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MARY DYER LEMON
In spite of the new light that Christian Science was throwing upon everything, however, she could not help feeling, being fresh from college, that the many theories learned there conflicting though they were should be of some service to her, and she determined to try them out. Full of the mesmerism of false education, to her Christian Science seemed too simple. Surely it could not cover the vast amount of ground that psychology and pedagogy included in all their phases. She told the practitioner about her problems of discipline and teaching. He explained that God was the Teacher and His perfect child the pupil. But mortal mind argued, "What could a man like this, who before taking up the study of Christian Science had had no intellectual advantages, know about the difficulties of a schoolroom?" Then followed weeks of experimenting only to end in failure and disappointment. There was an almost continual state of confusion and mutiny throughout the room. She had interviewed other teachers, and had applied their methods, one after another, but without avail. The spirit of the room became worse instead of better.
All this she told the kind practitioner with tears of discouragement rolling down her face. "Have you ever tried loving?" he asked, after patiently listening to her story. She admitted that she had not. "But how could one love unlovely boys and girls?" she thought as she looked over the schoolroom the next day. Many of them were from factory homes, with no manners or even cleanliness in some cases. To her unloving nature it did not seem necessary to love such as these. All day long the practitioner's words kept singing themselves in her heart, "Did you ever try loving?" But the same inharmonious conditions continued to reign.
During the last half hour in the afternoon, while trying to teach a senior class in English, the spirit of unrest, inattention, and noise became so augmented that in sheer desperation she closed her book and told the class to study a while. Everything else had failed. She would try God. She opened the Bible on her desk and turned to the ninety-first psalm. Wholeheartedly she turned the room over to God, and applied herself to trying to understand that the promises and assurance contained in that passage were for her then and there, if she would only be obedient to the still, small voice of Truth. Time and place were entirely forgotten, so absorbed was she in the new meaning that this much thumbed page had for her that moment. "Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence," it read; and farther on was the assurance, "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." Then there was really nothing to fear, nothing to annoy or be annoyed. Closing the book, she was aware that a great sense of peace had come over her, and with great joy she looked up to find the room quiet and deep in study.
It was her first real demonstration her first proof that the Word of God, understood ever so faintly, does heal, when we have put aside all material methods and turned unreservedly to God. She began to see that all the unrest, indifference, and disorder had been simply correspondent to her own state of mind. Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 390), "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony." Surely the little understanding that she had been willing to receive that afternoon had restored harmony, and given her a proof that was indeed a lamp to her feet from that time forward.
Christian Science Sentinel, November 22, 1919
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