Rising above rejection

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The Narrative declares that being wearied by his journey, Jesus sat on the well.  And there came a women of Samaria to draw water.  Jesus said to her, ‘Give me to drink’ (John 4:7).  She parried the request with the reminder that she was not a Samaritan, and he of the jews, and there was no dealings between them.  But Jesus did not concede such a barrier . . .  He answered her, ‘whosoever drinketh of this water that I shall give shall never thirst again.’

Association Address of 1944

Dr. John M. Tutt

Rising above rejection

Georgia L. Newton

From the December 8, 1986 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Discrimination, prejudice, suspicion, sometimes pile heavy weights against the door to progress. What does it take to keep on moving?

What if we are pelted with evidence of rejection—a friend drops us or our own children ignore us? A higher concept of Christly love will disperse the heaviness of rejection. What if we always seem to be turned down for promotions or raises in our jobs, even when we are progressing in our effectiveness? What if the loss of a loved one makes us feel that there is no one left to care about us? It is still possible to grow in the understanding that no one can lose what God gives—perfect substance, completeness, and eternal life for all. No matter what form rejection takes, it affords just another opportunity to turn trials into victories through prayer.

I was grateful to find this out at a point in my life when I felt I had nothing to live for. It seemed that no one cared. I was from a minority ethnic group and a very poor background, which included abuse as well as deprivation. I was married at a very young age and started a family, which I was rearing in the only way I knew—the way I had been reared. Also each winter I suffered with bouts of pneumonia. Although I was a faithful churchgoer, still, just like many others, I looked at my plight and found it hard to figure out how to get to God.

The introspective interrogation of what? how? and why? bombarded me throughout my days and nights. I had been taught to believe that what was called “a God of love” could and did create superior and inferior people, some accepted and some rejected, some rich, others poor, some healthy, others invalids, and that even those who seemed to be well were susceptible to disease. I was further taught that this so-called God punished people for being what He made them to be.

While I was fighting what appeared to me as a losing battle, a friend introduced me to Christian Science. I began to study the textbook, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, and for the first time in all my search for answers I began to see that the God of love truly is Love,unchanging, all-inclusive—including me. Each of my problems—problems that had seemed like dirt thrown on me to bury my hopes and aspirations in ignorance, fears, and despair—could now be faced and solved through the study and practice of Science. Each victory would contribute to my rising higher in the realization and proof of my true nature as God’s immortal, complete, and perfect child.

One morning as I sat reading Science and Health, these words arrested my thought: “Does God send sickness, giving the mother her child for the brief space of a few years and then taking it away by death?”1

I saw that my heavenly Father-Mother God didn’t create His children only to have them taken from His care and love. He didn’t create me only to reject me and let me die with His purpose unfulfilled.

The fact that the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lions’ den had not been rejected by divine Love, or God, made me realize that I wasn’t rejected either. The same Love was present—as present for me in this age as it had been for them in that earlier age. My health was restored, and a higher standard of morality in raising my children emerged as my concept of myself was reborn. Seeking a faraway God was replaced by understanding and expressing omnipresent Spirit, good.

If we were actually limited mortals, the many losses and tragedies of mortal life might justify self-pity, resentment, and enmity, but we have Christ Jesus’ hard-won proof that mortality is only the carnal mind’s deception. Believing we are mortals instead of God’s spiritual idea, man, or believing we are good but our neighbor is less than a child of God, is the subtle work of the carnal mind, breaking God’s commandments and bearing false witness against God’s perfect creation, including man.

Some two thousand years ago our Master, Christ Jesus, was buried, literally entombed. The barbarity of the carnal mind’s conspiracy mocked his usefulness to the world by betrayal and crucifixion. But through his firm stand for divine Love, he shook off these malicious motives, put them under his feet, and rose so high in his demonstration of eternal Life that he surmounted death itself. By overcoming in the resurrection and ascension all mortality, Jesus also overcame rejection. Science and Health says of the resurrection triumph: “His three days’ work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate.”4

It may seem to us that rejection comes from outside us and is beyond our ability to overcome. But belief in rejection is held in our own consciousness. It can therefore be routed. When we feel rejection, we are failing to understand the true manhood of God’s creating. So the darkness, defeat, and despair implied by rejection are total deception—the carnal mind’s persuasive effort to keep us from acknowledging the Christ. Ascertaining our birthright as the sons and daughters of God, accepting and expressing our true selfhood by acknowledging infinite Mind as our only Mind and entertaining the thoughts of this Mind, we are able to find certain, divine help at all times.