I was about 20 years old when I became interested in Christian Science. I read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and I was impressed by Mrs. Eddy’s definition of God as Life, Truth, Love, Principle, Soul, Spirit, Mind; also as omnipresence, omni-action, omnipotence, and omniscience (see pp. 465, 587). I read wonderful testimonies of healing in the last 100 pages of the book, and in the Christian Science periodicals—the Christian Science Sentinel and The Christian Science Journal. I spent many hours in a nearby Christian Science Reading Room poring over them.
I asked myself, “Is this the Comforter that Jesus promised would come? Could Christian Science be the revelation I had been seeking for some time? Is spiritual healing possible?”
I didn’t have to wait long to get practical answers to my questions. I became ill with the flu, and I had been in bed for a couple of days, feeling ill and sorry for myself. Then I remembered I had read about Christian Science practitioners as individuals who prayed with and for those who were sick. So, I decided to call one.
I started describing to the practitioner, in a croaky voice, the symptoms. I had not gotten very far when I heard a hearty laugh on the other end of the phone. The laugh was not in any way derisory, and it actually sounded strangely loving. Even so, I was taken aback by the laugh, and I thought, “Does this woman not know how ill I am?!”
Then she said, “Oh, dear, dear, dear. You can’t fool me!”
“Hello? Hello?” I said. But she was gone, and had hung up the phone.
I thought this was bizarre, especially if I had just experienced a Christian Science treatment. I started to laugh, and I laughed for some seconds. Then, suddenly, I realized I felt better. All the symptoms of the flu were gone. I got up, showered, made myself a hearty meal, and that was the end of the flu.
I was very grateful for the healing, but it took me years to realize that what I experienced that day on the phone with the practitioner was in fact a beautifully complete Christian Science treatment. First, the practitioner’s, “Dear, dear, dear,” communicated such love. Then, her rock-solid statement, “You can’t fool me,” was an absolute denial, a dismissal, of evil.
That quick treatment sure shook me up. It awakened me. In Science and Health there is a marginal heading in relation to healing that reads, “Awaken the patient” (p. 420). On occasion it is necessary to startle mortal mind out of its dream and lethargy, not to accept for a moment longer the image of disease. That is what happened to me, and I had an instantaneous healing.
For many weeks after the healing I was in awe of the power of God, through Christian Science, to heal.
Every healing since then hasn’t been as quick. Some have necessitated more in-depth conversations with Christian Science practitioners and deeper study on my part. Yet I found that always practitioners gave Christian Science treatment compassionately, lovingly. Treatment is always turning thought away from any contemplation of illness to a greater sense and understanding of God’s love and presence, God’s laws of well-being.
If you, dear reader, are suffering from a sense of disease, you too can awaken from that dream and claim your birthright of freedom.
These words from a wonderful poem by Thomas Moore, which Mrs. Eddy included in Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 (p. 51), sum it up:
When from the lips of Truth one mighty breath
Shall, like a whirlwind scatter in its breeze,
The whole dark pile of human mockeries;
Then shall the reign of Mind commence on earth,
And starting fresh, as from a second birth,
Man in the sunshine of the world’s new spring,
Shall walk transparent like some holy thing.
Bangor, Northern Ireland