Monday, December 8, 2014

A spelling lesson

When I was a boy in Sunday school, I knew a sweet old lady who sometimes cared for babies in our church nursery. She was Frances Thatcher, and 45 years earlier, from 1907 until 1910, she'd been a housekeeper in the home of Mary Baker Eddy, who established the Christian Science church.

Frances said she found working at Mrs. Eddy's home frustrating at first. She hoped to be useful in some spiritual way, but all she was asked to do was sweep floors, vacuum rugs and dust and polish furniture. Finally she complained to a more senior member of the staff, "When can I do some holy work for Mrs. Eddy, instead of just homely work?"

Final home of Mary Baker Eddy

Her colleague invited her to spell the words homely and holy. The only difference between them is the word ME. "When you purify your sense of 'me' and understand what God knows about you, then all your work will become holy," he said.

Frances took this advice to heart. Instead of playing the role of frustrated housekeeper, she prayed to express her true identity as "the image and likeness of God" (Gen. 1:26). She tried harder to "seek...first the kingdom of heaven and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33) and to let her light so shine before men that they may see her good works and glorify her Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 5: 16)

Before long, she no longer felt under-valued. She felt like a loved child of God, filled with peace and joy. Her attitude changed. Eventually she was promoted to other duties in the home, but it made no difference to her, since she understood why all her work was holy.

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