t been thinking that, even if they had been thinking that, I would have to accept it in order to experience it. And I guess that’s the key: even though Nehemiah knew that there were people—Sanballat and Tobiah—out there to do him harm, and they asked him to go and meet them at Ono, he said no. He didn’t come down to that human level.

And so wherever we find ourselves, as we refuse to go down to that human view of creation, but we keep building to that spiritual view of creation, that’s what we experience.

I grew up in an all-white neighborhood, where there were race riots all the time. At four years old, to have my sister and brother come home from school talking about race riots wasn’t a good thing. But you would never hear from me, or feel from me, that I feel in any way victimized, or that I was subject to that while I was growing up and even as an adult, because I don’t see that. I see that those experiences forced me to see who I am. I know who I am, spiritually. And when I go in any different setting—to travel the world and feel so comfortable, so welcomed, that’s the outcome of this spiritual building that has taken place within me.

In Eugene I refused to come down, in each case. I could have come down. I could have been injured, could have been hurt, could have had a pity party, could have been angry, but each time I went up and up and up. And it took me up, and it gave me a mastery. I feel such a mastery over that challenge of racism, or challenge of race. It just isn’t in me. It just isn’t there.

I see man spiritually. And I see myself that way. And that’s how I’m treated. So when we see who we are, and we are happy with who we are, that determines how we’re treated. It isn’t outside. It’s within us. And when we can see that, and we feel so good, we’re not going to give it away. You’re not going to come down. You’re going to keep building and building those bricks until you become so secure—and happy—that right there in Eugene, you’re just leaping with joy, because the barriers have fallen. Those barriers have fallen because of your vision.

spirituality.com host: Thank you. This one is from Karen in California, and it’s a little bit complex, so I’m just going to give the high points here. “Our community’s ministerial association has some members that want to change the bylaws in ways that others can’t approve of.” And what seems to have happened is that they’ve broken up into factions and people are dismayed by that. And she’s saying, “How can this group resolve their differences and work together for their community?”

Cindy: Love. Come together and realize, okay, what is it that binds us? What is it that unites us? And write down everything that unites you, and then build on that. And that will eliminate the factions. That will eliminate this sense of being fragmented. And you will see the oneness return, because the oneness is there. So again, you’re building on that oneness, and not on the fact that there are many aspects of dissension, but you’re building on the oneness, which is love.

The good Samaritan just loved. And if that love is in our consciousness, if that love is within us, and that love is overflowing, then pour on the oil and the wine in your church. Just keep pouring it in and pouring it in and pouring it in, until there’s nothing left for you to pour in. Love heals.

spirituality.com host: Thank you. Wendy’s in Riverside, and she says, “In the community of family, I find times when I have to aggressively address bad actions my teenagers take. It comes out as anger, and then I feel guilty. I remember that Jesus got angry at the moneychangers, but I also know that love is a better way to handle things. How can I overcome this confusion?”

Cindy: Well, Love is going to communicate. And Love is going to communicate to you, Wendy, when you see that child the way God made them. Then you’ll communicate to that child. But when we’re seeing the flaws and the bad behavior and the attitudes, it’s a reaction. But when we can know the truth so clearly, so firmly, that has an impact. Sometimes we forget that the power of prayer is effective; that it doesn’t need communication sometimes.

I remember hearing something about my granddaughter that was very troubling to me. And for a whole month, I just prayed every day. I never said a word to her, I never said a word to my son or his wife about it. I just knew for that whole month what was true about her.

And when she came to see me for Thanksgiving, and I asked her about the situation, she said, “Oh, I’m not doing that any more. That’s over.” That was it. But it was my steadfastness, it was my devotion of thought to an honest achievement. What did it do for me? It regenerated me to see, What was I believing in her? What was I seeing in her? Was I seeing what was true in the first chapter of Genesis? Or was I seeing what was in the second chapter—the mud view? And so, I refused to do that.

It’s hard when we’re face-to-face with our children, our teenagers. It’s hard, and I understand that. And so God is going to give you the strength not to react, but to go up, and to pour in the oil and the wine until all that behavior is just turned around and changed.

spirituality.com host: Great. Well, we have just two more now. This is from Tammy in Arizona, and in a way it relates to what you’ve just been talking about. She says, “How can I pray for some youth today who seem to be relying on drugs and alcohol and so forth, to find their own sense of place in the community or society?”

Cindy: You know, kids nowadays do drugs and alcohol for a lot of different reasons—peer pressure, it’s the norm, it’s expected of them. But again, our spiritual building is seeing the false view of a teenager. It’s looking at that teenager and saying, “Is this the prodigal son gone out, or the prodigal son come back?” I would prefer to see the prodigal son come back, when he was restored to his senses.

And so, it’s up to us to see that these kids, the youth, haven’t gone off on their own to a far-off country and they’re rebelling. But to see that they’re clothed in their rightful mind. A child—receptivity, teachableness. To go back and to write down, to build. What does it look like? What are those bricks? What do they symbolize? What are those qualities? Those are the qualities that you’re seeing for the youth—that’s proper identification.

Those youths are going to thank you a hundredfold in the end, because somebody needs to see them correctly. And the majority of the world is seeing youth from a very negative standpoint. So somebody needs to see them from that higher view that Nehemiah had.

spirituality.com host: That’s great. And finally, this is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Rebecca, who says she’s grateful for the topic, and she says, “Our church is located in San Therese on an area where many old wooden houses had been expropriated by the government, and hew high-rises, very expensive, are going to be built. We as a church have been seeing these people who have to leave the place they have lived all their lives.” She says, “You have inspired me to see the situation differently. Thank you.” So we’re just really grateful to you, Rebecca, for letting us know. And we know that, like Nehemiah, you and your fellow church members are going to find a good answer. Isn’t that right, Cindy?

Cindy: Yes.

spirituality.com host: Well, Cindy, we’re really grateful to you for spending this extra time with us and for sharing these wonderful ideas. And before we go, Cindy, did you have anything else you’d like to add, or have we said what we need to say?

Cindy: I would encourage everybody out there to become a Nehemiah and a good Samaritan together—to just join forces to realize that the steadfastness and the vision that Nehemiah had, coupled with love and compassion, is a good team. And when we can implement that on a daily basis, it’s a powerhouse. And the world, and your communities, and your neighborhoods need that vision and that love. And as you are expressing that love wherever you go, every place you go is going to be so blessed because of that vision.

spirituality.com host: Thank you so much. And thanks to all of you who’ve joined us, for your prayers, for your good questions, and for participating with us this day.

Citations mentioned in this chat:

Science and Health:
199:21-22
89:20-21
518:15-19
571:18-19
206:15
365:31
King James Bible:
Neh. 1:1-11
Neh. 2:1-20
Neh. 3:1-32
Neh. 4:1-23
Neh. 6:1-19
Neh. 7:1-73
Luke 10:25-37
Neh. 2:18 Let
Luke 10:33 came (to 🙂
Luke 10:34 his wounds,35
Matt. 10:26 there
Isa. 9:6 and the (to 2nd 🙂
Neh. 6:3 I am
Matt. 5:9
Rom. 8:28 all (to ,)
Gen. 1:1-31
Gen. 1:31 (to .)
Mal. 2:10 (to 2nd ?)
Luke 15:11-32 A

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A BLACK SISTER CYNTHIA NEELY TELLS US “THE TIME TO LOVE IS NOW” FROM SPIRITUALITY.COM

June 24, 2008

from spirituality.com

The time to love is now

Cindy Neely

At the end of his music video supporting victims of Hurricane Katrina, activist and songwriter Stevie Wonder said, “A time to love can’t be just a project—it must be a promise.”

That’s a profound statement to commit to and live by. It is a pledge we can fulfill daily when we genuinely love our neighbors.

My involvement with the Boston community gave me new insights into how to live love, to see the value of spirituality, and to become part of the solution to challenges around me. I needed to see my next-door neighbor’s need, and also to discover how a spiritual approach would meet those needs.

I visited a homeless shelter for women, some of whom were my mother’s age. Meeting those women really tugged at my heartstrings. I learned about the restrictions and economic discrimination my neighbors faced as they struggled to find affordable housing. Racism, youths killing other youths, and families devastated by this always-senseless act were other burdens on residents.

I began to see that I could help my community find solutions through my prayers and volunteer efforts.

Love is at the heart of community.

I quickly realized that love is at the heart of community, and that our interactions with each other make love real and viable. Sometimes we can go right past unhealthy and unhappy situations and never notice what’s actually wrong because we’re so involved in our own concerns.

Living love, however, wakes us up to these needs and encourages us to offer a helping hand. This is what I felt I needed to do.

The daily study of the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures had been an active part of my life for what seemed like eons, but now I was striving to learn how to bring this spiritual understanding into my community work.

Gradually, I lost my fear of not knowing how to make my prayers real and practical. I began to feel deeply that prayer isn’t effective unless you have evidence that shows you it’s working.

One statement that kept coming to me to ponder was, “The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.”

I was committed to do more.

These ideas are from Mary Baker Eddy’s book, Science and Health. With an earnest commitment to do more, I reached out to divine Love to show me how to unite and love—in one grand brotherhood—with the citizens of Boston.

I realized that nurturing spiritually means seeing and perceiving God’s children as being completely loved, cared for, innocent, pure, all expressing the equality and integrity of Principle. I daily cherished these ideas as I attended interfaith and other organizational meetings.

Every day I prayed this way. And little by little, I began to see changes take place. Sometimes it was a recognition of my presence as a Christian Scientist at a meeting, while other times the organization or church would ask me to open the meeting by leading them in prayer. Many times I felt people were acknowledging the spiritual solutions I brought with me to the meeting.

I brought a sense of God’s presence to every meeting.

To me, God isn’t far away, but is close at hand, and so in my prayers I tried to bring the sense of God’s presence to every meeting or event I attended.

One day, a woman at a local shelter called to ask if I would be willing to participate in an interfaith healing service. This invitation was the practical proof of my prayers to make a genuine connection with the community.

That service was unique because many organizations and other churches participated, and Christian Science was acknowledged and recognized as an active community presence. The service brought us all together, respecting each other, and trusting the Father-Mother of us all to keep us safe and to end conflict.

We had gone beyond making love a project—it really had become a promise, and we were keeping it!

It’s a wonderful thing to feel loved and connected to the people who live and work around us. Our human efforts for improving conditions in our community, our desire for everyone’s safety and well-being, and our prayers toward achieving this can make a difference. It begins with an awareness of our neighbors’ needs, and it is proof of our commitment to live love.

Today, when I see a need in Chicago, or any other city I happen to be visiting, I find once again that the time to love is now. It doesn’t matter where you are or what time zone you’re in. So let’s just do it!

A life of love:

Science and Health:
57:18
518:15-19
King James Bible:
Matt. 22:39
James 2:14-17

A CONGOLESE BROTHER WRITES ABOUT CHRISTIAN SCIENCE HEALING

January 8, 2007

You and I are worth knowing

Mayal Tshiabuila
Reprinted from the February 20, 2006, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

To be someone, for many, means having an important ancestry. Wouldn’t some people feel better if their family line were traced back to a king or emperor? Maybe, but the Bible says, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

After giving readers of her autobiographical work, Retrospection and Introspection, an impressive account of her human ancestry, Mary Baker Eddy concluded: “… our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man’s real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being. It is ‘as a tale that is told,’ and ‘as the shadow when it declineth’ ” (p. 21).

The search for one’s God-given identity is a necessity. It means going beyond one’s human parents, past all ancestors, rich or poor, powerful or not, to our divine Father, the only Creator. Finding Him and getting acquainted with Him reveal our true nature and identity as His children.

In her book Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy shed light on this Father whom Jesus revealed to all humanity. She described God as “incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.”

To understand our identity as children of God, Spirit, would radically change our life prospects.

To understand our identity as children of God, Spirit, would radically change our life prospects. It would help eliminate racial conflict, for instance, and prove that no one race is the heir of the kingdom, to the exclusion of others.

It would also aid in establishing the innate equality of men and women. God being known to all as “Omnipotent,” “the Most High,” “the Almighty,” who would not be proud to introduce himself or herself as a son of God, or a daughter of the Almighty?

Self-worth is definitely a legitimate feeling and desire. However, it is not earned through material history. In some cultures, the amount of money in your bank account, the number of your garage doors, or your family name indicates your rank.

In other cultures, it could be the number of your children. Understanding our true identity as children of Spirit—in other words, understanding our nature as spiritual, not material—allows us to escape the trap of a limited material identity.

My family was poor.

While growing up, I had my share of such frustrations. My family was poor and could not offer me what I thought I needed—nice clothes, enough money for my expenses, and so on.

When I started school, my friends, who were children of shop owners, had nice clothes and pocket money, which made me feel inferior even though I was a good student. While attending high school, which was located 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) from home, my friends had a ride on a truck, while I often walked, and that added to the frustrations.

After I graduated from high school, the time came to go to college. My country did not have many colleges and universities then, so enrollment was a real challenge. Desiring to escape poverty, I wanted to study law or economics at the university, as graduates from those schools enjoyed high social status. To my dismay, however, I could only make it to the waiting list for the following year. Eventually, I attended a teachers’ training college.

Teachers were not accorded a very high standing in our society.

Teachers were not accorded a very high standing in our society, because the government, their employer, did not pay good salaries. So, no one was enthusiastic about becoming a teacher. Before my graduation, the social situation of teachers across the nation grew even worse. My spirits were very low, and I thought I was headed to become a “nobody.”

At that time, I ran across a copy of the French edition of The Herald of Christian Science, a monthly magazine published in several languages by The Christian Science Publishing Society. An article titled “To be someone” attracted my attention. It exposed the irrelevance of material possessions and human titles in light of our innate value as children of God.

The author shared many ideas while referring the reader to the source of those ideas—Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. As I studied this book later on, my whole outlook on life changed. I was beginning to grasp and live my real identity as “the expression of God’s being.”

On page 552 of that book, I found this statement: “Human experience in mortal life, which starts from an egg, corresponds with that of Job, when he says, ‘Man that is born of a woman is of a few days, and full of trouble.’ Mortals must emerge from this notion of material life as all-in-all. They must peck open their shells with Christian Science, and look outward and upward.”

I started to claim my inherent rights as a son of God.

So, pecking open my shell, I refused to identify myself with a life beset with confusion, and instead started to claim my inherent rights as a son of God—of divine Spirit, Truth, and Love. Slowly I lost my inferiority complex and timidity, and felt more secure in my worth and my work.

From then on, life took a new, happy turn. Today, I can see how ridiculous it is to think that my neighbor with a luxury car is more important than I am, or that I am more important than the young man my wife and I employ to help us with household chores.

I would not need to feel intimidated even if I were introduced to the great-grandchild of Chaka Zulu, the renowned African warrior. After all, we have the same Father, and the same worth to the Father of all.

Mayal Tshiabuila lives in Kinshasa, Congo, where he works for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

One Father of all:

Science and Health:
465:9 God
470:23-24
552:13-19
King James Bible:
Eccl. 1:2 vanity of

“BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL”

December 20, 2006

MY LETTER TO THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL,MARCH 21,2005

MY LETTER TO THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL,MARCH 21,2005

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL

‘BLACK

IS BEAUTIFUL’

As I viewed the two beautiful

black women on the cover of

the December 13, 2004, Sentinel,

“A journey toward

peace,” I could only think of

how far the Church of Christ,

Scientist, has come.

Growing up as a black

Christian Scientist in Kansas

during the l950’s, I encountered

racism in the church,

such that my grandmother,

who had introduced us to

Christian Science, felt she had

been passed over as First

Reader because of her race.

Now we have a dutiful

black President of The Mother
Church, who is relating to the

black community. A black

Gospel choir singing in The

Mother Church—unbelievable!

(Black music is what I

miss most being in a “white”

church such as ours!)

“It is well!” Black is becoming

beautiful in the Christian

Science Church!

MRS. YEYE AKILIMALI

FUNUA OLADE

ADEYIPO VILLAGE, OYO STATE

NIGERIA

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE ARTICLE BY A BLACK SISTER

December 11, 2006

I learned
to honor myself

By Cynthia Neely

It’s always been such a surprise to me to find out that other people are seeing me differently from the way I see myself. Back in college, I could count on Nina, my best friend, to give me the honest truth about how I was coming across to others. But once I got into the workplace, I pretty much had to rely on my own feelings to guide me. And those feelings were not very positive. So I was really taken aback when my co-workers started making comments about how loving and gentle I was as I went about my job.

I had always seen myself as reserved and shy because I was actually afraid to interact with other people. But as I heard more and more positive comments, I started to reevaluate what I thought of myself.

Having been abused as a child and in my marriage, I had taken on a view of myself as someone who always missed the mark, as never being in sync with the rest of the world. As a child, I saw myself as different from the other kids, who all seemed to come from loving, happy homes. And later, as an adult, I’d look at other women who all, in my view, had loving, gentle husbands. I was mentally scarred and thought I would never have what they had. Because of this negative view of my self-worth, I didn’t see how I could ever accomplish very much or contribute to the world. I was, in fact, so quiet that mentally I had made myself invisible. I’d come to feel that quietness was my protection from being hurt again.

Because I didn’t think I had much to offer, I never wanted to go very far professionally. And not only was I struggling because of being abused by my father and ex-husband, but I also felt that because I was black, I had been abused by white culture. To me, I was in a no-win situation. The best thing for me to do, I thought, was just to retreat inside myself. Feeling so beaten down, I had no courage and nothing left to fight with.

However, after my divorce, I returned to the Church of Christ, Scientist, where I had gone to Sunday School as a child. I began to discover through the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, a more enlightened view of myself as a child of God. And a child of God does have worth, I realized. I began to understand that God saw me in an entirely different way from how I had been seeing myself. Looking at myself from God’s perspective, I could see that because I was reflecting His intelligence and creativity, I was, in fact, right on the mark.

The encouragement I was getting from my co-workers, along with this new view of myself as a worthy child of a loving, tender Father, helped me break out of my self-imprisonment. Only my fears and hurt were keeping me locked up inside myself. As I nurtured my self-awareness with spiritual love and acceptance, the reserve and quiet I’d been using as a shield dissolved more and more, replaced with care and love for others. I was finally getting outside of myself and seeing that there was a whole world waiting for what I had to give.

Once I began to shift my view of myself, I began to shed the fears that I’d had since childhood of relationships and dealing with other people. I felt much more accepted by others as I began to accept myself as worthwhile. And the world became brighter and more promising. Up to this point, I had been like a little rosebud that refused to open. But the spiritual love I was feeling was calling me to open up to the world—and blossom.

But I knew the changes I needed to make were entirely up to me. No one else could make them for me. I had to drop my fears and trust that God would guide me every step of the way. I realized that my happiness and self-worth rested on the good that I could do for others. By being a transparency for God’s love, I would find my own satisfaction and peace of mind.

I had always wanted to be outgoing, to be like everybody else. But I came to realize that the only way I could do this was to accept that as the image of God, I already was like everybody else. I prayed with the concept that God’s love is impartial and equal. I saw that because God created me and all of His children in His own image, everyone shares the same qualities.

I began to see that even though I was unique, I was not on the outside looking in. And, in fact, I never had been. With this understanding, I no longer had to hold myself back. I could drop the limiting thoughts about myself and let go of the belief that my insecurities could stop me from continually growing and feeling great about myself. I no longer saw myself as embattled by white culture—I could put that idea to rest completely. I realized that racism has no part in God’s creation. Nor was I clinging to issues of abuse to define me. Neither of these negative concepts had a place in my new, spiritualized view of myself and the world.

These ideas became a reality in my life when I started to believe that it was OK to be me. I had to nurture this new view, and one way I found to do this was to honor all that God had created me to be. It wasn’t about me as an individual with a negative, painful history or as a woman coming from a particular race. Rather, I realized that I was God’s creation and that He created only perfect beings. I needed to honor that perfection in myself. To me, honoring who I really was meant standing erect in that understanding. So, not only did I begin to take a stand mentally for my spiritual worthiness, but I actually began to physically stand up straighter and conduct myself with more confidence and poise.

I really got into studying what honor means. One dictionary defines honor as: “integrity, purity, respect,” and “high regard.” I had to start recognizing those very components within myself—as being part of who I was. As I began to feel this respect for myself, I realized I was seeing myself from God’s perspective. I was glimpsing bit by bit that this was how God would always regard me. Over time, my view of myself improved because I no longer thought of myself as inferior and unworthy. I had too much to give the world to be weighed down by a lot of negativity that really didn’t have anything to do with how I was created. And that meant that now I had to go out and start giving!

Cindy Neely speaks internationally on spirituality. She practices and teaches Christian Science healing.

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“Back to Africa “:physically,spiritually,culturally, and morally!

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