A Valentine for Chip

Several years ago I received a message through another Christian Scientist from a man in Florida named Chip, who had just finished reading my book, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist. Chip wrote: “…I was searching high and low to find an address or way to find Karen for having the courage to express her own unique identity as Love’s reflection, and in doing so, to echo a resounding ‘Yes’ to my own inner sense of Love’s direction in my life.”

Chip’s kind words meant a lot to me, and I wrote him back right away to thank him. And so began our friendship. 🙂

When I first met Chip he had been a registered medical nurse for 28 years, and had been with his partner  for “almost as long.” As a medical nurse and a gay man he had “found roadblocks” in feeling closer to the Christian Science community.  He said, “…but you know, I just really love to be with folks who are making an effort to be closer to God Who is All Good and All Love!”

Chip’s friendship over the last several years has been a wonderful blessing to me. He always seems to know when I most need an encouraging word, a bit of email inspiration, and a cheering picture of flowers or pets or his family.

I have not (yet) met Chip in the person. But I know him. I know his patients are blest to have him in their lives  – his kindness and caring come through in every word he writes me. I know his family and friends and partner are blest to have him in THEIR lives, too. And I know I am blest to have him in mine.

Today I received a Valentine greeting from Chip – flowers and love.

As Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health, “Love is reflected in love.” My friend, Chip, is proof of that.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Chip! May this day and every day be filled with everything good for you and yours!

xoxoxoxo

Karen

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“The World Outside” – Akkima, Theresa, and the Man in the Fairy Wings

It was a sunny day, and there were several times when I needed to escape from the confines of the hospital and get some fresh air and sunshine, and see what was going on in the world outside…

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

“Fed by Thy love divine we live,

For Love alone is Life; 

And life most sweet, as heart to heart

Speaks kindly when we meet and part.

– Mary Baker Eddy

***

As a young child, a loved one suffered heart damage as a result of rheumatic fever. Apparently she was supposed to have lived a quiet and sheltered life. She did not. She climbed Mount Rainier twice, got married, birthed and raised three children, traveled, sang, gardened, hiked, taught, and led a very full and active life.Last week, eighty years after the rheumatic fever,  this loved one finally underwent open heart surgery to repair her heart.

The surgery was performed at a hospital two hours to the south of where I live. When I was booking a room in a hotel near there – The Inn at Gig Harbor – I mentioned that I was going to be…

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The Great Heart of Love

Love is not dependent on other people, you know? We don’t have to wait for other people to love us, to express love to them. And we don’t have to wait for other people to be somehow “deserving” of our love. Every single one of God’s creations is deserving of love. No exceptions. And no matter what label people have stamped on themselves, or had stamped on them by others, everyone – young, old, monied, homeless, jobless, corporate executive, conservative, liberal, Christian, atheist, Buddhist, pagan, Muslim, Jew – was born deserving of love…

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

Come when the shadows fall,
And night grows deeply dark;
The barren brood , O call
With song of morning lark;
And from above,
Dear heart of Love,
Send us thy white-winged dove.

–Mary Baker Eddy

How wonderfully bolstering it is to recognize ourselves surrounded by the playful, joyful, comforting, cozy, warming, light-filled, splendid, unconditional and unchanging presence of Love. Our hearts are thirsty for it. To know we are loved, to know we are valued, needed, and precious gives us hope, bolsters our courage, and supports and inspires us to reach beyond our human sense of limitation and lack. Love gives us a mission, and gives us the resolve, courage, and wisdom to accomplish that mission.

We’ve probably all had times in our life when we’ve felt unloved, unlovable, and unloving. And maybe most of us have at times felt alone, or wondered if we’d ever find someone to…

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Cognitive Dissonance and Proof of God

Now and then I’ve been asked to share evidence and proof of “God.” Now, for me, “God” is not a supernatural anthropomorphic being who throws thunderbolts from the heavens and sometimes chooses to help us and sometimes chooses to not. For me “God” is supremely natural – simply another name for Love, Truth, and Life – the power of Good. And I experience healing by bringing myself into harmony with this power – by filling my thoughts up with Love, joy, hope, and courage, and cleansing my thoughts of fear, anger, hatred, and so on…

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore, and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – Frantz Fanon

I love this quote by Frantz Fanon. I think at one time or another we’ve probably all experienced some cognitive dissonance in our lives – times when, because of our own world view, background, and experiences we simply can’t accept the evidence set down in front of us.

Now and then I’ve been asked to share evidence and proof of “God.”  Now, for me, “God” is not a supernatural anthropomorphic being who throws thunderbolts from the heavens and sometimes chooses to…

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“Why not us?”

“We try to take care of the whole person and love these guys up and figure out what they can possibly become and then help them get there… you gotta create a vision for that kid… and then you coach them …until they become it… we treat everybody with great respect in that regard… everybody elevates…  you don’t even have to worry about the game … we’re just trying to do the best we can do… ” – Pete Carroll, Seahawks coach

“I told them a story my dad used to tell me… He always used to tell me… ‘Russ, why not you? Why can’t you be a world champion or whatever else you want to be?…  I had a lot of critics tell me, ‘He’s too short…’  and I wasn’t going to believe it. I wasn’t going to allow that to stop me from doing what God put me on this earth for.”” – Russell Wilson, Seahawks quarterback

“We kind of came together and said that we would commit ourselves to each other and the greater good of our team. It was Seahawks 24/7. Leave no doubt. Those were the type of things we had going and said amongst our group. We kind of just focused. We just decided that we were going to be committed to this, give 100 percent and see what happens. It turned out great for us. To be here, we’ve seen the effort that it takes to get to this point…”- Malcolm Smith , Seahawk and Superbowl MVP

“Our receivers were called pedestrian and appetizers, but I think if anybody took a bite out of them, they’d be pretty full,” – Richard Sherman, Seahawk cornerback

“I’m just a pedestrian trying to walk my way to the Superbowl.” – Jermaine Kearse

***

I love the way the Seattle Seahawks approach the game of football. There are some life lessons to be gained from listening to them, and watching them do their jobs on the field. They play as a team – sharing their success as a team – no one trying to take all the credit for their achievements. They work together towards a common goal and give everything of themselves to reach that goal. They work for each other, and with each other.  I watch them together – a family of talented, committed young men being led and directed by their coach, Pete Carroll, who treats his players as he would probably treat his sons – with respect, and with fatherly guidance. When Richard Sherman – caught in a moment of high emotion after a particularly fine play he’d made during the game with San Francisco – made headlines for his passionate outburst, Carroll was quoted as saying, “We aren’t perfect, and we all make mistakes… Things don’t always come out exactly as we planned… I look at it like this: What would I tell my son? I’m a dad. I speak from that perspective. Maybe [the players] don’t always want to hear it that way, but it’s the best way I can communicate. That has already taken place, and we’ve already talked about it.”  http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/10323124/2013-nfl-playoffs-seattle-seahawks-coach-pete-carroll-talks-richard-sherman-comments

I’m really proud of my team. And not because they won the Superbowl, but because of the way they’re able to work together, and support each other, as a team.

“Competition: Latin competītiō=competī-, variant s. of competere to meet, come together…” – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/competition