Greetings and blessings from the Christian Science Reading Room at the San Francisco International Airport. These testimonies are from our many attendants:
A woman came in whose grandmother had been a Christian Scientist. She remembered that when she was 3 or 4 years old, she was playing outside and her mother and her grandmother were sitting in the kitchen (studying the Christian Science Bible lesson as she later learned). She ran into the house crying that she had been stung by a bee on her foot. Her grandmother picked her up, held her foot, and told her, “Now that doesn’t hurt a bit does it?” The pain had instantly stopped, and she stammered, “No Grandma!” Then she went off to play. She never forgot the healing and now she wanted to know a little more about it. I showed her the two accounts of creation from Genesis, and told her a little of how Mary Baker Eddy came to discover Christian Science. I showed her the first sentence of Science and Health, which I call the trifecta of Christian healing. I showed her the definition of God and how that heals. She asked why Mrs. Eddy named it Christian Science. I told her that it is Christianity and that Christian healing is provable, testable and verifiable. Jesus said, “If ye do not believe me, believe the works.” I noticed she spoke somewhat like a Christian Scientist, saying things like “I could not accept that.” As it turns out she is a cancer survivor, and knows God has a purpose for her and it is being revealed to her. She is writing a book and starting to fill in her spiritual growth and development. I suggested she purchase Science and Health and she did. She was so grateful for our being here and for taking the time to speak to her so frankly about Christian Science.
A lovely young woman came in one evening and asked about Christian Science. She asked what books we sold and I immediately showed her a copy of Science and Health, and began to introduce her to Christian Science. I got as far as Mrs. Eddy’s healing and her book, when she said she would purchase the book. Then she asked what other books we had. I showed her the biographies, and everything we had, even the children’s books. Then she asked for a Russian Bible, which I showed her and which she purchased. I then showed her our Russian translation of Science and Health and she happily said, “Oh this is better for me!” She purchased both books and I gave her a citation quarterly that is nearly finished. She was very interested in our Bible lessons. She inquired about a hotel shuttle, which I helped her with, and off she went to San Francisco.
I was in a hurry to leave by 4 pm, and at 3:57 pm a visitor came in. He asked about Christian Science and I explained a little of it to him, and how Mrs. Eddy came to her discovery and wrote her book. Also I explained about the publishing society and our bookstores and the Christian Science periodicals. He spied the themed booklet Healing, and purchased it and a copy of Science and Health. He said he was working on a problem that he did not think would work medically for treatment. He was so nice and thanked me profusely for the books and for explaining Christian Science. I left at 4:05 pm, on time.
We were visited by a woman who was surprised to see a Christian Science Reading Room at the airport. I told her that we were the only one, and have been here over 60 years. She told me that she was a trained Registered Nurse and was working towards her masters degree in nursing when she met the “love of my life,” a man who is a Christian Scientist. Through the months of her dating she began to see the value of the Christ in her life, and it has transformed her life. She is no longer practicing medicine and is working on a transition from materia medica to Christian Science. She loves Christian Science and she married the love of her life over a year ago.
A wonderful young man from Virgin America came in and thanked us for being here. He had previously bought an RSV Bible from us, and a Science and Health. Today he was interested in more Bibles. He has most everything we carry, but when I showed him the parallel Bible—four Bible translations which he doesn’t have in one book—he happily purchased it. We talked of many passages in the Bible, particularly one from Ruth, which I explained provided a wonderful healing for a Christian Scientist in Texas. The verse was, “There is a kinsman nearer than I,” which is the comment by Boaz when he sought to marry Ruth. He had to get this kinsman of her late husband to renounce his right to marry Ruth. According to the testimony, which was in a lecture I once heard by Myrtle Smith, CSB, this Christian Scientist was Committee on Publication for Texas and was on a business trip when his little 5-year-old son became sick with a fever. His wife called him at the venue, and she was very fearful and doubtful. He was prepared to come right home, but he put down the phone and opened his Bible to that passage in Ruth, which told him that the kinsman was God, Father, Mother, Giver of all life and health. And he knew it was OK to be where he was. He drove straight home after the meeting (which was nearly a day’s drive) and when he arrived, his wife met him in the driveway with the child, fully recovered. My point to the visitor was that all Scripture is profitable. That particular verse has no Christian metaphysics attached to it, yet it met that dad’s need to release the child to God, and brought about his son’s recovery. The visitor loved it.
He also purchased My Little Book About God, which is a children’s book about the seven synonyms for God.
A young man came in about 9:30 pm, and looked around and saw one of our CDs from Sentinel Radio called “Secure Finances: putting God first.” He asked if he could purchase it. I said of course, and he did. He thanked me very much, and left. Not five minutes later, another young man came in and asked if I had that same CD I had just sold the other young man. I looked and we did not have it. He said, “Do you have anything like that?” I went into the study room and found one called “Looking for Satisfaction” in the CD listening corner. I read down the contents and said, “Here is one on gambling addiction healed.” Even though that particular CD had a broken jewel case, he said “I’ll take it.” I was trying to figure how to charge him half price when he said, “Oh no, I will pay the full price. I don’t care about the case.” I am so glad we had it.
We were visited by a young man who said he had been here several years ago. He looked familiar to me and I asked him if he had spoken to me, and he said he thought so. At this point, he was going into the Air Force as a chaplain, and had just met with a group of chaplains. As it turned out, one chaplain whom he had met, a Christian Science chaplain, inspired him greatly. Also he told me that he had a somewhat famous elder in his church whose son went to Stanford and is now a professor at Harvard and is writing a scholarly treatise on Mary Baker Eddy. The Mother Church has given him special access to the Mary Baker Eddy Library for research on this book, and he (the elder’s son) is a very big admirer of Mary Baker Eddy.
Today our visitor wanted to know how we do faith healing and how we handle sickness and health and doctors, and all those questions. I lovingly showed him the first sentence of Science and Health. I then showed him the tenets, particularly the first and second. Then I explained the spiritual creation in Genesis 1, and the flesh story in Genesis 2 and how these two accounts make all of Jesus’ sayings very understandable. I encouraged him to buy the Christian Science textbook, which he readily did. Then he asked, “How would I as a chaplain help a Christian Scientist on the battlefield or in a hospital if I needed to help him? I told him to go to page 16-17 and pray the Lord’s Prayer with him, with its spiritual interpretation. We went through it, and he was blown away. I said this is how we read it in church. I gave him a February full text and showed him our Bible lesson sermons, and I explained about the Bible Lesson Committee, and how this sermon is read all over the world each week.
He asked about a church hierarchy. I said, No, Every branch church has a Board of Trustees, which has a three-year term with alternating expiration dates. Members rotate on and off. The membership elects two every year. I explained about our churches and he is planning to attend one of our churches in Salt Lake City where he lives. I also gave him a Journal with the list of churches, a Sentinel, and a Christian Science Monitor. He was really impressed with our publishing society.
A woman from Maui came in. She works for United so she had a good long wait until 10 pm when her flight leaves. She asked me if we had any really old Bibles. She was looking for something but wasn’t sure what. I told her of the collection the Christian Science Publishing Society offers, some of which are always on display. I began to think she was looking for a higher understanding of the Bible. So I invited her to sit down and let me tell her a little of Mrs. Eddy and her discovery.
After she interrupted me several times to ask questions, and I would answer with Bible quotations, which she was carefully highlighting in her Bible. I pulled Science and Health off the shelf and handed it to her, and said, “This is the book you came in to buy. It will show you how to spiritually interpret Scripture and how the Bible and Science and Health have every answer to every problem you could encounter, usually in several places.” She purchased Science and Health and will be back to see us on her many trips through San Francisco. She works for United and frequently comes through here. Interestingly, United is located in Terminal 3 which is halfway around the airport from us. So she was definitely led to come into the Reading Room.
A young man came in and stayed for a long time. I talked to him about Mrs. Eddy and her discovery of how Jesus healed and how she came to write Science and Health. He had so many questions, all of which I happily answered; many answers came from my experience with that topic, but I told him that all Christian Scientists are different and while we all love and practice Christian Science, we may think very differently on a variety of topics. He purchased a Christian Science textbook.
He was told of a healing in Christian Science of bipolar disorder (what used to be called manic depressive illness) and he told me that he was working on a mild case of that. In fact, he cancelled his next appointment to continue our conversation; and I offered to pray for him and told him that it can be healed. I showed him how to calm down by relaxing. It is so important many times to be quiet. “Be still and know that I am God.” He told me that God had brought him right to where he had to be. He is a very sensitive young man and will benefit greatly from some understanding of Christian Science and how God heals man. He felt much better when he left.
We had a visitor tonight whom we saved. He locked himself out of his truck in the red zone, the “no parking, no stopping, no leaving your car unattended” zone. He asked to borrow a screwdriver. I lent him the Phillips and the flat and he returned them both in less than 5 minutes and reported a successful outcome, and then thanked us and blessed us! I returned the blessings. God sends us everyone that comes in.
A woman came in from Sweden and wanted to know about Christian Science. She was a healer and was enroute to or from a seminar. I introduced her to Mrs. Eddy and her discovery of Christian Science and her wonderful book. Then I read her the first sentence of Science and Health which is, “The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.” She exclaimed, “That’s it!” And she purchased a copy. She will heal with it and help many people.
A young man came into the Reading Room and said he worked for the airline and wanted a Bible he could take with him, a small one. He was shown what we had especially the new pocket Sterling Edition. But he wanted a Revised Standard Version, which I showed him and which he agreed to purchase. I then asked him if he was interested in the spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures and showed him the glossary in our textbook, Science and Health. He said, “I can see you are really excited for me to see this book.” I have to tell you, it isn’t every day someone is that eager to read and learn the Scriptures. He purchased both Science and Health and the Bible.
A young nine-year-old boy from Singapore came in and asked what we had, and he said he was going to tell his mom where he was. He came back in about two minutes with his six-year-old little sister. He wanted to read the Bible. His little sister took four of the books to read: Moses; Noah’s Ark; Joseph and His Brothers; and the Story of Jesus. They both sat quietly in the study room and read for about an hour. Two other toddlers sat outside with their mom admiring the bears in the window.
A young woman came in from Indianapolis and wanted to read. She began reading out of our marked books. When the attendant went in to check on her, she asked, “I really like what I am reading but I don’t understand it all. Do you have churches? Do you have a church in Indianapolis?” The attendant provided a free Christian Science Journal, and showed her the directories in the back. He also gave her some free literature. She walked out very happy.
A gentleman came in who spoke English, asking if we had anything in Arabic. He was thrilled to discover we had the Bible in Arabic.
A visitor called from another jointly maintained reading room to ask about salary levels. As it turned out that reading room is going through a major renovation and relocation, not without its challenges. Since we just went through that, I was able to counsel her that the whole construction and relocation project, every single job, every task, every laborer, every tool, every permit, every inspection is governed by God. And the smallest things are demonstrated as the construction progresses, and we are sometimes able to help the construction crews metaphysically with the work, as well as apply Christian Science to the many processes of building and furnishing and occupying new space. As the conversation unfolded, I think I helped both of our Reading Rooms. God blesses our Reading Rooms so richly.
We had not sold a book in two weeks. I had a visitor a few days previous who was complaining how slow his airline was, and I agreed that our little book store had been slow. When I came in Saturday afternoon, I noticed no sales on the sales sheet and mentioned this to the attendant who said, “That ends today!”
Sure enough a young man came in on his way to Amsterdam, who was waiting for a friend to join him, and asked about Christian Science. He was told of of Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science, and shown the first page of Science and Health which states “The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.” (S&H 1:1) With that, he purchased Science and Health.
I began thinking about the mental “self-justification” of “slowness of business” which I had allowed unwittingly into my thinking. Mrs. Eddy cautions us that “self-will, self-justification and self-love are more opaque than a solid body.” I had to wake myself up for the Reading Room as well as my own personal experience. I snapped right out of it when the attendant said, “That ends today!” God bless us everyone!
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