Janet Horton is a member of the Ecumenical Team for the Committee on Publication. She has joined Shirley, Maryl, Madelon, and Brian in our efforts to engage with other Christians, and to participate in the ecumenical commitment to the healing of Christianity itself. Janet's role as a military chaplain has given Christians another perspective on the contribution of Christian Science in an ecumenical context. This blog entry is written by Janet.
Recently two of my neighbors in Florida asked if they could ask me questions about Christian Science and healing prayer. I prepared my thought for this meeting by affirming there is nothing I love more than sharing Christian Science with honest seekers. I affirmed that it wasn’t in me to answer the profound questions I knew they would ask. I wanted to simply be a vehicle for God’s Word and his astounding love for mankind.
I was very moved by their openness and the tone for the entire exchange was warm and sincere. I shared some of my healing experiences and related them to Biblical passages I studied. As the discussion progressed they recognized how well I knew the Bible. We all agreed there is so much in the Bible that sharing what it means to us helps us all expand our grasp of how these passages are relevant to everyday life. We also agreed it is tempting to just stick to the passages that seem to confirm the things that we're familiar with and not increase in our knowledge of such a “good book.” But I suggested that, even though it’s a long haul, it’s very rewarding to read the entire Bible. Then, you understand how Moses and the Prophets advanced the understanding of God in early times. We discussed several situations when Jesus redirected thought when he said, “You have heard it been said…but I say unto you…” We talked about the different sources in the book of Genesis and how different the creation account in Genesis Chapter one was from the Adam and Eve account in Genesis Chapter two.
As we talked I noticed that people seated around us began to lean toward our table, showing interest in what we were discussing. This affirmed for me that there's no need to fear people aren’t interested in talking about God or the Bible anymore. I was particularly struck when the young man waiting on our table said his break was coming up and asked if he could join us. He remarked we seemed to be having the most fascinating discussion he’d ever heard. This supported my view that it's a very natural thing to “hunger and thirst after righteousness:” (Matt. 5: 6) We can always rejoice to know it’s appropriate to respond to people who show a desire to understand Christian Science more clearly.