In June 1973, I was stricken with a heart attack and nervous breakdown. My family asked me what doctor I wanted. As a Christian Scientist, I had been telling others that spiritual healing is equal to all emergencies. So I naturally chose to rely entirely on Science now—even though I am a veteran eligible for complete hospital care at no cost. A Christian Science practitioner was called, and she gave immediate prayerful assistance.
The Christian Science Benevolent Association at Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, opened its doors to me. I was in terrific pain and passed out shortly after being admitted. When I regained consciousness, I couldn't remember anything. But I felt the presence of God and was aware that kindly nurses were giving me round-the-clock care. There was a great deal of love, consideration, and unselfishness on everyone's part, and this made things a lot easier for me.
At times my spirits sagged, but the practitioner did an excellent job of encouraging and supporting me. I felt a resurgence of health, and my attitude improved. I learned I was talking out loud, very loud, in order to reassure myself and drown out the pain that seemed to scream at me.
Mary Baker Eddy has said (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494), "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." I prayed earnestly to understand that divine Love was meeting my human needs, and the care I continued to receive was a comforting answer to that prayer. The services of the sanatorium were excellent. Every day the Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly was read to us over the intercom. The food was fine, the rooms were immaculate, and the nurses generated an enthusiasm that coaxed the patients to do their best in striving for healing. Despite my condition, I could really enjoy all this. I started to recuperate slowly and found that my growing awareness of the unreality of the sickness made me indignant at such an imposition.
My daughter had been a pupil in the Christian Science Sunday School, and she was eager to help. Because my eyesight was impaired too, every other day she hung a large sign on the wall where I could easily read it. The sign had different quotations from the Bible and Science and Health, including this one (Prov. 3:5, 6): "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." By pondering these quotations day and night, my thoughts were kept active and my morale was uplifted.
Another thing that was valuable in bringing about the healing was gratitude. As I was deeply grateful for the solid concept of home and the protection and guidance that had blessed my life, all arguments of pain were silenced, and my memory returned.
Still, I had not regained the use of my arms or legs. To counteract this suggestion of immobility, I pondered the story of Peter and John at the Beautiful gate of the temple (see Acts 3:1-10). There Peter, with spiritual insight, remarked to the lame man, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." And the lame man "leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God."
The healing took place very gradually, and at times I wondered if I would join my family again. Yet the work of the practitioner and faithful nurses lightened my load. In the face of aggressive symptoms, I often recalled and was heartened by Christ Jesus' words (John 10:10), "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Fighting hard to keep mentally on top of the situation, I prayed humbly for spiritual understanding. I longed to realize my dominion as a child of God. Finally, the answer came: I must claim my rights, not just hope for them. So claim I did—knowing that freedom and dominion are God-given and irrevocable. Shortly, I had a peaceful rest and felt progress had been made.
Mrs. Eddy admonishes (Science and Health, p. 495), "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." Aided by the quotations on my wall, the Bible Lesson coming over the speaker, helpful recommendations by the nurses, visits from my family and the practitioner, I slowly regained the use of my arms. I could get out of bed into a wheelchair to be taken along the beautiful garden walk outside. One sunny day I woke with the strong conviction I was going to walk. I sat up in bed and tried my uncooperative, wobbly legs. Finally they responded to my spiritual certainty, and I learned to walk again.
Soon I could do everything and felt fine. My vision also cleared. I was well! The wonderful thing about Christianly scientific healing is that it does not leave you with a lot of restrictions ("Don't do this, watch out for that, be careful not to!...") or any aftereffects. It leaves you free. It gives you happiness. It restores you mentally and physically. I feel a joy akin to that of the blind man Christ Jesus healed two thousand years ago, who asserted (John 9:25), "One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."
I would like to verify my husband's healing and express my heartfelt gratitude for the dedication and love of all concerned during this time.
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