We were in Christian Science Sunday School, and I was teaching the pre-kindergarten age class. (These little ones don't miss a trick, and they are innocently frank.) I had early learned not to be ruffled as four pairs of eyes scrutinized me from top to toe.
"What's that smell you have on?"
"That's a nice dress—but not the color."
"I wanted to stay home and play with my new dog, but my mom made me come to Sunday School."
Then might come a disarming "I like you!" Next their attention would turn to each other for personal appraisals, and I'd gently direct their thoughts away from outward appearance to the spiritual qualities of each one as the reflection of God.
One Sunday Jimmy unhesitatingly demanded: "What's that big bump on your eye?" I gulped and managed to mumble that it was just a little error he shouldn't believe. Immediately the whole class riveted attention on my eye. Although scarcely noticeable when it had appeared on an eyelid some weeks before, the growth had enlarged and apparently was not going to escape the weekly inspection.
Not satisfied with my answer, Jimmy asked, "Why don't you heal it?" The others nodded and waited for a reply. I realized then that instead of praying specifically, I had entertained only occasional statements of truth in a casual way. I had not gained the deep conviction that the only growth is spiritual, governed by God's law of perfection. I needed to obey the instruction of our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, where, in speaking of a claim of sickness or sin, she writes, "Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin."<i>Science and Health</i>, p. 390.
With silent gratitude to God for the privilege of teaching (and being taught by) these precious children, I welcomed the opportunity to listen for divine Mind's promptings for that hour. "Let's think of all the things we know about God's children—about us," I said, "because each one of us is the perfect child of God."
For the next twenty minutes we talked about God's love for His children; He made only what is good, beautiful, and useful, because He couldn't create anything unlike Himself. Jimmy said emphatically, "He didn't make that bump on your eye!" Rita added, "Error isn't real, because God didn't make it." Tony remembered his dad had told him that loving his friends and not fighting was expressing God. Patty said, "Love heals everything bad." I opened the Bible and read aloud the account of a healing by our Master, Christ Jesus.
Then we all thought of ways we could feel God's love each day—such as the thoughtfulness of parents, the loyalty of faithful friends, enough funds for real needs, opportunities to be helpful and kind to others. Most of all, we knew, we could rely on God's healing power, guidance, and protection, always. The list continued to grow.
During the week that followed, Jimmy's question "Why don't you heal it?" kept coming back. The first step was to become convinced of the unreality of the condition. I longed to feel Jimmy's trustful, uncomplicated expectancy of good. Whenever I washed my face, I refused to look at the eyelid and humbly prayed. I was helped by Mrs. Eddy's words from a well-loved poem, "Shepherd, wash them clean."<i>Poems</i>, p. 14.
I wasn't tempted to feel that I had to impress the children with a healing. My only desire was to cleanse from my consciousness whatever erroneous suggestion claimed to externalize itself as a growth on my eyelid. I was strengthened by several references from the Bible, including this one from Job, which speaks of preparing our heart and putting away iniquity: "For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear."Job 11:15. Another passage I studied was by Mrs. Eddy: "God creates man perfect and eternal in His own image. Hence man is the image, idea, or likeness of perfection—an ideal which cannot fall from its inherent unity with divine Love, from its spotless purity and original perfection." <i>The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,</i> p. 262.
By the end of the week the spiritual facts I had been cherishing were so much more real to me than the material evidence of a blemish that I was able to dismiss the whole picture from my thought. I don't know exactly when the growth disappeared, but it certainly did.
The following Sunday Jimmy exclaimed, "Hey! The bump's all gone!"
"Yes," I said happily, "God has healed me, and each one of you helped me to see more of the 'me' that God made."
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