In September Of 1991 I was ill with what appeared to be pneumonia. Over the course of three weeks my breathing became extremely labored and nights were particularly difficult. But I had a deep conviction that turning to God through prayer for healing would be the most thorough and effective form of treatment for me. I was certain that if I could only understand myself to be spiritual here and now, there was nothing that could not be healed quickly and completely through prayer. During this time I was constantly praying for a deeper understanding of my inseparability from God. I enlisted the services of a Christian Science practitioner to pray for and with me as I endeavored to demonstrate more fully God's power to heal.
After a series of progressively difficult nights, my condition dramatically worsened. At this crisis point I called the practitioner and asked her if there was anything that I should specifically be praying about. She commented that the word standard kept coming to her as she prayed. I immediately turned to see what Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy had to say on the subject.
One heading in the margin of the book reads, "Christian standard," and just prior to that paragraph I read, "When it is learned that disease cannot destroy life, and that mortals are not saved from sin or sickness by death, this understanding will quicken into newness of life." Then I went on to read in the paragraph adjacent to the heading, "The relinquishment of all faith in death and also of the fear of its sting would raise the standard of health and morals far beyond its present elevation, and would enable us to hold the banner of Christianity aloft with unflinching faith in God, in Life eternal" (p. 426).