By Robin Barben, Activities Director
A group of patients here at Fern Lodge reached out to a Christian Scientist who is in prison. The patients discovered a renewed sense of usefulness as every Monday for nine years we wrote letters to him. We sought to see more clearly the spiritual man, who is innocent, in spite of the fact that it appeared that a severe crime had been committed. As our correspondence continued, we came to cherish and love this individual. We gained a thorough conviction that in his true, spiritual identity, he was not the same man who committed the crime, no matter what mortal mind, through personal sense, claimed. The following is compiled from letters we received from this individual. In future issues of the Fern Lodge Focus we hope to share more of his inspiration and devotion to Christian Science.
“Dear Friends at Fern Lodge,
“l would like to express my appreciation for the wonderful opportunity for growth Fern Lodge has given me, and the healing that has resulted. Sharing ideas with the patients and staff about Christian Science became an open forum for grace and Love to be expressed and experienced. This exchange of ideas became a passageway for my true character to be recognized and expressed; in this process, God awakened me to my true self for the first time.
“Giving and receiving expressions of divine Love has broken down many walls, which had prevented me from fully opening to God and accepting His love. I especially cherish how, through my correspondence with the dear ones at Fern Lodge, I began to feel truly accepted, not as a mortal being, but as a perfect child of God. This was especially important to me because the pervading belief is that as an incarcerated person, prison is a place where one doesn’t deserve love. I began to feel seen as a true spiritual reflection of Love rather than a sinful human being without redemption. Love began to unfold a way to live a life in Christ, helping me to express the qualities of divine Love; and I began to feel included in the family of God.
“As I open to accepting that I truly belong to God’s fold, I am able to give to others the same sense of belonging through my expression of Love. I remember one day I was with a group of guys getting ready to play basketball and one guy was standing by himself watching us. I felt compelled to go over and ask him if he wanted to play. He said sure and I picked him to be on our team. As we played I noticed how happy he was to be a part of the team, and later that day, after the games were over, he came up to me and said it was the best time he’d had in many years and thanked me for including him. I thanked God.
“One day I was walking, and praying with a feeling of surrendering completely to the direction of God. l had a choice of going two different ways and an angel message told which way I was to go. When I did I was directed right towards a guy, who when I arrived, I found was having a severe physical problem in his chest. I got an officer and he opened the door. The man and the officer were both upset, but I held to the true man–one with God and always perfect. My eyes connected with the guy who seemed challenged and I felt he could feel the Truth I knew about him. They took him away to get help, but he was back that same day and when I saw him he told me, ‘You saved my life.’ I told him to thank God.
“My profound appreciation for the qualities of Christ I have opened to through the communication I’ve had with Fern Lodge stems from the spiritual growth I’ve experienced, the presence of God I have felt, and the confidence in being alive to Life that I have gained. Thanks to Fern Lodge, I feel a purpose because I feel part of something bigger.
“Thank you for reaching out, touching my life, and helping me feel that God includes everyone in His love.”