Faces on Faith: Who directs your path?
As the chairman of the board of directors of the Sanibel Christian Science Church, I rotate with other experienced church members in preparing the Wednesday service. The discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, set forth the practice of a weekly testimony meeting in which attendees have the opportunity to share fresh inspiration and experiences of healing through their study of Christian Science. The person who conducts the meeting chooses a topic of wide-ranging interest and selects citations from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures,” to flesh out the subject – to make it relevant to today’s challenges.
It was my turn to prepare the lesson, and I finally settled on one’s “path.” Diving into the Bible, I didn’t dream there were so many helpful references to the subject. Psalm l42:3 reads: “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, than thou knewest my path”; and Psalm 27:ll reads: “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path.” Proverbs 3:5-7 tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths”; and Proverbs 4:ll tells us: “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.”
Equally rich and enlightening were references from the textbook: “Jesus mapped out the path for others. He unveiled the Christ, the spiritual idea of divine Love.” Eddy continues: “When we wait patiently on God, and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path. The understanding, even in a degree, of the divine All-Power, destroys fear, and plants the feet in the true path. Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science, the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure and free.” She concludes: “The days of our pilgrimage will multiply instead of diminish, for the true way leads to Life instead of to death, and earthly experience discloses the finity of error, and the infinite capacities of Truth, in which God gives man dominion over all the earth.”
And my path? I’ve shared it before. Briefly, as the daughter of a Methodist minister who studied at Union Theological Seminary, I learned about Christian Science from my father’s cousin, who was a Christian Science practitioner in Cleveland, Ohio. He came to my bedside in the hospital when the doctors couldn’t stop my hemorrhaging after the birth of my son. Through his targeted prayer, he was able to stop the bleeding, and saved my life. So I’ve continued to follow that path of healing. We are all pilgrims on a path. The only question is: who or what is directing us?
June Sieber is affiliated with the Sanibel Christian Science Church.