I BECAME ACQUAINTED with Christian Science when I'd had enough of going to church. I felt that even though I prayed, God didn't give me any answers. I told myself that I was going to pray to God for the last time. I went into my room, and I addressed God the way one would address a man. I said, "If in five days you don't respond, it's finished." I think I had asked for shoes or a shirt. I said, "I'll stop praying, and I'm going to govern my own life because there clearly isn't any God."
After I prayed, I got up to leave the room, but I thought to turn around. I saw a Bible, which a cousin had left on a table. It was the Jerusalem Bible. I decided to open it for the last time, and I saw the book of the prophetess Judith, which isn't included in the Louis Segond Bible [French-language Bible]. I told myself, "Well, I'll just read the story." As I read the account, I realized that the people of Israel had done the same thing I was doing. When they were surrounded by the Assyrians, they had told God that if He didn't send them rain in exactly five days, they would let the enemy come in and destroy the temple. That really struck me, and I suddenly felt that there was a presence with me—that God was there.
During the next five days, it's not as if I received what I had requested, but a friend gave me a book that introduced me for the first time to idea that prayer follows certain rules. The book was based on Bible verses that said that one can move mountains with faith. I began to pray from that basis, and it seemed I received some results. But I wasn't able to understand the concepts very well. It was during this questioning period when I was constantly talking to friends about this subject, that a Christian Scientist gave some French-language copies of the Herald of Christian Science to my friends, saying, "When you finish reading them, give them to Joseph, your friend who's asking a lot of questions."
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