I moved to a new state over two years ago. As God-directed as this move felt, one challenge after another presented itself. One day about a year after my move, I was feeling gratitude for a healing I had just experienced of a painful, hard bump on my body. It had drained and dissolved through prayer alone, through what Mary Baker Eddy calls “the universal solvent of Love” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 242). But as I was feeling grateful for this healing, another painful, hard bump began to appear on my arm and quickly grew in size and discomfort. I covered it to get my thought off of it and onto God, but one morning, despite my prayers, the pain became so intense that I called a Christian Science practitioner for treatment.
As we talked, the practitioner pointed me to Hymn 53 in the Christian Science Hymnal:
Everlasting arms of Love
Are beneath, around, above;
God it is who bears us on,
His the arm we lean upon.
(John R. Macduff, adapt., © CSBD)
We talked about God’s love encircling me and all, and that I could lean on Him for guidance. She also referred me to this line in Hymn 278: “Healed is thy hardness, His love hath dissolved it” (P. M., adapt.). I hung up feeling more peaceful, and the pain subsided.
Continuing to pray for the next week or so, I realized I had taken on lots of false responsibility, burden, resentment, and regret related to my move. I felt I had made lots of mistakes in finding a right home, even prior to moving to this new state. But then I realized God does not make mistakes, and that I had followed His direction to the best of my understanding each time. I also realized that family, church, career, and any choices were not for me to take on as a personal burden. I was not holding anything up or supporting anything personally. God does the loving and supporting. My job is to lovingly listen, willingly follow, and let God do the guiding.
Another correction came to thought: “Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop mentally beating yourself up for perceived mistakes.” God isn’t hard on us. His love for us is unwavering. I needed to trust in God’s loving care and feel His love for me and all.
During this time I kept my arm covered from view, as I was very fearful of the sight and feel of it. I called the practitioner a couple more times over the next week or so and was given some wonderful, calming truths to pray with regarding my spiritual being. I was reminded of God’s constant love, His loving presence encompassing me. We stayed with the truth of my being as the wholly spiritual image and likeness of God, perfect now. As Science and Health states, “The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea,—perfect God and perfect man,—as the basis of thought and demonstration” (p. 259).
One morning when the arm was particularly painful and numb, the practitioner prayed diligently with me again, reminding me to start with God as All, and matter, the opposite of God, as nothing. The pain subsided again, and the numbness was completely gone. As I hung up, I realized we had just gone through a complete Christian Science treatment. This was a helpful reminder for me to provide Christian Science treatment for myself each day. I continued this line of prayerful treatment for myself.
A few days later, even though the pain had subsided significantly, I was still feeling fearful. The thought then came, “Stop being impressed by nothing. Why are you covering it if it’s not there in the first place? Face it down! Look it ‘in the eye’ and declare the truth.” I immediately thought of Mrs. Eddy’s statement in Science and Health about looking a tiger fearlessly in the eye. The statement reads: “Without the so-called human mind, there can be no inflammatory nor torpid action of the system. Remove the error, and you destroy its effects. By looking a tiger fearlessly in the eye, Sir Charles Napier sent it cowering back into the jungle.… A man’s gaze, fastened fearlessly on a ferocious beast, often causes the beast to retreat in terror” (p. 378).
To me, the ferocious beast was the fear, making a reality out of matter, being impressed by a false material picture that has no power to cause fear or harm. God is the only power and presence. God is all good, loving, gentle, perfect—and so is His image and likeness, (generic) man, including me.
I was then impelled to mentally face the error without fear, uncovering the error as nothing by declaring the unreality of matter, the goodness and allness of God, and my spiritual perfection as God’s idea, reflecting all His qualities as my only reality.
Another helpful idea that came to mind at this time was that “evil, uncovered, is self-destroyed” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 210).
Over the next few days, I continued to declare the truth whenever fear started to creep in. I let God, Love, fill my consciousness. After this, the fear left, my attention went on to other things, and I continued to give diligent daily treatment for myself. The bump eventually dissolved into what Mary Baker Eddy calls matter’s “native nothingness” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 70).
When I realized the healing had taken place, I felt such gratitude for the way God gives us the healing messages we need. I knew and felt the healing was complete once the fear had left my thought. My attention moved off of the arm, and a month or so later I noticed all evidence of a problem had completely disappeared.
This experience was very significant to me. It reminded me to be alert to daily provide loving Christian Science treatment for myself, to see all that is going on around me more spiritually, to thank God for my present perfection, and to take this perfection into my day. It has helped me to watch and correct thought more often, which takes constant prayer and practice, practice, practice!—in knowing and loving perfect God and perfect man.
This experience also taught me to be more alert to face down any fear or false suggestion that looms in thought, rather than cower from it. To not run away from it, not let it build in thought, not let myself be impressed. This took daily, hourly consistent prayer and holding to the truth about perfect God and perfect man.
I’m very grateful for Christian Science and the spiritual tools it gives us to see through the material picture, step by step all the way to healing.
Sutherlin, Oregon, US
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