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THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS HEALING

From the December 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal


GROWING UP WASN'T ALWAYS STRAIGHTFORWARD. I'd been ill for several years through my late teens and early twenties—first with a toxic parasitical illness, and then with clinical depression. I was left debilitated and somewhat emaciated. (I would be diagnosed later as suffering from malnutrition.) Added to this, my doctor then prescribed tranquilizers. After a fortnight of these, I was walking along a corridor when it suddenly felt as though I had been mentally mugged, as though "the lights had gone out." Thus began a long and dark journey, trying to find a way out, to find health and some sort of normality.

Because I was no longer functioning at university in France, I called a favorite aunt, who lived in Wales. She literally took me in off the street—I went there and stayed for the next two years or so. Neither she nor her husband, a medical doctor, were self-pronounced Christians. In fact, he was agnostic. But what Christly compassion! They nursed and cared for me over several years, while I received specialized medical treatment. I don't think I would have made it without this tender and constant succor. There were long periods when it was a day-to-day battle just to hold on. Even the simplest tasks, like taking a short bus ride, were a major challenge. A popular Moody Blues lyric at the time said, "I'm looking for a miracle in my life." Well, I was really looking for one.

As it turned out, that miracle came in the form of my father. Daddy and I had always shared an exceptionally close relationship. He had many fine qualities: a strong intellect, integrity, humor, love of humanity and nature, a spontaneous spiritual sense. We would often seek refuge in a local pub from the sometimes difficult times at home. I didn't like to add to his burdens, but after years of suffering, I admitted to him that I didn't know what else to do. That's when he said, "If medicine can't heal you, Christian Science will!"

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