Nearly 30 years ago, when I was living in California, a small growth appeared on my face. I didn’t take much notice of it until my hairdresser remarked, “Oh, you’re just like me—you’ll eventually get around to doing something about that.” I appreciated her cheerful and dismissive attitude, but to be honest, I was frightened.
I had no doubt that God would be my “very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). I accepted wholeheartedly the Christ as Mary Baker Eddy defines it in the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error” (p. 583). In my study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings, I found daily comfort and constant instruction.
I knew that any change in the body first involves a change in thought, a shift from believing the evidence of the material senses to understanding God as all-knowing, filling all space, and having all power. I was confident that, as Science and Health states, “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind” (p. 162). God knows every detail of our true, spiritual being, and I can honestly say I enjoyed the daily devotion to listening to divine Mind and discarding the limiting suggestions of the human mind.
As I prayed, my confidence in God’s ever-presence grew, and the fear steadily lessened. I realized that Christian Science truly is the Science of God’s viewpoint, and that it heals.
But then one day the phone rang, and it was a friend from my school days in Australia. She was passing through California on her way to England and couldn’t wait to see me. My heart sank. I really wanted to see her, but I did not want her to see me. I knew she would go back to my hometown and share what she saw with my dear mother. Everything in me wanted to avoid that. Our family was very close, and my brother was a surgeon.
When I had found Christian Science as a teenager, my Presbyterian parents had done nothing to stop me from embracing it, which I truly appreciated. But to be honest, I was still afraid of their opinion. So when my friend called a few days later to say sadly that she would not be able to meet with me, I silently felt quite relieved.
But within a few days the phone rang again. I was a Christian Science practitioner, and someone wanted to make an appointment to see me. The symptoms she described were identical to my own, and I admit my heart sank once again. I found myself asking her if we could possibly work together by phone, but she insisted she wanted to come to my office. Well, how could I say no? Even though I was tempted to feel inadequate, I remembered that the Apostle Paul had struggled with a physical problem all his life, and yet he selflessly shared the gospel message all over the first-century world. I surely owed it to Christ Jesus, my Way-shower, to share the gospel freely myself. So she came to my office.
I don’t remember all the truths from the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings that we discussed, but I do remember encouraging her to see herself from God’s point of view, as a unique and beautiful idea essential to God’s complete self-expression. I asked her to ponder the fact that God, her only creator and Mind, is incapable of anything less than perfection. As His reflection, we can have nothing less. Our job isn’t to improve an ailing material body, but to know ourselves as God knows us—already spiritual, unmarred, whole. It was a sacred time, and I lost all self-consciousness in a sincere desire to share the truth of God’s ever-presence with this dear person.
Only a few weeks later, she gave a beautiful testimony in our church, praising God and filled with gratitude for the healing power of Christian Science. She had been completely healed.
At that point I knew all I had to do was grow daily in my understanding of God. I did not have to worry about other people’s thoughts. I readily accepted that the divine Mind, our very Principle, gives each individual the thoughts he or she needs.
Sometime later, I was walking along and casually put my hand to my face. The little growth fell off, leaving no trace on my face. I stood in awe of the power of our Father-Mother God. I couldn’t speak about this healing for a long time, but words from Hymn 151, “In speechless prayer and reverence” (Ellen J. Glover, Christian Science Hymnal), certainly came to mind. That feeling stayed with me and led to the best part of all in this demonstration of Truth’s power to make us free. When I went to the grocery store, I would often see a woman whose face was severely disfigured, and I’d had the urge to look away. But the first time I saw her after my healing, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of our both being the flawless expression of infinite, radiant, divine Love.
Over and over again, Mrs. Eddy describes love as being central to Christian Science healing, and for this I am profoundly grateful.
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