“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you;” Isaiah 66:13
Three young college-aged students came in and looked at our merchandise. They had attended an event in San Francisco, and were flying home to different places. I told them about Mary Baker Eddy and her discovery and how the book really would enlighten their understanding of the Bible. One of them got her credit card out and purchased a midsized Sterling edition of Science and Health.
Late in the evening a young man came in and wanted to know what we were. He was introduced to Mary Baker Eddy and her discovery, and how eventually Mrs. Eddy’s students wanted to start a church, which they did, and Mrs. Eddy eventually ordained the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as our pastor. He was shown several Scriptural quotations from Science and Health. He was shown our recent Bible lesson and how the passages from the two books correlate, and how Science and Health enlightens our understanding of the Bible. He readily purchased the marble paperback edition of the textbook.
During the 6-10 shift, a call came in from a gentleman to discuss how to prepare spiritually for each day. A card on our desk listed the several prayers that many Christian Scientists pray with daily, e.g., the Daily Prayer, the Rule for Motives and Acts, Alertness to Duty and the Lord’s Prayer. We reflected on each one and finished with much gratitude for such guidance.
A lovely woman from England, who lives in China and teaches English to children, came in after a very long flight from Shanghai. She said she was Christian. She was shown a little of Christian Science and introduced to Mary Baker Eddy and her wonderful writings. The woman was exhausted and stayed in our study room chair for several hours. I left when my shift was over, but am told that she purchased a marble copy of Science and Health before she left.
An English woman named Osa came in and our librarian presented her wonderful review of Christian Science and its founder. As the woman needed to rest, she spent hours in the wing chair, resting and being quiet. The librarian discerned her interest in the paperback copy of Science and Health. At around 7 pm or so, a Colombian woman came in speaking no English. Osa had the Microsoft translator app on her phone so she was able to discover the need. The woman had run out of minutes on her phone and needed to contact her pick-up person. So by loaning our phones for a few minutes the lady was on her way. “Gracias! Gracias!” she said. Then Osa began declaring her faith as an apostolic church believer following the Book of Acts. We talked for quite a while sharing spiritual bridges and respecting each other’s views. Before she left she purchased the paperback copy of Science and Health and brought me a muffin. She insisted. It was a very meaningful exchange for which we were both grateful.
A young woman came into the Reading Room with her friend. She was told a little of Christian Science and how Mrs. Eddy had discovered Christian healing in the Scriptures and one day healed the patient of a doctor who was in the room. He told her to please write a book, which the Bible then led her to do in no uncertain terms (Isaiah 30:8). The woman asked if we had one for sale. She was shown the two small copies of Science and Health and she selected the marble edition. She said that her dad had experienced a second heart attack the night before, and she was told the book would heal him. She believed me and was shown the Fruitage chapter and left with a blessing for her trip.
A wonderful woman came into the Reading Room and asked if she could read a bit. She was early for a 3 pm appointment with a doctor in San Francisco because she said her neck was collapsing. I said, “Well you came to the right place. You are in a Christian Science Reading Room. You should buy our book!” She was a commercial artist and had some great stories of experience with clients. She was interested in the airport art and exhibits and I told her where our museums and art exhibits are displayed. When she was getting ready to go, she said, “I am going to buy your book.” And she purchased a paperback marble edition of Science and Health. I know it will bless her.
A young girl came into the Reading Room and asked about Christian Science. She was told how Mrs. Eddy had discovered how Jesus healed by reading and understanding the Scriptures. She was told about the two accounts of creation and Mrs. Eddy’s wonderful healing and revelation after her fall on the ice. She asked if we had the book Mrs. Eddy wrote, and I showed her the two small copies of Science and Health which we have. She went and got her parents and her Mom purchased the book for her.
A man came into the Reading Room and really studied the front window where we have various copies of Science and Health and other Christian Science literature. He asked if we had an audio version, which he wanted for his mother. She was suffering from side effects of cancer treatment. She was cancer free but the residual effects of the chemotherapy were painful. I showed him what we have, and he readily purchased an audio version for his mother, and a hardback version of Science and Health for himself. He asked me if I would send the audio to his mother, which I did. I asked how he came to know Science and Health, and he said he works here at the airport and came in early every morning for the past year to read and ponder the window before breakfast.
One day I went to take out the trash and noticed that the entire plaza was full of people waiting to get through security. I walked over to Delta and asked if their system was ok. The Delta clerk said yes, but that TSA was having a problem. I walked down to TSA and asked what the problem was? I told her I was from the Reading Room and showed her my badge, and that I was going to pray for TSA. I then walked back to our Reading Room, repeating several times that “All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power.” (S&H p. 515.) As usual, that did the work! I went back to the Reading Room and looked up in a few minutes and the lines were moving briskly and TSA was rounding up people for quick check-in for early departing flights. A few minutes later the plaza was cleared. I just love Christian Science!
A member of The Mother Church on a business trip from Boston came in to find refuge and healing. It seemed he had gotten sick on his flight here and came in to rest and pray it through. He had just called his practitioner. After a half hour he arose and thanked us for this wonderful place. He was ready to get his rental car and start the rest of his full day of business.
A lady pilot came into the Reading Room and asked what we are. I began to tell her a little of Christian Science and she jumped in and said she needed healing. I said, “Can you buy a book?” I reasoned I couldn’t really offer Christ healing to her unless she knew what was being done. She volunteered that she needed healing of mental illness and I said, “That is an easy one, since God is Mind and we reflect nothing less, and we tell the belief that whenever it presents. What else?” She told me she had been dating a lot and felt that she was getting nowhere. She expressed that if she was going to have children, she had to get started by meeting the guy. I asked her if she had thought about the qualities she wanted in a man. She said she had and had written them down. I told her to claim them for her own, and that would attract them. Moreover, the person she was seeking was seeking her, so that there would be a meeting and that the angels would rejoice and clap their hands. That is how it works. She did purchase a blue mid-sized Sterling edition of Science and Health.
A young man came in and asked what we were, and I told him and told him a little of Christian Science. He said, “Why here? Why this city? Isn’t this like the godless city?” I said “Well, the godless make the most noise but I am not sure they are in the majority.” I showed him the two small books we have for travel and he selected the new mid-sized paperback. He was in a hurry to catch his Uber. Some people are really ready for Science and Health.
Three young men came in and asked what this was, and told me they were Christian. They said they couldn’t get answers to their questions, and wanted to know the position of Christian Science on homosexuality. I told him the church has no official position on that but that each member figures it out. He wanted to know what I thought as an individual Christian Scientist. I told him that as I understand Divine Law, it is non-judgmental and non-critical and not even a little proscriptive. Mrs. Eddy tells us that God does not punish man for what he made man capable of doing and knew from the outset that man would do. I told him that I think that we all have soul mates and that soul mates find each other; and sometimes they are indeed same sex. Moreover, one thing almost everyone comes to learn is tolerance, and frequently we learn tolerance by being in the shoes of the person(s) of whom we were intolerant. Throughout history homosexuals have been some of the most persecuted of all people, and many people are now learning (or are here to learn) the tolerance lesson. But I am sure one doesn’t go to hell for such a thing. Now Jesus was emphatic about the evil of child abuse and its consequences. The young men thanked me and really liked the explanation, and they loved the Reading Room.
A man came into the Reading Room after reading our windows thoroughly, and was interested in what we were. He was told about Mary Baker Eddy and her discovery of Christian healing in the Scriptures after having been healed miraculously and instantly after reading one of the accounts of Jesus’ healings. He was waiting for his son to come in. I said, “You know, I have that book for $13.” He said, “Really? I will take one.” I showed him the Science and Health marble and the new midsized edition, which he selected. May God bless him and may his new book bless him and answer many questions.
A man came in and asked if we had a Russian S&H. I found a hardback copy of the book and he agreed to purchase it, gave me $50 and told us to keep the change! Wow! I said, “What brought you in here?” He said he was a great admirer of Mrs. Eddy, and her life, and saw the words “Christian Science Reading Room” in the airport and took a shot that we might have the book. A brilliant attendant organized our book closet (for new inventory) and labeled the foreign language texts and made a list of how many of each we had. I easily found Science and Health in Russian, which he spoke fluently. He was given our favorite travel blessing, “May the Lord preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, . . . ” from Psalms 121:8.
A gentleman came into the Reading Room from revenue management at BWI. He thought it was wonderful we had a Christian Science Reading Room at the San Francisco Airport and wanted to know how we got it and how long we have been here? I answered all his dozen questions as best I could. He asked how we afford it, and I told him that originally we had 12 churches supporting us and staffing the Reading Room and that we receive many donations. I told him that first and foremost we are a bookstore selling Bibles and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy. Also we do a lot of good with our prayers for the public, the passengers, the airlines, the vendors and the airport staff. I told him a little of Christian Science, and he wanted to purchase the book. He purchased a hardback sterling edition of Science and Health. He then asked whom he might contact to find out about getting a CS Reading Room at Baltimore Washington International Airport, and it was suggested that he get in touch with the Baltimore Christian Science church. That would so bless the cities of Baltimore and Washington, DC, the travelers and environs.
A young man came in and wanted to know all about our store and our faith. He was told about Mary Baker Eddy and her discovery of Christian healing in the Scriptures, and how she came to write our wonderful textbook. He purchased two copies and gave us a donation. He was so happy to be able to read it. He stayed with us all morning.
We had wonderful visitor who was looking for something to read. I asked him if he would be interested in our newspaper and he took one, and he looked through the Sentinels & Journals, but his eyes were drawn to the little themed booklets. He purchased five of them and told me to keep the change. I thanked him and asked, “How come?” He said his grandmother had been a Christian Scientist and that he had really been blessed by her grand-motherhood.
A woman with two children aged maybe 3 and 7, was standing outside the Reading Room and the children were looking in and were excited with the children’s area. I motioned them in, and they began working on the puzzles and coloring. The mom helped them a little and then asked if this was a library. She was told about the study room which was sort of a library, and that we were in the sales room. She was introduced to Christian Science and to Mary Baker Eddy and her discovery. She hung on every word, and when she heard that we sell the book for $13, she was thrilled. She gave me cash and began to read. Then she disclosed that she was Roman Catholic. She wanted to know if we had the same Bible. I said that our church uses the King James Version of the Bible. She said, “Is it different?” I told her I honestly did not know, but she should read the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We had a used KJV in the cupboard that I gave her.
A young man came in and asked what we were. I told him a little of Christian Science and Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of Christian healing in the Scriptures after she was instantly healed by reading one of the healings in the gospels. I asked if he read the Bible. He said, “Not really!” I said, “Well, when you get ready to read it, get this book and it will light the Bible up for you.” I showed him the Sterling mid-sized and the marble paperback editions of Science and Health. He read the marble paperback for a while without ever sitting down, and announced that he would buy it. I am so grateful to start the month out by offering our wonderful book to a receptive thought!
A woman came in crying and needed an Android charger to use. All of ours had disappeared with passengers. They use them and then take them. So I said, well, let’s see if you cannot buy one in the airport. She was told how to get to the store but she said she could not find it. I told her everything would be all right. But she was so lost and tired so I walked her down to air train and rode with her over one stop to International A and showed her the CBS store which had a tech rack and there were her chargers, in black and white. She had said it would be $40. I told her no, not in America. We found it for $22. Then she said she could not afford it. I only had my store keys, so I told her, “Do your best. Go out into that large group of passengers and someone will let you borrow the cord.” It was a strong case of her mental malpractice on herself and no one could get through. But as I left she hugged me, and I told her that it would all work out. Then I quietly prayed to God to bless and help her, as I knew He would! God blesses all of us whenever we ask! In her case it is “Please, Father do what you can!”
A young man came in and asked what we had. I gave him some Sentinels and a Monitor to look through. He read one article and came in and was so impressed. He asked, “Where can I learn more?” He sat down and was told a little of Christian Science and introduced to Mary Baker Eddy and her writings. He asked, “Can it heal insanity?” I said, “Yes,” and in the Bible I read to him the healing of the man in the Gadarenes. He was told that Mary Baker Eddy talks about that treatment in her book, and that if man is a reflection of the one infinite Mind which is God, he cannot be insane. Then he asked about addiction. He was shown our little themed collection called “Freedom from Addiction,” which he promptly purchased. He asked me how I would treat a case of insanity. I gave him several examples of addiction healed and the metaphysical treatment, knowing that man is the reflection of God. Thus, if God cannot be addicted, neither can man (or the patient). When we depend on God, we are truly free. I suggested, “Try walking away from the material substance being abused, and rejoice in how good you feel that you don’t need it. With God there is no ‘substance withdrawal’ because there is no substance but the divine.” We went over possible treatments or statements of truth about alcoholism and smoking. Before he left I asked him what he did for a living. He said, “I am a nurse in a mental health facility.” WOW!
An African-American gentleman came in, saying, “What is a Christian Science Reading Room doing in an airport? This would never happen in Atlanta!” I explained that there used to be others and we had been here a long time, meeting many diverse needs. This resulted in a lengthy, inspiring, and fascinating conversation so that he almost missed his flight home. Growing up in a small town in Georgia, he regularly visited the Christian Science Reading Room on the main street where the nice ladies were always so kind and gave him candy. He is a follower of Unity, has a copy of Science and Health, and bought a pamphlet, saying he had others. He knows the Bible well, and we discussed how to pray over the divisive issue of racism with Genesis 1, realizing God as Father-Mother and the brotherhood of all mankind. This was so helpful to me to begin to understand how our perceptions frequently differed, yet we were at one on turning to man’s oneness with God in prayer.
Two beautiful people came from Ghana. They were in the army traveling to their next assignment, and the woman told she was a Christian Science nurse serving in the military. I got right up and gave her a hug. I asked the man if he was a Christian Scientist. He said no, and did not appear to know anything about it. He was told that Mary Baker Eddy figured out how Jesus healed and a little of Christian Science. I introduced him to Christian healing and some of how Mrs. Eddy found it in the Scriptures. He was shown the versions of Science and Health I had for $13, and then he asked if I had a smaller one. I showed him the Sterling pocket paperback edition of Science and Health, which he gratefully purchased.
Two women from India who are Christians dropped in and sat down on the two chairs facing the desk. There were on their way to take their mother to Seattle for a family’s funeral. They asked if I would pray for them. I had just finished reading the pamphlet “From Earth to Heaven.” We bowed our heads and I prayed aloud for five or ten minutes. They said they felt so blessed to have dropped in, and we had a conversation about the power and love of God, and a brief discussion of Christian Science. Before they left we repeated the 91st Psalm together, their and my favorite psalm. They left with a copy of “From Earth to Heaven.”
A young woman who works here and who is very spiritually-minded, asked if we had Bibles. I said, “Yes, lots of them.” She asked how much, and I showed the $10 version and the $45 Sterling desk size. Then I showed her the last of our Newtype Bibles with the pink cover. As we talked, I was led to introduce her to Mary Baker Eddy and her discovery of Christian Healing and her wonderful book; and how the book really sheds the light on the spiritual import of the Bible and teaches one to heal with it. She purchased the Bible and a Science and Health.
A wonderful family came into the Reading Room and they did not have much time before their flight. They were interested in what we had. They had a little babe with them (aged one-ish) and a 9-year old who was not with them. I showed them our children’s books. Step by Step seemed the best choice but it cost more than they wanted to spend. They also were interested in the music CDs and ended up purchasing the Let’s Sing CD from the first Hymnal Supplement with vocalists singing the hymns.
A gentleman came in and asked what we were and what was going on here. I told him about Mrs. Eddy and her discovery of Christian healing in the Scriptures and her divine message to write a book. I ended up showing him the punch line early, which is the first sentence of the chapter on Prayer in Science and Health. Then I went and told him my short presentation. He purchased both a Science and Health and the earlier version of Christian Healer by Fettweis and Warneck, which had been in the window a long time which I discounted because the jacket was very faded on the back. He then said, “Can you pray for me or with me?” I said, “Sure. What do you need?” He said, “My wife and I really want to have a baby.” I said, “Of course, why not?” And I went straight to God and said, “Can we get we get that done?” And I felt this wonderful presence of large love, and a sense wonderful children were coming to this man and his wife. I so informed him, and he was very grateful. God is so good. He asked if there is anything he and his wife might do. I did not state the obvious, but told him to have fun and no anxiety or concern about not conceiving, and that these babes will come at their time in God’s time. We call it God’s timing, because truly it is.
We have a regular Arrowhead water delivery-man who had another tech with him today when he came in. Our tech changed the water and delivered a new one, while the other man read the window. I saw him reading the Science and Health citation, and then when our tech, Gary, walked out, he showed the citation to him. When he walked by, I signaled him and told him we sell that book for $13. He said, “Really!” I showed him the two I have, and he readily purchased the Marble edition of Science and Health. He then shared that his wife was going through something. He was shown the last 100 pages which are letters to Mary Baker Eddy from people who have had healings of every disease known to man healed just by reading the book! I saw Gary several weeks later when he came in with the water delivery, and he told me that his friend wanted us to know how much the book had helped his wife, and to thank us for being here in that important moment of need.
A young priest came in and wanted to know what Christian Science was all about. I introduced him to Mary Baker Eddy and her writings, and explained a little of the history of Christian Science. He asked many questions, and when I asked for the sale, he looked so disappointed. I know that priests never carry much money, but I did not have one to give him. I did give him a Christian Science Journal with the list of churches and told him were he to visit a church, the church would probably give him a paperback copy of Science and Health.
A young man came in on his way to Minnesota, and he was a missionary. He said, “I was just led to come in here.” I said, “Would you like to know what Christian Science is?” He said, “Yes, I would.” He was introduced to Mary Baker Eddy who had figured out how Jesus healed and had written this book about it. I then went through my introduction of Mary Baker Eddy and told how she had been healed by reading one of the accounts of Jesus healings and how she came to understand the spiritual import of the Bible and became a great Christian healer. Later when she healed the patient of a doctor who was witness to the healing, he told her to write a book. Her next opening of the Bible for inspiration or direction was to Isaiah 30:8 which told her to “Now go write it in a table or note it in a book so that it may be for the time to come forever and ever!” At that direction, she published her first copy of Science and Health in 1875 which was ten years after her healing of the fall on the ice. Then I asked for the sale and showed him our two paperback copies. He said he had to talk to his wife. I queried, “For $13? That isn’t money.” He said that they were missionaries and were on their way back from Thailand. They really watched their money. I told him the book would heal that because “the superabundance of being is on the side of God, good.” (SH: 201:11-12.)
He asked if he could pray for us. I said, “Yes what are you going to pray?” He said he wanted to bless and pray for our work. He then blessed us, and our work here and called us a bright light in a sometimes-dark area. He prayed we stay salty meaning our “salt not lose its saltness and our light be not hid,” and that our work be blessed. He thanked us so much for the book. He was given our card, and a Christian Science Journal and Sentinel, and a Christian Science Monitor.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Christian Science churches and individuals for their interest in and support of this Reading Room. For comments, questions, or to send a donation, please mail to:
Christian Science Reading Room
Harley Bennett, Treasurer
23871 Willows Drive, #384
Laguna Hills, CA 92653