One evening shortly after I had earnestly taken up the study of...

One evening shortly after I had earnestly taken up the study of Christian Science, I found myself alone in my living room after dinner, feeling very unhappy with myself. I was at that time an inveterate smoker, a veritable cigarette chimney, and the bad taste in the mouth, together with the feeling of arm soreness from the day's pocket-to-pack-to-mouth routine, left me very disgusted with the habit.

One of the Bible references in the Lesson-Sermon in the Christian Science Quarterly for that week was the story of the leper who came to Jesus, saying (Matt. 8:2, 3), "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." As I pondered that experience, I wondered whether, were he here today, Jesus would heal me of the smoking habit. In my study of Christian Science I had not yet learned to distinguish between the human Jesus and the Christ, the divine idea he expressed. Yet I knew that Jesus exercised a healing power and that I would gladly accept it in overcoming the smoking habit. From that moment on I lost all desire to smoke.

June 27, 1970

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