Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

So, for some reason I noticed Ingrid Bergman has noticeable nose. I watched the film, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, a take on the life of Gladys May Aylward, portrayed by the actress, Ingrid Bergman. Maybe her nose stuck out to remind me it really doesn’t matter what body shape we have, it’s what we do with the body and mind that makes a difference and Ingrid Bergman did an outstanding job of acting.

Gladys May Aylward (1902-1970) was a British evangelical Christian who felt compelled to do her missionary work in China. I’m sure the film, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness was built loosely on reality, as all movies are, but it is worth seeing.

Created in 1958, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is two-and-half hours long, so be prepared, but the storyline touches on selflessness, courage, and knowing one’s place in the world.

Knowing our place in the world comes with knowing our self as God knows us. Gladys May Aylward knew God made her honest, loving, giving, and strong. This attitude carried her to China where she adopted children and adapted to another culture where she learned to help them as they understood.

Pain comes in many forms. It can be physical or mental. Either way, most of us don’t like pain and are thankful when it can be reduced at any level.

I am a freelance writer and always am on the look-out for a story. Yesterday, I was driving to a school to pick up a story about children gardening. I passed a row of unusual looking trees, and a man walking alongside the road. His clothes were dirty and he looked a bit disheveled, but I turned my car around and drove back to talk with him.

I introduced myself as a newspaper writer and wondered if he knew anything about the trees planted alongside the road. He spoke with a heavy Italian accent, and affirmed, he was the one who planted them. Then he asked if I could drive him home because his foot was hurting really badly.

He was out on his 4-wheeler and the motorcycle got stuck. Walking home was torment because he recently had broken his foot. He had a sense of humor as he stuffed himself into my little car, but was so thankful for the ride, that he apologized for being so big.

I drove him to his house, on the hill. We made a deal that I’d come back in one hour to talk with him.

His love of the land kept him outside working in the dirt, planting trees. After talking with him, I discovered he was a wealth of joy. I will write up his story of someone who decided to keep planting trees.

Yesterday day went on for me. I had to cover a Village meeting in the evening. These meetings are notorious for being inefficient and long. Another reporter and I sat together. Although, that reporter and I basically write for competitive local newspapers, no one would know it because we were there supporting and helping one another through the long evening.

In light of the pain in the world, I hold to my gratitude for anytime the pain is reduced.

If I had two wishes, I know what they would be
I’d wish for roots to cling to, and wings to set me free;
Roots for inner values, like rings within a tree,
And wings of independence to seek my destiny.

Roots to hold forever, to keep me safe and strong
To let me know you love me, when I’ve done something wrong;
To show me by example, and help me learn to choose
To take those actions every day to win instead of lose.

Just be there when I need you, to tell me it’s all right
To face my fear of falling when I test my wings in flight;
Don’t make my life too easy, it’s better if I try
And fail and get back up myself, so I can learn to fly.

If I had two wishes, and two were all I had
And they could just be granted by my mom and dad;
I wouldn’t wish for money or any store-bought things
The greatest gifts I’d ask for are simply roots and wings.

“A Child’s Bedtime Song” by Denis Waitley

keystonekey·stone  /ˈkēˌstōn/  A central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together. The central principle or part of a policy, system, etc., on which all else depends.

A few young men, practicing their masonry, began constructing a rock arch here in town. The comment made was, “It’s really important to have a proper keystone.” The keystone set the sight. It was used as a starting point to work from.

“Building the arch was like putting a puzzle together, but we had a good keystone to start with, so the project is moving along nicely,” added the journey mason. Is this similar to forming our spiritual power and spirituality?

When practicing spiritual healing, the keystone must be truth, life, and love. Then our building will not be in vain but will be formed into a symmetrical life, albeit with our own beauty, individuality and character. It takes time, but time we have, to start with the divine and work from the divine.

We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “The voice of God in behalf of the people is reverberating around the world, sounding the keynote of universal mental freedom. A fuller acknowledgement of the rights of man and woman as useful spiritual beings demands that the terrors of sin, sickness, and death be exterminated from the human mind.”

“Scientific metaphysical practice begins with Christ’s keynote of harmony, ‘Do not be afraid!’[1]


[1] Matt. 14:27, 17:7, 28:10; Mark 5:36, 6:50; Luke 12:32; John 6:20