For a period of over a year, I experienced unreliable vision and recurring painful irritation in my eyes, which interfered with safe driving and hindered many of my day-to-day activities. Throughout the year, working with a Christian Science practitioner, who gave me prayerful treatment, helped me to be comfortable in several times of need. But each time afterward I was faced with the suggestion that the pain and poor vision were a continuing reality.
Then, at the annual eye exam, I was diagnosed with an eye infection that prevented the doctor from renewing my vision prescription, updating glasses, or purchasing contact lenses. This seemed like a huge imposition on my life.
After the appointment, I considered the instructions I’d been given to pick up the prescribed antibiotics and take them over the course of the following week in order to combat the infection. I was very still, deep in thought as I drove home, and a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy came to thought: “The power of Christian Science and divine Love is omnipotent. It is indeed adequate to unclasp the hold and to destroy disease, sin, and death” (p. 412). I confidently decided to contact a Christian Science practitioner and meet this claim of infection through prayer.
The biggest challenge was being tempted to think of my prayers as having a material goal—needing to heal something to prove to the doctor that I could get new glasses and be on my way. But I knew this was outlining from a human perspective and not allowing God to express Himself fully in me. Feeling tied to a material outcome would never allow me to “see” clearly my identity as God’s child, possessing the fullness of His grace—not just a portion. The practitioner shared with me the idea that every prayer is effective, meaning that every prayer over the past year and every prayer each day was complete and totally effective.
Many times my thought was led to the idea that man cannot experience irritability or irritation because of the infinitude of God’s love that man expresses. This was certainly confidence-inspiring. However, when I went back for a checkup, I was told nothing had changed, and that I still had the infection. I started to feel fearful that prayer “wasn’t working.”
As the second week progressed, I held on to very simple truths about the nature of my relationship to God: the freedom I express, that Mind is the true basis of all man’s faculties, that man has a natural receptivity to Truth, and that God’s man is created whole. Even in the midst of seeing these healing truths, I couldn’t seem to let go of the weight of the past year’s worth of “trying” and still failing to “show up healed” at the optometrist’s office.
When I went back for a follow-up, I was informed that the doctor would be late, and I ended up with an unexpected half hour to myself in the quiet and dim exam room. This turned out to be the sanctuary I needed.
I closed my eyes and was finally able to let go of fear and doubt and all outlining about the condition of my being. I felt truly that God was my life and the source of my faculties, and that I didn’t need to work to express Him fully, because as God’s child I am created to do just that—express Him fully—no waiting.
Wonderful reassurances kept flowing into thought, and there was no more doubting voice that could contradict them. I particularly enjoyed working with Hymn 139 from the Christian Science Hymnal (Minny M. H. Ayers), “I walk with Love along the way …” which I have always loved.
As a child I would replace the verb “walk” with other activities like “I swim with Love” … “I learn with Love ….” But this time, a whole new opportunity of prayer opened up, and I saw that the synonyms for God that Mary Baker Eddy gave us could cycle through the song as well. The thought came: “I walk with Mind along the way, and O, it is a holy day! No more I suffer cruel fear, I feel Mind’s presence with me here.” Each synonym for God—Mind, Life, Truth, Love, Principle, Spirit, Soul—included perfect qualities that I knew couldn’t be taken away from me. Joyfully declaring the holiness of that day was especially freeing.
This prayer continued in the quiet room, as I claimed my rightful expression of these qualities of spiritual sight, and when I opened my eyes I knew I wasn’t afraid any more. The doctor came in shortly afterward, and after a very brief look he declared that my eyes were perfectly healthy. Permission to purchase updated glasses included realizing that my eyesight had improved over the year’s time, and I was given a new prescription.
I am filled with gratitude for this experience, for the proof that persistence in God’s care always results in healing, and for fresh insight into well-loved hymns and verses. What a significant reminder to me that Christian Science is indeed more than “adequate to unclasp” error’s hold.
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