"Man Seeks God: My Flirtations With the Divine."

 12/26/11 PBS Newshour - Ray Suarez interviews former NPR journalist, Eric Weiner about his book: "Man Seeks God: My Flirtations With the Divine."

"I always thought that religious people were somehow more narrow-minded or not as expansive in their world view as secularists. And I have totally changed my mind about that." ~Weiner

Religious conversation in the US seems totally polarized but in reality, there is a great tolerance for religious diversity. Weiner pointed to one survey that found about half of Americans think: "All religions are equally true and good"

He also noted that "G.K. Chesterton said the test of a good religion is whether we can make fun of it. And I think there's something to that." I agree.

Often when working in Science with individuals, I have found that at the extremity of a challenge, at its point of unbelievable absurdity is the hem of Truth that sets free - the erroneous belief is corrected and wholeness demonstrated. Some might call it a "paradigm shift" while others would call it healing.


The Nativity reflected in nativity

In Bethlehem some 2000 years ago, the skies are now quiet as a small family begins to establish its daily rhythm. The wonder of the night's event may seem a bit too awesome, more like a dream to those who watched the celestial choir at Christ's birth. So rubbing their eyes, they arise to set about their business - it is tax time and there are visitors to tend and to entice with their wares. 

Vendors push the night's song deep into the recesses of their hearts. With resignation while begrudging Roman rule, they say, "Carpe diem!" The narrow streets are already filled and the markets now display premium prices. Buyers are many and day rushes into dusk. Once  at home, will any vendors or buyers remember last night's song as they close their eyes to sleep?

Over the centuries, much has remained the same . For example, last yearI found this image that shows the transcendent quality of the Nativity captured in a contemporary nativity photo. It shows that the birth of a child is universally beautiful and true for every family, in every season. 

From "FORGOTTEN PEOPLE" by Giulio Di Sturco
The place is not Bethlehem long ago but Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh. The spareness of the family shelter and their bodies silently inform us, of poverty, brutal rejection and lives uprooted. This nativity family is not Jewish, but Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority from Burma. 

The first time I saw this image, it was in color and tweeted by Doctors w/o Borders. This year in my search for that image to share with you, I discovered Giulio Di Sturco, the photographer of "Forgotten People." His photo galleries reach beyond my words. His images demand response. They call us to activate our capacity. 

For me that capacity is prayer. Prayer defies material limits of time, space and financial resources. Prayer flips a limited material picture far better than Bengal Jerome Simpson's front flip touchdown on Christmas Eve. Prayer bears witness to Love meeting every human need. It brings the reality of Love's power into human focus in such amazing ways it is mis-named a miracle. 

(1) Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 135:6-8 
(2) Ibid., p. 581:21


Ripens with vigor, I wrote

 Today, I spoke with Lillian Schwabe, C.S.(1) In her brisk voice she shared this fact:

"What you think about and what you thank about, you will bring about!"

Lillian was the guest of Mitchell Jay Rabin on his TV show, A better World, earlier this year.(2) At 101, this New Yorker, living in Greenwich Village, remains a sturdy and vocal spiritual thinker. She is not even slightly reticent but speaks emphatically and exactly about what she has proven time after time over the decades.

Her human experience is amazing. Early in life, at 7, she studied with Russian composer, Leo Ornstein(3). At 16, Lillian entered NYU where she studied with writer, Thomas Wolfe(4). She progressed as a pianist and played her recital in Carnegie Hall. The list goes on.

But all her human adventures gave way to her decades long spiritual adventure in Christian Science as a Christian Science Practitioner. one who is ever available to provide prayerful treatment to all who call for healing. She works in the way Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated and Mary Baker Eddy presents in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

I thought of calling Lillian after reading a post by Q's Jain about interviewing mystery writer, PD James, 92, about Death Comes to Pemberley, her new book (5) and posting this comment:

"Love accounts like this one. They prove we have no expiration date on our capacities. The many ads that claim debility by aging is natural and necessary are untrue. PD James shows that thinking is not a physical activity operating according to material belief. She ripens with vigor."

And now, please meet and enjoy Lillian Schwabe.

(1) http://goo.gl/eOe7w (CSPS Practitioner Directory)
(2) http://goo.gl/0UFZo (Schwabe's interview audio and video formats)
(3) http://bit.ly/sV2Wxw (Ornstein's biography with link to audio dowload files)
(4) http://bit.ly/IEUG3 (Wolfe's Wikipedia entry)
(5) http://goo.gl/zauMF (PD James post)