Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Doors Closing, Hearts Opening ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Doors Closing, Hearts Opening ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

I came home one afternoon to find my husband sitting at the kitchen table, abruptly laid off from a job he'd held for almost two decades.

He numbly talked about retiring.

I immediately began to pray, making the transition to a calmer state of thought by being grateful for the many years of answered prayer I had witnessed in my life. I reaffirmed that whatever we did now would be done happily, under God's guidance. I even began to see this as an opportunity to relocate to a new area, closer to a loved relative, and to be able to spend more time with my husband.

As a little girl, when my dad's work compelled us to move again and again, my mother and grandmother encouraged me to take into the "closet of prayer" the idea that God is everywhere and that He loves me; so any change in circumstances couldn't deprive me of happiness. I found this to be true in each of the 22 moves my family made before I was 18.

The idea of the "closet of prayer" is biblical. When my grandmother and mother had begun to study Christian Science in the 1930s, they turned for guidance to Jesus' words: "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly" (Matt. 6:6).

They found in the textbook of Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," a passage that explains the importance of private, silent prayer: "The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but lets in Truth, Life, and Love. Closed to error, it is open to Truth, and vice versa" (page 15).

I've been helped time and again over the years by praying in that way, and I trusted that praying would help our family's situation this time, too.

I was perplexed, though, a few days after my husband was laid off to discover that, instead of preparing to retire, he was updating his resume, attending seminars for displaced executives, and networking.

I was momentarily tempted to campaign for moving; but my prayer had steadied me and confirmed my trust in God. …

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