Our occasional series on how people have nurtured their public practice of Christian Science healing.

‘Go, and do thou likewise’

One day when I was about five years old, I was helping my mother prepare for a social event at our home. Apparently I was a tad over-zealous in my help, and as my mother later told me, she had a headache. When I inquired just one more time what I could do to help, she said, “Go, pray for me.” As the story goes, I took my miniature copies of the Bible and Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, and went off by myself. I could not even read at the time, but I knew these books were important for my parents in turning to God for healing. I do not remember what I thought about, but as my mother related later, she was indeed healed.

My parents were both dedicated Christian Scientists. After a career as a dairy farmer, my dad had entered the full-time public practice of Christian Science and later became a Christian Science teacher. My mother also became a listed practitioner. As my siblings and I grew up, we learned to turn naturally to God to meet all our needs.

Like all children, my sister, brother, and I role-played. Most children like to play “house” or “school.” We did, too, often with our dolls as our children or students. However, my siblings and I also played “Sunday School!” Our dolls became our students; we would be the teachers. I remember that our lessons were centered on whatever we were being taught in the Christian Science Sunday School, such as the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, or Bible stories and healings. We also often played “church.” One of us would be the First Reader and one the Second Reader. We would read the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson and select hymns. We might also play “practitioner”: with our childlike understanding of God’s allness and man’s oneness with God, we would give our dolls a healing prayer. Obviously, while none of this role-play was real, it helped build for each of us a foundation and starting point for our own individual practice of Christian Science. 

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