In a letter to her student James Neal, Mrs. Eddy captured the essence of what was—and what would remain—the chief love of his life.
"I had felt for sometime," she wrote, "the fitness you possessed for healing." In the light of Mr. Neal's subsequent service as an original Trustee of The Christian Science Publishing Society and as a President and later a Director of The Mother Church, what Mrs. Eddy went on to say must have served as a prophetic reminder to him: "A real scientific Healer is the highest position attainable in this sphere of being. Its altitude is far above a Teacher or preacher; it includes all that is divinely high and holy." Mrs. Eddy letter to James A. Neal, January 29, 1897, Archives and Library of The Mother Church.
Mr. Neal, to a remarkable degree, attained this "highest position." As a twenty-year-old cashier at Joseph Armstrong's bank in Irving, Kansas, James Neal first heard about Science through the healing of Mrs. Armstrong. Almost immediately young James started healing others. His first patient was Mr. Armstrong's brother. James Neal reminiscences, Archives.