Friday, April 19, 2013


You would love her right away if you met her. A beautiful lady, bright smile, kind eyes, beautiful hair, a soft gentle look embracing everyone in her warmth.

Her name is Carolyn and we have been best friends for as long as I can remember, and I love her dearly. 

She is a rather quiet lady, doesn’t talk or boast about her talents and you would never know that she plays the piano and organ. And… that she plays very well. She has worked as church organist in various churches over the years, has accompanied Music Society singing and instrumental groups, and has taught piano privately and in a major city school system. She started teaching piano lessons to younger children when she was about age 13. 

The main thing is that she doesn’t TALK about playing, she just plays.  What a wonderful attribute, humility!!!

I was having lunch with Carolyn some time ago and told her  that I had heard about a man who wanted to learn to play the piano. He bought an instruction book and studied it diligently. He said he had read that book five times but he was very disappointed since after all of that reading he still couldn't play the piano. I was trying to be funny but there was a point to be made!

Now this Carolyn, sharp cookie that she is, and not to be outdone, told me a BETTER story that has stayed with me and made me think. I hate when I have to think.

Her story involved a man who was searching for God. This man was truly on a mission, he went from country to country asking where he might find God. After a lengthy search which covered months and months and thousands of miles and many blind alleys he finally heard about a place where God was reported to have been seen. Excitement built as he prepared to go to that area and perhaps reach his goal! 

He ended up at the base of a very high mountain and began an arduous climb, scrambling over rocks and scaling vertical walls. The climb became more difficult the higher he went. Finally as he neared the peak he saw a small cabin up along a small path. He approached cautiously and as he drew near he saw a sign on the door that said simply, GOD. He crept up to the door opened it quietly, looked in and saw God sitting in a chair by the fireplace.  God saw him peeking in and said quietly, "Come in and let's talk,  let's get to know each other." 

But instead, the man without a word or backward glance quickly closed the door and retreated, retracing his steps back down the mountain and hurrying to his home thousands of miles away. He spent the rest of his life telling people that he had found God.

The story for me is reminder of the importance of getting to know God instead of just talking about Him,  to humbly listen to God’s message, to feel His/Her warmth and love, accept the inspiration to be a faithful servant, as was Jesus.  How much the man missed out on when instead of going in to sit at God's feet to listen quietly, to learn more about Life as Spirit,  he ran off to tell others.   Perhaps he was looking for “atta boys” and honors for his discovery, rather than gaining that profound understanding which patient waiting, listening, feeling and experiencing God’s presence could have brought to him.

Now we know that God isn't really a person sitting in a mountain cabin!!  Not a  "person" at all, but the Divine Mind, the conscious intelligence that created ALL, spiritually.  We are not just mortal creatures, living in matter, but actually reflections of that Mind which is God.  When we are calm and quiet, we can feel those spiritual intuitions, guiding us, leading us, reassuring us.   The Apostle, Paul, encouraged us to:
 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:...  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. *

Like Carolyn, one who doesn’t talk about the piano, but practices, and practices,  and demonstrates her understanding of music through playing, how important it is for us to practice and practice listening to God’s gentle voice, to demonstrate to the best of our ability, on a daily basis, His direction and guidance, to prepare for those moments when we can share and demonstrate that “we have found God”, through uplifting, healing and tenderly caring for others who need our help. It requires practice, not just reading the books five times like the unsuccessful piano student!!!  

In times of distress or pain, as we just experienced with the bombings in Boston and the horrible plant explosion in West, Texas, we need to go way beyond just saying “you are in our prayers,” or “our hearts go out to you” and then going about our daily routines. We can offer so much more by going into the closet of prayer, as Jesus also demonstrated, shutting out the material senses and listening for the thoughts that bring the sense of peace and love that is required to bring healing to the world.   God is already there, waiting for us to come in and listen, and in  the silence of that closet we can KNOW that God is comforting, uplifting, providing healing thoughts and giving new insights into the eternality of Life to those whose hearts are broken.  THAT is practicing!!!

Jesus faced every threatening situation with prayer and a firm understanding that God can deliver us from the "evil one".  And he counseled each of his followers to do likewise.  He said: 
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." **     And THAT too is practicing!

Religious leader Mary Baker Eddy said it so well in her writings. On the importance of Practice she said:

Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers.
Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings. ***

The best sermon ever preached is Truth practised and demonstrated by the destruction of sin, sickness, and death. ****

Oh,  I almost forgot. That lady... Carolyn, the piano player, she is my wonderful Sister and I love her. 

*      The Bible   Phillipians 2
**    The Bible   John 14:12
***  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy   page 15:25  **** 201:1

For those who have inquired about the book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, referenced in some of my articles, here’s the information. This book is used in Bible study by students of Christian Science and people of many different faiths.

It explains the scientific laws behind the teachings and healings of Christ Jesus. From the first chapter, “Prayer,” to her exegeses of Genesis and Revelation, the author invites readers to deeply consider the allness of God, the perfection of man as God's spiritual creation, and how an understanding of these facts brings healing—just as it did in biblical times. For over 135 years, readers have testified that reading and studying this book has given them a spiritual sense of the Bible and their permanent relationship to God, and has also resulted in physical healing and spiritual uplift. For more information or to purchase this book, click here.


Melissa Hayden said...

Hi Pat, I love that you said we can't just say "our prayers are with you" and then go on about our business. We really need to then pray!
Mary Baker Eddy once said, "Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal."
I've got a couple of great sisters too!

Patrick Collins said...

Thanks Melissa!! Your quote from Mrs Eddy just tops off the thoughts I had!! So many times we hear our leaders in Washington or other officials shown on TV saying "our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families". I am SURE that these are sincere, heartfelt sentiments but we must then go BEYOND and ACTUALLY pray. Prayer is effective only when we set out hearts to it!!