Watching Point 359
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
Click here to play the audio as you read:
359 — WATCH lest you allow your Leader to go down in your estimation, when you learn that at times she called upon young students to help her in dark hours. It is possible that she did not really need such help, but called for it as part of her method of training students. Again, she had a right to expect others to help her to bear her burdens, since she carried more than was her share.
Every student must take three steps. He must learn to trust in another as God’s representative to him; he must learn to trust in his own understanding of Truth; finally he must learn to trust in God as the Master did at the crucifixion, without reference to any conscious scientific effort to demonstrate. The Master at that point threw himself into God, as it were, with absolute trust that that was all that was necessary.
Mrs. Eddy first found herself with an absolute faith in God that was natural to her, and hence was not the result of a cultivated spiritual understanding. Then she retraced her steps, in order to prove that one without faith might attain it through scientific effort. When she received help from another in a dark hour, she was proving that she could trust in and receive help from a humble student who became God’s representative to her; that under her demonstration, it was possible for another to help the Leader, even though she stood so high above all in understanding.
If an advanced student needs help, he does not necessarily have to seek one who is above him in understanding. He can make the demonstration to know that God will lead him to the one who will be the channel for good to him, no matter how humble that one may be. Jesus asking the woman of Samaria to give him to drink, represented the same demonstration as Mrs. Eddy’s, in asking help of another. Our Leader would not have been left bereft, had she received no help from another when she called for it; but she was testing and proving her own teachings to the limit. She used her own need to show that one can place implicit faith in any channel God raises up. Hence when one seeks help from another, he must know that, because God has selected this channel to help him, that help cannot fail to come. Many grand workers have passed on who might have remained to complete their work, had they made the demonstration of learning to trust in those who seemed to have less understanding than they. One way God tests our humility is to offer us help through a channel which our pride would cause us to refuse to accept.
Our Leader had such faith in God and so little pride, that she welcomed the Father’s help, no matter how He sent it to her. Once when an important paper was brought to her home by a disloyal student, and the students in the home remonstrated with her for accepting it from such a messenger, her reply was, “God sent it, if the devil brought it.”
Mrs. Eddy was the barometer of the whole Cause. Students thought that at times she was struck down by error. Actually, when error was aimed at the Cause, she felt it first. So when she called on the students to work for her, they were really doing the protective work that kept some error from encroaching on the Cause. Our Leader and her home were the vestibule to the Cause. By stopping an error at the entry, it was kept out of the Cause. One might ask why such a metaphysician as Mrs. Eddy, who could heal so marvelously, ever was afflicted. The answer is that if she had risen so high as to be immune from all error attacking her home, her students and her Cause, she would have had no means of detecting it when it was rampant. By her stripes we were healed. By her sensitivity to error, her students and the Cause were spared. 360 — WATCH that you unfold the claims of animal magnetism to others in the wisest way, so that you awaken enough apprehension to cause them to recognize the importance of meeting them, but not enough to paralyze effort, or to induce a stampeding fear. One who struggles against error because he is over-fearful, does his work without expectancy. Hence it is not efficacious.
A fine parable to use in setting forth the action of animal magnetism, is the one concerning people in a valley who were held in subjugation and terror for years, because of their fear of giants in the hills. Finally a youth determined to risk his life in order to lift the terrible bondage from his people. He went to the home of one of the giants and challenged him. He ran the giant through with his sword and discovered him to be nothing but straw and wind.
Like a string drawn across the sidewalk at Halloween, animal magnetism is a menace only when undetected. Under exposure it collapses. The courage one needs to uncover it must spring from the assurance that it is nothing, since God is All.
Once Mrs. Eddy wrote to a student: ‚Teach your students what animal magnetism is, how it works in themselves and from outside sources on them. These are the points in which my students fail most in teaching, and are the most difficult to teach rightly, so as not to frighten but strengthen the students.”