Referring to the United States in Sunday’s New York Times, Frank Rich wrote,
We are still a young, imperfect, unfinished country. As a young black man working as a nurse in a 1980s AIDS clinic memorably says in Tony Kushner’s epic drama “Angels in America”: “The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it.
Is that true? Is freedom beyond reach for some people? for anyone? Mr. Rich does have a sometimes provocative style, using his column as a call to action, stirring the reader to strive for something better.
Mary Baker Eddy did the same. A lifelong Bible student, she discovered the scientific laws underlying Jesus Christ’s remarkable healing ability described there. She named her discovery Christian Science. She could have kept it to herself but she didn’t. Instead, she labored for over 40 years to share this practical path to freedom with the whole world.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote books, taught others to heal, lectured to standing-room-only audiences, founded a church, and established a publishing company offering weekly, monthly, and quarterly magazines and eventually a daily international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. She did all this selflessly. I can only imagine the depth of love she felt for God’s healing gift to her that she wanted to express her gratitude by sharing it with others, no matter how hard she had to work or how much opposition she encountered.
Mrs. Eddy’s conviction that we each have a God-given right to freedom speaks to her American heritage. She was a woman of 19th and 20th century New England, living in a time when the freedom to think and express one’s ideas was defended in homes and on street corners.
It’s not surprising, then, that she wrote,
Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration of Independence. God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience.
She spurred her readers to insist on their God-given right to freedom — from sickness, sin, and even death. And her work bore fruit. Thousands of people have read her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and found freedom from chronic and acute disease. This book is available to everyone, making Christian Science universally accessible. You can read or buy it online or get it from a neighborhood bookstore, library, or Christian Science Reading Room.
Through her books, lectures, and publications, Mrs. Eddy taught that the path to freedom can begin with a single step — claiming one’s right to be free. One may not reach that high note on the first try. But it is a goal worth striving for — and one that is not too high for anyone.