I had grown up as a student of Christian Science, but had drifted away and stopped practicing it for about forty years. Then I had a mammogram that indicated a small lump. When I saw a specialist soon after the new year, the test came back positive for cancer.
A sense of foreboding came over me. I’d been medically treated for breast cancer some years earlier, and even more extensive surgery was scheduled this time. I was shocked and horrified.
At first I sought the support of a naturopath, but as I sat in the office, I quietly wished I could wake from this like a bad dream. As I left the naturopath’s consulting room, it was as if lightning hit me: “What are you doing? You come from ‘healing stock.’ ” It felt like inspiration from God, because those were funny old words I would never have used!
Two healings came to thought: one of my maternal grandmother, who was introduced to Christian Science when she was bedridden, never expected to walk again, and was completely healed. The second was that of my beloved aunt, healed through Christian Science of septicaemia despite not being expected to live.
I knew immediately that this cancer could be fully healed through Christian Science. When I told my husband my decision to rely on Christian Science, to my enormous relief his words were “I’m right with you.” How wonderful that support felt! The decision felt so right. I called the surgeon’s office the next morning to explain that I was not proceeding with the surgery.
With the help of a loving Christian Science practitioner and a very supportive Christian Science friend, I was soon down to business, studying Christian Science with renewed commitment. I was devouring everything Christian Science I could find: articles, video and audio presentations online, recordings of hymns from the Christian Science Hymnal, the weekly Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly, and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, which I read from cover to cover. My husband and I attended a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, in our city together.
The feeling, overwhelming at times, was one of coming home after a very long absence, a beautiful warmth and such a strong sense of “This is where I belong.” I began to see that I had in reality never been out of God’s care. Of particular help were these passages from Science and Health:
“When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony” (p. 495). And: “Speak the truth to every form of error. Tumors, ulcers, tubercles, inflammation, pain, deformed joints, are waking dream-shadows, dark images of mortal thought, which flee before the light of Truth” (p. 418).
The days were sometimes bumpy, at times full of scary “what ifs,” but what I was learning in Christian Science brought hope and a clearer sense of God’s love and care. At one point my husband and I visited The Mother Church in Boston. I’d had no idea from the little sketch on the Hymnal covers of my childhood that it was so beautiful! What a treat to be able to attend three services there. I was delighted to find too that there was a practitioner’s office nearby. It was so wonderful to go in and have a reassuring chat with the practitioner on duty.
To me the inspiration from this trip was manna from heaven. My use of the supplements the naturopath had suggested naturally fell away as I felt more concretely that our true life and help are in God, Spirit, not matter, as “the scientific statement of being” explains (Science and Health, p. 468). I felt I was making progress.
Toward the end of the year, to address family concerns, I went to a clinic for another assessment, which showed no change in the physical condition. Yes, I had feelings of doubt. I remember feeling as if I were a sinking boat! Surgery sounded tempting for a moment. But a practitioner (who of course left all decisions to me) shared some ideas that helped me feel confident in God’s “gentle presence,” as the opening words of one of Mrs. Eddy’s poems say (Poems, p. 4). I held on tightly to that wonderful hymn (and continue to find comfort and inspiration in its message).
All through this time I’d had a small growth on my face, and at this point the thought came to me that this, too, had no place in God’s perfect creation and would be healed along with the cancer. They just were not part of my life as the expression of the Divine!
Gradually the fear and the overwhelming thoughts of disease dissipated, replaced by a knowledge of everyone’s rightful state of health as God’s child. Soon the growth on my face fell off (and it has never returned), leaving perfectly smooth skin where it had been for so long. God’s gentle presence felt so clear to me. Gradually I knew I was healed of the cancer, too. That was eight years ago, and there have been no cancer symptoms since that time.
Since then I have joined The Mother Church, taken Primary class instruction in Christian Science, and (along with my husband) also joined our branch church. We have enjoyed many more proofs of God’s care and love, evidenced in healings and harmonious solutions to difficult situations. I am so grateful for being led back home to Christian Science.
Kareela, New South Wales, Australia
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