No, this post is not a book review of the novel of the same name by Charles Dickens. Instead, it’s about what are we expecting in our lives. I’ve been asking myself these questions in the past year, and especially on this Christmas Eve. Perhaps, you’re thinking about them, too.
- Are we expecting joy, peace, and divine Love to be manifested in our experience?
- Are we expecting to witness and experience right now our God-given inheritance of health, holiness, and harmony throughout every aspect of our lives?
- Are we expecting our church services to be truly healing services?
- Are we expecting to be healed, and of greater importance, are we expecting to heal others?
- And are we expecting the same for everyone else?
In short, are we expecting to see, feel, and witness the ever-present reality of our all-good, omnipotent and omni-active God everywhere we are?
- Have we expected that newcomers won’t be coming into our churches to be healed?
- Do we think that no one will come into our Reading Rooms based on so-called empirical or historical evidence?
- Have we come to an agreement with error in which we feel comfortable with it—perhaps not being fully healed of some ailment, financial situation, relationship problem, or “character” trait?
- Have we expected fear to be part of our lives?
- Have we accepted the lie that we don’t know enough to be healed, let alone to heal others?
- And have we expected that we, as Christian Scientists, aren’t required and don’t have to heal others—that someone else will take care of that?
In short, have we made peace with the devil?
Too often, I’ve seen more of the second list manifested in many of our fellow-members. And if I’m honest, I have to watch out for that downward drag also in my own thinking—such is the aggressiveness of the carnal mind on each of us.
But more often than not, I’ve also seen firsthand what right spiritual expectations can do in my own life and in those that have contacted me for help.
Let me tell you about one that happened about six years ago when I was ushering at The Mother Church. I had as usual been praying along the lines of “Here I am, Lord. Use me.” when a woman with a service dog came up the long stair case to the auditorium level of the Original Edifice. I noticed that her dog was having great difficulty climbing those stairs and was clearly in pain. I mentally refuted that lie about that sweet animal.
The service was extremely uplifting and as the woman came out with her canine companion, I asked her if I could help her and her friend down the staircase. As we walked, she told me that her dog had just been given a death sentence by the veterinarian—the spine was collapsing and crushing internal organs. And, indeed, all of the physical symptoms of that condition were evident.
I asked her if I could talk to her chocolate “Lab” when we got to the bottom. She happily agreed, and I proceeded to tell the dog of God’s love for him and how God—his Creator—was always there and was always maintaining him in perfect health. But of greater import was the fact that I felt so inspired and imbued with the palpable presence of divine Love—a presence that had firmly been established in my thinking from my prayers, the power of that service, and their subsequent expectations—that this sweet dog immediately responded. The spine instantly straightened into its normal position! And the dog was free—moving about joyfully and unencumbered!
Now, I’m not generally a “dog-person,” but I was delighted when that sweet pup started licking my face in gratitude!
And that’s not the end of the story. The next day the woman contacted me and told me that she had brought the dog back to the vet, and there was not a trace of the problem. The dog, in fact, had been romping and frolicking like a puppy!
Isn’t this the type of experience that we all should be expecting to take place at each of our services, in our Reading Rooms, and in every aspect of our lives as we are willing to turn whole-heartedly to God to be healed and heal others?
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 304):
This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death. The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — is sinless and eternal.
I hope, dear friends, that on this Christmas Eve, and on every day and moment of the year, these are each of our expectations. They are truly great!