Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Phone Call

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Phone Call

Article excerpt

No one calls our home phone. We keep it around in case our cellphones go out or for Civil Defense alerts. But one day, its traditional trill rang out, and I was immediately suspicious. By the third ring I answered, "Who's calling?"

A man responded. "This is Omar. Good afternoon. I'm calling to let you know of a large sum of money in the form of a cashier's check."

I resisted the urge to hang up. I was fed up with bogus calls but knew if I hung up, it would perpetuate the problem.

"Omar," I implored like a mother in an intervention. "You don't need to do this."

"Do what?"

"You are better than this."

He went back to his script. "I'm calling about a large sum of money -"

"Omar, what you are doing is dishonest. It's not right. You don't have to do this." He went silent. I told him, "You can change your life and do the right thing - the good and honest thing - right now. What you are doing is so wrong and hurts so many people."

"Wait a minute," he countered. "You don't know me."

"I know that inside you is an honest man and that you can make an honest living."

"You don't know me," he repeated, frustrated. Then, in a scolding and defiant tone, "You don't know why I have to do this. You have no idea what my life is like, why I took this job."

"Ahhh," my heart softened, "I get it." We were both quiet for a moment till I broke the silence, "Let's know that God has a better idea for you and you can listen for it and be obedient to what He is telling you to do. Let's pray about it."

Omar asked, "You mean if we pray about it, my life will change?"

"Yes," I said, with absolute faith that with God all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26).

Omar must have sensed my conviction in the power of prayer and said, "OK" to my suggestion that we pray together.

In our conversation, I explained to him what I knew was true of man's God-based identity as learned from my study of Christian Science, the Science of Christianity illustrated in Jesus' life and healing works. We gave thanks that the one all-good God, made and sustains Omar's true spiritual and perfect identity (see Genesis 1); that Omar, as God's beloved child, is worthy and deserving of his Father-Mother's blessing; that his desire to do honest work was a desire to do God's will; that God blesses his hopes to be good, to love good, and to do good; and that his desire to live a good life can't help being blessed by God. …

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