"YOU'RE NEVER SICK!" my mother-in-law exclaimed. I felt a twinge of pride and inner glow of gratitude. She knows of my dependence on God for my well-being. Prayer-based healing through the study and practice of Christian Science has proved to be a practical way of life for me.
My pride and inner glow, however, quickly faded. Not long after my mother-in-law made that comment, I woke one morning feverish, aching, unable to get out of bed, and puzzled by this condition. After all, I'm never sick. But even more puzzling to me was that I felt unable to quietly commune with God in prayer.
That morning, I felt like a million things were swirling around me, including the commotion from the construction of our new sunroom—people coming in and out, the phone ringing, and piles of things on my to-do list. During the day, I'd drag myself out of bed to do what had to be done, and then collapse back into its comfort. My prayer and study aids, the Bible and Science and Health, became tossed around on my bed because of my sleepless discomfort.
By midafternoon of the second day, I forced myself to get up. I had an obligation outside my home that had to be met. I mentally challenged this illness all the way into town, affirming that as the Bible says of God, "He performeth the thing that is appointed for me" (Job 23:14). I accomplished the needed task but went right back to bed when I arrived home. At this point, I felt worse about my inability to pray than about the discomfort of my body. I questioned myself, "Do you really want to be better?" Perhaps I had a hidden case of reluctance to pray because I felt I needed time off from my responsibilities. Were the infirm thoughts surrounding me excuses to stay in bed?
I saw myself like the man in the Bible who lay by the pool of Bethesda, waiting to be healed (see John 5:2-9). He would think, If only someone would lift me out of this bed into the healing waters! But when Jesus approached him, he challenged the man with the question, "Wilt thou be made whole?" I saw this as meaning, "Do you really want to be better, or will you continue to comfort yourself with excuses of why you cannot be?" Once the man gave his consent to be well, he was healed. He took up his bed and walked away. His body was healed when he gave up his disabling thoughts.
With a more humble attitude, I settled into bed for the night. The mental clamor in my head quieted as I consented to listen for God's healing messages. Lying very still, I prayed to feel God's love for me. No more arguing excuses. Quiet stillness. Then one of my cats nuzzled against my chest, tucking himself under my chin, purring and treading his happy toes on my arm. This simple, sweet touch symbolized to me divine Love's healing presence. I fell asleep inspired and content.
The next morning, to my dismay, I felt worse than the two days prior! How could this be taking place in the presence of divine Love? I felt I needed to take a stronger stand, so I called a Christian Science practitioner for prayerful support. In frustration I told her, "This is the third day of dealing with this, and I have to go out of town tomorrow." Her reply? "Good! Then it's resurrection day!"
As we hung up, I laughed. This wasn't the first time she'd met a complaint from me with a quick quip. Her dazzling response shook me out of my bed! I rose to meet the challenges of the day with a renewed sense of vigor and inspiration. I basked in the delight of knowing I had freedom from disabling thoughts. I pondered this statement from Mrs. Eddy: "Christian Science awakens the sinner, reclaims the infidel, and raises from the couch of pain the helpless invalid" (Science and Health, p. 342). My awakened thought had exposed the invalid—or in-valid—thoughts of myself as being susceptible to illness and fatigue. It simply was not possible for me to be unfaithful to the Christ beckoning me to listen and feel God's companioning love raising my thought and restoring me to my wholeness.
The next day, as I ran through the terminal to catch a plane, I rejoiced in my freedom from embedded thinking. Once again, I felt an inner glow of gratitude for God's presence and the activity of the Christ. My thought was resurrected! I was completely well.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA, US