Today is Labor Day in the United States. It is one of 12 federal holidays recognized nationwide by the U.S. Government, and it is always celebrated on the first Monday of September. “Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 years old toiled in fields, mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks. Labor unions, which first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal late in the 19th century. Organized strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions began. Many related events turned violent. Riots and tragedies occurred. Many employers resisted, but were compelled to renegotiate hours and pay. The pivotal event which led to Labor Day occurred on May 11, 1894, when employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. The federal government sent troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with the American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.” (See www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day )
In addition, the Labor Day weekend also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, even though the end of summer traditionally occurs when autumn begins – this year on September 22nd.
Although many of us work long hours, often in service to others, it’s nothing compared to the hours, wages and conditions of the past; in fact, in the United States, all are far superior now. And, thankfully there are labor laws which pertain to children, who rather than being taken advantage of, instead need to be purely nurtured, loved and educated in safe, healthy environments. All of us can be grateful for those individuals who came before us and sacrificed to make changes.
Labor Day is a paid holiday at Wide Horizon, although during its 70 plus year history, many employees have worked this day to provide Christian Science nursing and support services to our guests and residents. Our operations have been 24/7/365 continually during Wide’s history. As a non-profit corporation, Wide Horizon operates partly under the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s “Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado.” These guidelines, in addition to Department of Labor laws, State regulations, and standards from The Commission for Accreditation of Christian Science Nursing Organizations/Facilities, are foundational to our operations as a not-for-profit corporation which also is a Christian Science nursing organization.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, worked consistently and continually from a basis of trust in God and practice of honest business principles. As the Leader of the Christian Science movement, she astutely led with wisdom, economy and brotherly love. She was a remarkably intelligent and intuitive businesswoman. Yet most importantly, healing of sickness and sin was paramount to her many good works.
Mrs. Eddy also expected all students of Christian Science and members of her Church to be scientific spiritual healers. Her expectation is so important that she included the following directive to remind us of this on page 92 in the Church Manual.
Healing Better than Teaching. Article XXX, SECT. 7.
Healing the sick and the sinner with Truth demonstrates what we affirm of Christian Science, and nothing can substitute this demonstration. I recommend that each member of this Church shall strive to demonstrate by his or her practice, that Christian Science heals the sick quickly and wholly, thus proving this Science to be all that we claim for it.
We read in her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that “Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (p. 454). I believe if we are to be better practitioners of this pure Science, we need to listen more closely to Love, know more of Love’s nature, be more obedient to Love’s direction, reflect Love’s light more purely. Our Leader recommends that we strive (to endeavor with earnestness, to labor hard) to be better practitioners who heal quickly and wholly in our practice of Science. It requires that we sing the song of Christian Science, “Work – work – work – watch and pray” (Message for 1900, p. 2). Such work is a worthy endeavor and one that has no limits.
In Mrs. Eddy’s “The New Birth” we are reminded that: “The spiritual sense of Life and its grand pursuits is of itself a bliss, health-giving and joy-inspiring. This sense of Life illumes our pathway with the radiance of divine Love; heals man spontaneously, morally and physically, — exhaling the aroma of Jesus’ own words, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, pgs. 19-20).
Every day therefore each of us can strive to emulate our Master, Christ Jesus, who knew and taught that God is our heavenly Father. We can work in Spirit. We can rest in the Truth. We can cherish our spiritual sense of being. We can recognize that this pure sense increases with simple acknowledgements of Love’s presence and power throughout the day. We can embrace the many continuous moments of our oneness with God, Life. We can live and labor in the atmosphere of Love, breathing within the inspiration of Spirit. And, we can heal from this basis of holy, divine Love. Then we will see and witness more healing as the revealing of Love’s reality – revealing unto us God’s, Spirit’s spiritual, perfect man.
Scripture informs us that the Christ is within us. This Christly consciousness heals. Divine Principle, Love heals. Our heavenly Father-Mother God heals. Let us therefore work together to demonstrate (to show or prove to be certain) Christian Science and live fuller lives reflecting divine Love. Think of the bountiful blessings this endeavor will bring to you, to your families, to your neighbors, to the world, and to those we care for at Wide Horizon. This is indeed good labor.
Mrs. Eddy wrote, the practice of “Christian Science is not an exception to the general rule, that there is no excellence without labor in a direct line” (Science and Health, p. 457).
D. Brian Boettiger