I am very grateful to share the following testimony, which helped me understand the healing effect of overcoming fear.
When my daughter was about six years old, she came to find me in the church auditorium after a service. I was standing at the podium, and she was delighted at the cozy little space under it, which she crawled into to play. She had some pipe cleaners—metal wires with different colored fuzzy material wrapped around them—that she had shaped into animals. On the floor underneath the podium was an electrical outlet. Out of curiosity, my daughter stuck one of the “animals” into the outlet, which immediately created an electrical arc, causing a black burn on the carpet and severely burning my daughter’s hands.
I picked her up immediately and began to comfort her, but I couldn’t help feeling a rush of fear that she would have a permanent injury. This was followed by a sense of guilt that I hadn’t been paying close enough attention to what she was doing. But then I remembered something in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “We should master fear, instead of cultivating it” (p. 197). Merriam-webster.com says to cultivate means to “foster the growth of.” We cultivate fear when we look at a problem repeatedly, review the details, search for its cause or the person at fault, or worry about what the outcome will be. So I quieted my thoughts through prayer instead, and this helped me feel the presence of God’s love and enabled me to reassure my daughter and care for her.
The instruction to master fear echoes what Christ Jesus told Jairus to do despite the appearance of a hopeless situation. Jairus had come to get Jesus to heal his sick daughter, but on their way to his house, a messenger came and said it was too late; Jairus’ daughter had died. Jesus said to the father, “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
Jairus had a choice: He could believe the report of the physical senses and find himself or others at fault—which would cause him to stay focused on the problem as the reality—or he could reject fear and guilt and believe the words about God’s nature and harmonious creation that Jesus taught. And he could experience the power of that choice.
When Jesus reached the house, he put the mourners who had gathered outside. I see Jesus’ action here as eliminating the problem-focused mind-set. Taking only the girl’s parents and three of his disciples with him, he went in where the girl was lying and restored her to life.
Sometimes that instruction to “be not afraid, only believe” can seem a daunting task. But we are never without help. In the case with my daughter, I knew God’s care was reliable because we had experienced healings in our family of problems that were as frightening as this one. I had also read testimonies from others in the Christian Science periodicals and knew people who had experienced significant healings of physical problems.
In each of the healings I had experienced, I had been guided by divine Mind, God, to know what steps to take. Science and Health says: “To decide quickly as to the proper treatment of error—whether error is manifested in forms of sickness, sin, or death—is the first step towards destroying error” (p. 463).
I decided quickly that we should go to a Christian Science care facility, where I was confident we would be in an atmosphere that would help to eliminate fear. Once I had made this decision, my daughter immediately stopped crying. I called the facility and described the problem. The Christian Science nurse I spoke with was unafraid, and her calmness, based on her confidence in God and expectation of healing, helped to reduce my fear. I also called a Christian Science practitioner to pray for us as we sought to more fully recognize God, Love, as a present help. I knew that this prayer was important, and that we could believe like Jairus and not lose our expectation of healing despite the testimony of the physical senses.
Mrs. Eddy explains what happens in Christian Science healing: “Christian Science acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth. It changes the secretions, expels humors, dissolves tumors, relaxes rigid muscles, restores carious bones to soundness. 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” (Science and Health, p. 162).
This “harmony of the divine Mind”—an irrefutable sense of God’s presence and power—was clearly evident when we arrived at the care facility. The Christian Science nurse greeted us with a tangible air of peace and authority, and she attended to my daughter’s hands without any shock or fear. Her calm response to the physical appearance continued to support my thinking, moving it from fear to an understanding of present harmony, and after my daughter’s hands had been bandaged, she and I returned home.
Within days, all the deep wounds had closed without any damage to the tendons. There were no lingering effects, and my daughter grew up to be very active in sports. The healing was so complete that I didn’t even think of this experience again until years later when I started recording all the wonderful examples of God’s care we had seen as a family, as witnesses to the power of Christian Science healing.
No matter how frightening a situation seems to be, we are all able to master fear and experience complete healing. When we need help in overcoming fear, we are not alone. God, divine Love, is ever present to guide and heal us. And we can call on our “care team”—the rules of health and healing found in the Bible and Science and Health; the support of a Christian Science nurse, whose prayerful thought helps to allay fear as he or she provides the practical physical care needed; and metaphysical treatment from a Christian Science practitioner, which awakens thought to the truth of God’s creation. Then we witness God, Truth, destroying any evidence to the contrary of His harmony. The result is healing.
St. Louis, Missouri, US