My Visit to Chestnut Hill
by Florence Roberts
I was recently called for a work assignment in Chestnut Hill, Boston, near Longyear Museum. During my last week there, I had the opportunity to visit the Museum and also toured the last house Mrs. Eddy lived in before her passing in 1910.
The tour started with about six people, two of whom were not Christian Scientists but were interested in this great woman who did so many wonderful things in her time. The house is a grand, granite, rather imposing mansion. I was not surprised to see the very large kitchen, oversized parlors, and the faded beauty of some of the original wallpapers and carpets.
Most of us were anxious to see Mrs. Eddy’s bedroom. We toured the different rooms: the large dining room, the studies and rooms of the secretaries. Calvin Frye’s (who worked faithfully for 28 years) room and study were of particular interest to me, because I read in some of the biographies that Mrs. Eddy would at times call on some of her most spiritually minded workers to work metaphysically to support her when faced with certain challenges. Calvin Frye was often called upon to do such work; so it was interesting to see that his room was in closest proximity to Mrs. Eddy’s.
The lounge chaise she used in the evenings when she would look out and pray for the world was still in a room on the second floor, with large windows facing east. The dining room, other rooms used by Mrs. Eddy’s personal attendant, other workers and even the room where the seamstress made clothes for Mrs. Eddy and other household members, all gave a vivid insight into the daily life of this extraordinary woman.
The room of most interest and the one that had the most reaction from everyone was Mrs. Eddy’s bedroom. It was the size that got everyone talking. To see that in this huge mansion, her bedroom could only fit a bed and a dresser spoke volumes! Most of us questioned this and made our own conclusions. But what later dawned on me was the spiritual significance of the size of the room: All I could feel was that here was a truly selfless woman whose mission had never been to satisfy self. She gave up all for Christ; to the extent that even in her later years when money was abundant in her life, the size of her room summed up what her heart was after; laboring in complete obedience to God, not for self, but for the glory of God and to bless mankind.
My eyes well up thinking about her spirituality and the depth of her love for God and man. The tour brought the deepest respect, admiration, and love for Mrs. Eddy, for what she stood and fought for to bring the Comforter to mankind.
Such was her sacrifice; it makes me question what I am to do as my God-given part in this holy mission for God and mankind.