On a recent walk, I had an experience that made me feel like I was following cookie crumbs home; the waymarks were that sweet.
It was a cool fall day and I was very content crunching my way across the occasional fallen leaf on the sidewalk. Then, up ahead, I saw a message written in chalk. As I got closer I read, “You are needed.” How sweet! I looked around; was that message for me?
I doubt the author had someone specific in mind when she wrote it. She had to have known that the well-used sidewalk would have many passersby; they would all see those words. They would see them regardless of their gender, age, or race. They would see them no matter what kind of car they drove, what size house they lived in, or even what job they had. Each person traveling that stretch of sidewalk would get to think about the fact that he or she is needed. I paused to ponder the depth of that message. For me, it had spiritual significance.
One of the synonyms for God that Mary Baker Eddy uses in the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, is Mind. The Mind she’s talking about isn’t a brain, churning out information via the five material senses. She’s talking about divine Mind, the source of our spiritual sense of things. You know, that comforting voice that calmly tells you that everything is fine?
Since the divine Mind is infinite, it takes all of spiritual creation—from the idea of the smallest insect, to the idea of the most magnificent mountain—to express His infinite nature. And the sidewalk chalk writer, whether she knew it or not, was standing up for the absolute necessity of every idea in the infinity of Mind’s creation. After all, an infinite Mind who is the spiritual creator of everything there is, needs infinite spiritual ideas to express Him in all His beauty and magnificence. What would Mind be without ideas? I snapped a picture of the message on the sidewalk and kept walking.
I went a short distance and saw another chalk-written note in the same scrawling hand. This one told me, “You are important!” Again, I knew this applied to anyone passing by. It made me smile as I remembered this passage from Science and Health: “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters’” (pg. 13). It occurred to me that everyone on the sidewalk, and everyone in all of Love’s, God’s, vast creation, is so important to Him that they’re being supplied with everything good right now—impartially, universally, and abundantly. Again, I snapped a picture and walked on.
I wasn’t surprised to see the third declaration. In fact, I was looking for it. It said, “Be ‘you’ nique.” I laughed. Even the message was unique! Clearly, the sidewalk author had a great grasp of Soul. Like Mind and Love, Soul is another synonym for God. Soul is our individuality. Our unique identity is Soul’s expression of each one of us. I like to think of it as the creative side of God: dazzling vibrancy, a colorful character, the joy of laughing—the things that make you, you! Or, in this case, everything that makes you, “‘you’ nique!”
It’s raining today, and I’m sure as I write this, those powerful notes of encouragement are being washed away. But I’m not worried; they’re already safely tucked away in my thought, and in the truth of God’s infinite universe. I don’t need the chalk messages to remind me that everyone, including you and me, is needed, is important, and is unique. What a great sidewalk lesson!
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!