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‘Taking’ Mind’s medicine

From the April 2013 issue of The Christian Science Journal

In 2009, I received a professional fellowship to spend a year in Germany. Though Germany was a country I’d never visited, and I didn’t know German, I was excited about the adventure. But several months into the experience, my chest felt constricted and my heartbeat was irregular. Something was not functioning properly. Indeed, the labels “heartbroken,” “heavy-hearted,” and “faint of heart” seemed applicable. The transition and move had proved difficult, a love relationship was now distant, and I struggled to feel at home. 

The physical symptoms terrified me, and I began to doubt Christian Science healing. I was constantly curious about what seemed to be the problem. Should I find a medical doctor? These thoughts were odd, as I’ve always loved relying on Christian Science since my childhood.

During this time, I was hungry for the support of church. So it was natural to attend a Christian Science lecture in Berlin. There I had my first turning point. The truth spoken was so simple. Though my German at that time was just barely conversational (I’d spent the summer language intensive program practicing sophisticated sentences such as “I’d like one kilo of apples, please”), I understood every word. The lecture’s message was simple and accessible, encouraging us to trust ourselves to an all-loving God. “Ich lege mein Leben in Deine Hand”—“I lay my life in Your hand.” 

Up until then, I’d believed that if I strove to find the winning combination of inspired thoughts, I’d earn my healing. But that approach leaves no room for the activity of the Christ to operate. Suddenly, I felt expectant and safer than I had before. From then on, I “laid my life” more consciously in God’s hand. I communed with Mind’s quietness anew and felt peace with my whole heart. Such sessions became frequent doses of “the medicine of Mind” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 348). Since the idea of taking medicine was still persistent in my thought, it helped to see these regular sessions of listening to God as “taking something.”

Gradually the self-diagnosing lessened. If I’m spiritual, I reasoned, I’m so safe in God’s constant, heartfelt embrace. I countered waves of self-diagnosis by practicing spiritual self-identification. I saw that the body can’t attack. It is docile, obedient, and not self-proclaiming.

Time passed, and there were moments of victory and comfort. Yet one day, I confessed to my mom on the phone that I still wanted to get a diagnosis of this condition. She replied, “Why don’t you ask your Father-Mother God, and see what He is telling you?” My expectation was bleak; maybe God would say, “Chin up!”

But what I heard instead were beautiful and deeply reassuring thoughts. In fact, I could hardly fall asleep for the rain of sweet angel messages informing me of my safety and how beloved I was. I wrote these ideas down—each sentence, each angel informant. These insights didn’t need to be in biblical language to be authentic. They weren’t classic Christian Science phrases. The ideas were accessible, simple, and resonant.

I profited from these new insights, and I knew I was growing. Yet one night a violent heartbeat woke me from a sound sleep. I wondered if I was having a heart attack. I called my mom back in the States, and she decided right then to call the Christian Science practitioner with whom I’d been working. As my mother repeated the practitioner’s treatment out loud (I on the landline and the practitioner on my mom’s cellphone), the panic and accompanying symptoms immediately and fully subsided. I remained awake most of the night, actively praying and cherishing the revelations and inspiration that had come to me over the past month. I reminded myself that this was what was real, regardless of how real the symptoms had felt. 

The next day I found my way to a quiet café in one of Berlin’s revered art museums. I took out paper and listened for more angel messages. Here are some of my notes from that day, which I recognize as a letter from Love itself.

The Truth about you, dear one, is that you are Mine. You are sound. You are unshaken. Your reward has been present all along: the influence of comfort, rightness, inspiration, and activity. Remember, I am trustworthy. If you reflect on anything, let it be only on the clarity, certainty, and grace that I have shown you. These moments of light were not to cheat you—they are proofs of reality. If you need a place to rest your thought now, practice seeing the limitless good, generosity, and richness I am giving you—and the entire universe—constantly. My care is like a warm place, where you can be safe and stewarded. Trust Me.

Love speaks to all of us in ways that we can understand. It was a gift to learn that we are constantly armed against fear with a shield: our capacity to hear God’s voice. I’m thankful to my parents and to the Christian Science practitioner, whose steadfastness supported me. 

The healing of the heart symptoms was complete, and has remained so in the three years since. Further, a sense of sadness and isolation disappeared. I began to flourish. My time in Berlin was the dearest of my life thus far. I’m fluent now in German. The friendships that developed are permanent. Though I worried that my fellowship research would be in jeopardy because of my need to focus on healing, I ultimately interviewed 70 people, conducted site visits at 30 renewable energy plants, and gratefully was invited to an international conference to present my findings.

I think listening to God is a first priority when it comes to increasing our confidence in spiritual healing. God’s messages are tailored to each one of us. They are tender and unsilenceable.

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