It’s Raining in the State of Denial

I’ve realized that maintaining a blog is like keeping your car maintained. If you ignore it, the stats indicate that your readers (in my case it looks like between 20 – 30 regulars) start to drop away unless you post something new.

I saw that when I went off-line for 4 days this past weekend. In the case of your car, it just quits working–usually when you’re late for something important, and you’re in for a bill that will give your mechanic that trip to Hawaii he’s always dreamed of. So, this entry is a spontaneous one inspired in equal parts by “I need to write something”, and the sound of the rain on my window.

I live in a semi-arid area (similar to northern Arizona), so rain is not something we get every day. However, when it rains here, it pounds down, often for just an hour or so, but sometimes for upwards of a day. Today has been an all day event–we’re in the midst of our brief wet season. Flooding is a real concern in these parts now, as it often is this time of year–deny that at your own peril.  But, that is not really the point of this post–what do you all care about the weather here anyway?

However, it is the weather, or more precisely, the sound of the rain on my window that inspires a thought: if someone is deeply imbedded in Christian Science and its persistent state of denial, how far do you take that denial? Would I deny the reality of that rain hitting my window outside? After all, it’s matter–a manifestation of mortal mind, so it can’t be real. However, during my years as a Christian Scientist, I saw many a church lady use an umbrella in the rain, so it must be real enough to mess up their carefully coiffed (but hideously out of style) hair. If you’re shivering, do you not put on a warm coat? Either matter is real or it is not. I think Mary Baker Eddy even spoke against timid conservatism and “half measures” somewhere in Science and Health. So, as I see it, you’re either all ‘in’ or all ‘out’, right? Probably not so much, I’m thinking. There’s a lot of little conditions and loopholes in the so-called absolutes of Christian Science (think dental and vision care).

I also have noted, based on the number of rather overweight folks, myself included, that I knew during my days of employment at The Mother Church, that food is definitely not a reality that is readily denied by Christian Scientists. Early on during my Boston days, it was a rare meeting at or near the lunch hour where food was not brought in. The local restaurants and catering companies loved us. So, what be the boundaries of denial?

This all sort of reminds me of one of my favourite Christian Science jokes:

A mother snake was out with a baby snake, and she was teaching it how to bite people. As they were going along, they came upon a Catholic priest, praying the rosary. She said, “those ones are easy; they’re so distracted by that thing around their neck that you can just sneak up behind ’em, right under those robes and bite ’em; they’ll never see you coming.”

Then they came across a Jewish rabbi. She said, “these ones are pretty easy too; they’re so preoccupied with finding the Messiah, that they’ll never see you coming.”

A little while later, they saw this little old lady walking towards them with a couple of books under her arm. The mother snake stopped in her tracks, and the look of absolute fear and terror crossed her face. The baby snake asked her, “What’s wrong momma?”

The mother snake said in hushed tone, “don’t EVER go near one of those,” she said quivering in absolute terror at this point.
“Why?” asked the baby snake.
“She’s a Christian Science practitioner,” said the mother snake, “and if she sees you, she’ll deny that you even exist and ‘POOF’, you’re gone, like you never even existed!”

1 thought on “It’s Raining in the State of Denial

  1. During my time at prin there was a little sign posted on the bulletin board on the way to the Scramble Room which reminded us to “take no thought for what ye shall eat or drink” … which seemed appropriate given the number of times my sister ended up with food-poisoning-like symptoms in Cox Cottage.

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