I Am Bow Eyes and Rudder Pivots

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
– Aristotle

So a couple summers ago I bought an outdoor patio set – four deck chairs and a glass-topped table. All of these pieces of furniture needed assembly to actually become chairs and a table. But how hard could it be to put these things together, right? I was not ascared. I got out my trusty screwdriver and set to work. When I was finished I am proud to say that I had four dandy deck chairs and a glass-topped table that actually looked like four dandy deck chairs and a glass-topped table.  You could actually sit in the chairs. The legs actually pointed down instead of up. You could actually put stuff on top of the table without it collapsing.

The fact that I had a couple screws left over when I was all done did not concern me at all. Or only a little. 🙂

I saved the left-over screws. By themselves, of course, those left-over screws aren’t worth much – but maybe someday I’ll need them in another project – maybe someday they’ll be a part of something really cool.

I am, metaphorically-speaking, assembled patio furniture. Or… maybe a sailboat. Yeah, sailboats are awesome. I am a jaunty little  PocketShip.  I’ve got bow eyes, and rudder eyes, rudder pivots, and rudder rod keepers, anchor chocks, and CB sheaves, sails and an anchor, and a bunch of other stuff. By itself a rudder pivot or a bow eye or an anchor chock doesn’t do much – but put all the PocketShip parts together and you’ve got a vessel you can use to take you on all kinds of wonderful adventures.

I am a Christian Scientist. I am also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a political progressive, an animal-lover, an outdoors aficionado, a photography buff, a wedding singer, and an author. Among other things. And all of those parts that make up the whole will sometimes find their way into my blog.

I’ve had Christian Scientists ask me why I post political posts on a blog titled “Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist” – and I think I can understand why other Christian Scientists might be concerned about this. There might, I suppose, be the concern that I’m trying to represent the beliefs and opinions of other Christian Scientists when I write my posts. But let me assure you, I’m not. I know there are other Christian Scientists who hold VASTLY different political views than myself. I like that about Christian Scientists. We’re not rigid monolithic automatons. The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, “The time for thinkers has come.” And that’s what those who are living Christian Science try to do: Think. And not “think” in the way of the Borg of the Star Trek shows, but as individual expressions of Love, with their own individual conscience.

Christian Science informs the lives of all who try to live it. Christian Science has given me a way of looking at the world that’s influenced and informed my writing and photography, politics, and relationships with others. If all I posted on my blog were Bible quotes and Mary Baker Eddy quotes and discussions about religion I would not be sharing all that Christian Science has given me. And so I post my posts about animals, and adventures in the outdoors, and politics, and relationships with others on my blog. Because all of those parts are a part of my life as a Christian Scientist.

The loss of man’s identity through the understanding which Science confers is impossible; and the notion of such a possibility is more absurd than to conclude that individual musical tones are lost in the origin of harmony.

This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man’s absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.

A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity.
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Has no one ever told you who you are?!

Has no one ever told you
who you are?!
Jeepers.
You are the child of Truth!
The image and likeness
of Love itself!
You are AWESOME!!!
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
– Kathryn Stockett

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another… We are made of starstuff”
– Carl Sagan

“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees or the stars;
you have a right to be here.”
– Max Ehrmann

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” 
– A.A. Milne

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them… And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
– Genesis 1

“In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry… Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

image and likeness of Love

(Heron skimming Lake Padden in Bellingham, Washington. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

Sculpting Our Lives

The sculptor turns from the marble to his model in order to perfect his conception. We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it?… Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually… We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love – the kingdom of heaven – reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Ah hah! Now I can see –
that that’s not the truth about me!
An impatient, sad, and fearful she
has nothing at all to do with me.

I am Love’s joyous, happy child –
giving and free and kind and mild

Right where I am – right now and here
I have all that I need and nothing to fear
In this moment I’m safe, with all that is dear.
I’m surrounded in Love and full of good cheer.

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

“Know thyself…”

Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? Have you ever been accused of THINKING something you weren’t thinking, or of being motivated by something that wasn’t motivating you?

Yeah. Most of us have probably found ourselves in that position at one time or another. I know I have. In fact, I know this kind of thing happened 2000 years ago, too, because there are references made to it in The Bible. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour…” is one of the ten commandments, after all. And the story of Job is pretty instructive in this regard: There was Job, afflicted with all kinds of crap – disease and pain and horrific loss. And there were his three “friends” – Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – all having a great deal of fun plastering Job with labels, and telling him that God had brought these troubles to him because he deserved them somehow.  Zophar says: “But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.”

Ooh baby!

But in the story, Job knew his innocence. He recognized his real identity.

And this all brings me to Chris, a young man I met in Bellingham a few weeks ago.  I saw Chris standing outside the restrooms at the top of the ramp leading to the boardwalk, and smiled and wished him a good morning. He wished me a good morning back and then told me he was homeless and asked me if I had any money I could give him to buy breakfast. I invited him to join me on my walk and told him I’d buy him breakfast down at the coffee shop in the park. The park is about a mile away, so Chris and I had a lot of time to chat. He told me he hadn’t finished high school – and I told him about a program I knew of that could help him get his diploma at the local community college. He told me about his favorite high school teachers – an art teacher, a special education teacher, and a math teacher –  and said that he enjoys making art and writing. And then he shared a piece of life-wisdom that I thought was worth preserving for posterity – and that he graciously allowed me to record on my camera. (Click on the words highlighted in blue to hear Chris’s life-quote.)

Chris explained his quote this way: “Be known in life for what you do do, and not for what people say you do.”

And that – right there! – is a man who recognizes his identity isn’t based on what other people think of him. He isn’t going to let other people define who he is.  And neither should we.

defining you

This Is Not Who You Are

“Grown-ups love figures… When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you ‘What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?’ Instead they demand ‘How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?’ Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

not who you are