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The tender embrace of Church

From the September 2022 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Years ago, while working in a military hospital, I sat quietly in front of samples of blood reserves in my care to be given out in an emergency situation. Tests had been done on these samples, and the results looked fine. But as I looked at the samples in front of me again, suddenly a question rushed in: What is this all about­—is this what decides life? The questions continued: Who am I to do this work? What is it that enables me to make a final decision that affects others? Sure, I was trained, had studied for years, but was I prepared for an emergency situation when someone’s life depended on the choices I made?

At that time, although I had heard about Christian Science, I did not know enough to understand it. Yet, I felt a deep yearning for peace. Silently and deeply, I called out to God to help me, as I had done at other times. In these situations, I never felt I was getting answers telling me which medical decision was correct. But I often felt a definite peace and the assurance that there was far more going on spiritually than I understood at the time. This felt incredibly good, heartwarming, and like something I could rely on and get to know better. I had experiences like this again and again in my work. 

Years later, when I had found Christian Science and recognized it as the truth, I visited a Church of Christ, Scientist, for the first time. When the congregation was invited to pray silently, I looked around, and all of a sudden, there was exactly the same mighty feeling of peace, warmth, and presence I’d felt when I had prayed at work. I felt as if I was on holy ground! I was deeply touched by the recognition that the tender embrace I had felt through prayer is true Church. This is what had embraced me when I was like a stranger in a foreign land, when my heart had yearned for answers in those emergency situations. 

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