Many of these kids have never been told they are good, that they aren’t sinners. In fact, one day a minister from a fundamentalist church heard me tell a group of them that they are precious children of God. And she said to me, “Where do you get off telling them this?
I was raised to think I was a sinner and never felt good enough for God, so I never really felt a close relationship with God. It was such a freeing experience finding Christian Science and learning that I was loved by God, and discovering who God really was. That’s what these young men and women need more than anything.
One thing I’ve learned—you don’t go into these facilities and preach
From the November 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal
Precious children of God. Just what I told the men I worked with as a
counselor in a state facility for the criminally insane! I met with
some staff disapproval at first, but after they noticed the changes in
their behaviour they changed their minds. How important it is to know
that all of us are really precious, although we may forget about
ourselves once in a while.
Thanks for your column, Rob.
From the December 25, 1954 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Knowing that with God’s help one can prove himself superior to adversity and even use it to advantage, Mary Baker Eddy wrote an inspired paragraph on salutary sorrow, on page 66 of the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” introducing it by quoting Shakespeare’s lines:
Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
And then she given her own revelation: “Trials teach mortals not to lean on a materiel staff,—a broken reed, which pierces the heart.” And she adds in the same paragraph: “Trials are proofs of God’s care. Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of spirit, which have no taint of earth.”
Of the many instances of surmounting adversity with progress and achievement, the founding of America is among the most impressive. Refusing to submit to adversity in the guise of religious domination, the Pilgrims courageously appraised this human situation, including the foreboding alternative of separation from the comforts of their homes and their country, as a challenge and an opportunity. Not fear, defeat, self-pity, or discouragement, but faith, courage, expectancy, and complete trust in God motivated their decision and strengthened them for the path ahead.
In a state institution for the so-called mentally ill where Christian Science activities are regularly carried on, it has been proved on numerous occasions that to the receptive thought the extremity of being committed has become the opportunity of turning to God. The circumstances necessitating a patient’s being deprived of his liberty (the conditions under which he must live in such an institution) sometimes wake in him the desire to seek God as a “very present help in trouble.”
One young woman had been committed to such a mental institution after an unhappy experience, brought on by discordant human relationships. Her thought had become confused by being centered on the evils in the problem, but she discerned that in this adversity she needed something beyond material help.
Remembering what she had heard of the promise of Christian Science, and having seen the fallacy of attempts that had been made to discourage her study of it, she made her decision to turn to God through its teachings. She borrowed a copy of the Christian Science textbook from the library of the institution and began to study it. Soon it came to her attention that there were Christian Science activities carried on at the institution, and she was able to obtain the help of a practitioner.
Through adversity this woman was awakened to her real need, the great need of all mankind, of consecration to God through spiritual understanding—the precious jewel. This precious jewel is available to all who acknowledge and demonstrate the spiritual perfection of man revealed in Christian Science.