Friday, June 25, 2010

"purest, heartiest tenderness"

"I never see that man [Lincoln] without feeling that he is one to become personally attached to, for his combination of purest, heartiest tenderness, and native western form of manliness." (Walt Whitman, from Specimen Days)

Most of us have probably known, observed, or heard of a seemingly dedicated Church member or practitioner who grimly--and anomalously--adhered to a stern and dour "expression" of Christ Jesus' and Mary Baker Eddy's radiant examples and teachings. Practitioners thus inclined carelessly endow their patients with mental hair shirts along with their treatments. They are like a doctor who applies balm with a rasp. To which I would add, what loyal Christian Scientist is not a practitioner? One would search as vainly for the healing and sustaining Christ in a life or practice devoid of or penurious in compassion and tenderness as for Sasquatch in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Those reaching out for healing and help in Christian Science certainly do not expect to be gobsmacked with coldly or even dryly administered Scientific statements. Finding tenderness in a Christian Scientist should not be as vexing as finding Waldo. It should be under foot on every Christian Scientist's doorstep. Remember Mrs. Eddy's encouraging and uplifting words in "Christ My Refuge": "And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea/I see Christ walk,/And come to me, and tenderly,/Divinely talk." And: "Tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit." (S&H 514: 18-19)

It should also be self-evident that tenderness and compassion are not qualities which can be engrafted artificially, slapdash, or cynically on the stunted and malignant stock of a Christless disposition.

23 comments:

Northeast said...

Like this very much, Christian. Needs saying for sure.
Thank you and God bless your giving,

L. R. said...

I second what the previous commenter has said. Oh how we CS's need to express more Christlike love! And to feel it from one another.
Thank you for writing this.

Longsuffering CS said...

I just wish my little church here could read this blog post! Too, too cold and uncaring, in my long experience.

Susan said...

Dear Blogger,
Love this essay--especially the title. Really speaks to me.

Newport Beach, CA said...

Yes - "Love ye another" is still Christ Jesus' call to us. Feel love, show love!

Newport Beach again said...

And of course, "Love is the heart and soul of Christian Science" - Mary Baker Eddy

33 miles from Boston said...

What a wonderful and fresh way to start off this blog post, Christian. A lovely remark. So glad you shared it with us.

Rolf (Germany) said...

A fine essay, sir. I enjoyed reading this one, and I thank you for sharing your high thoughts with us.

Anonymous said...

A lovely essay. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the need for "purest, heartiest tenderness" with the Field.

Helen said...

Love this whole thing,Christian--from the title, Whitman's words on Lincoln, and of course our Leader's heart-touching words.
Thank you!

E. J. said...

I'm afraid you may have been too generous in your comment about practitioners who express Christ Jesus' radiant teachings and example. My experience has been, yes they adhere to what MBE has given. But honoring Jesus' words and example has too often not even been in their thoughts! Sad to say this, but it's true. And one can feel, especially feel, the coldness therefrom.

London (UK) said...

Your very nice essay calls to my thought our dear Master's parable about the Good Samaritan, reading which one can just feel the tender regard for one's fellowman Jesus is stressing here.

Florida practitioner said...

Very well written. And more than this, an essay that touches the heart in a special way, in my opinion.

Phoenix, AZ said...

If you inspire just one of your readers to embody more Christly love in his or her life, you've done a good service.
God bless you, Christian.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading something one time about our Leader visiting the Extension of her church. She said later, to this effect (and maybe one of your readers can pinpoint exactly where this appears) that the atmosphere there was as cold as the marble floors.
Still too much of this, in my humble opinion.

Dorothy (PA) said...

Thank you so much for this one, and do keep up your inspired work on behalf of Christ and Christian Science!

Thanks! (CA) said...

Such a helpful blog post. If God is Love--and He is--and we learn in CS that it is Love alone that does the healing, then we see how crucial it is to express as much of that love Jesus expressed as possible.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate all you are giving out on behalf of the greatest Cause on earth. It is doing much good, I have no doubt.

D. F. said...

Thank you for being the blessing you are.
In His love,

Cambridge said...

"Malignant stock of a Christless disposition" -- love the fresh/bold way you say what you have to say!
Good job, Christian

A Portland CS said...

For those who tune into your website who are not yet acquainted with our wonderful religion, Christian Science, let me share these words from its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy. "Divine Love reforms, regenerates, giving to human weakness strength, serving as admonition, instruction, and governing all that really is. Divine Love is the noumenon and phenomenon, the Principle and practice of divine metaphysics. Love talked and not lived is a poor shift for the weak and worldly. Love lived in a court or cot is God exemplified, governing governments, industries, human rights, liberty, life. In love for man we gain the only and true sense of love for God, practical good, and so rise and still rise to His image and likeness, and are made partakers of that Mind whence springs the universe."
A lot in this, which is from "First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," page 287.

Anonymous said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。......................................................................

LowlyWise said...

Genuine Christian Science is "aflame with divine Love,' in MBE's words. I was reminded of this on Saturday in an association address on this very topic. There could not have been a more un-grim day. In fact, a long-time acquaintance who usually is very glum and dour greeted me with all smiles.

As to the being "aflame," I had been treating a case of chronic inflammation and realized that if one is "aflame with divine Love" one can't be "inflamed" with fear or caution. Ongoing healing!