‘In awe of God’s care’
“Thy Maker is thine husband” (Isaiah 54:5)—what in the world does that mean? My beloved husband of almost thirty years had just passed on, and somehow that Bible verse was supposed to be a comforting thought! But I didn’t want God; I wanted a hand to hold and my husband’s comforting presence. I was inconsolable. My world had just ended, and that statement meant nothing to me.
I had read testimonies about people being healed of grief through Christian Science, but actually experiencing grief was another matter. People told me how well I was doing and how I had gone forward in my life, but little did they know the terrible pain I felt inside that would not go away. I asked God what I needed to do to be at peace.
My first step toward healing was simply to “let go”—to let go of all the turmoil in my thinking, all my fears of a future alone—and just pray to feel God’s love for me. Based on many experiences in my life where I had known God’s love, I knew He loved me and that I just needed to feel that love. And slowly, as I prayed and opened my heart to God, I began to feel loved.
The Christian Science practitioner who was praying for me told me I needed to “magnify the Lord” (Psalms 34:3), to express gratitude for all the good I had in my life, and not to dwell on what I thought I had lost. I truly tried to look for any and all expressions of love that came my way. I noticed, for example, when people smiled at me in the grocery store, and I appreciated when friends brought me dinner.
One day as I was reading Mary Baker Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, I came across the following statement: “To impersonalize scientifically the material sense of existence—rather than cling to personality—is the lesson of to-day” (p. 310).
I knew I needed to understand that statement, so I spent some time thinking about it. At first it sounded cold—I wondered if it meant that we are not to have spouses who love us or to have friends. Then it started to dawn on me that all the good (and there was much of it) that I had received from my husband did not actually have its source in him, but the source was God. My relation to God had not changed. If God was the source of all good, not my husband, then I could never be without good, since God was still and always would be with me. As I pondered and recognized more and more the omnipresence of God, I felt open to new ways in which I could experience God’s goodness in my life. Soon, interesting things started to happen.
One night a friend from my office came over to my home to set up a new printer for me. Previously my husband would have done that, and now this friend from work had offered to help. When he left, he carried a large and heavy box out to my car for me. I walked out with him, waved goodbye, turned around, and promptly tripped and fell on the brick walkway. There was a terrible cracking sound in my foot, and I could not stand up. I tried to yell for my friend, but he was already driving away and did not hear me.
I lived on the side of a hill, and the street was near the bottom, whereas the house was secluded farther up. Plus, the street below was a dead-end street with no sidewalks and almost no pedestrians, and where I had fallen was behind a hedge so no one could see me. I felt alone and helpless. I started to cry because I knew that if my husband had been there, he would have noticed that I had not come back inside and would have come out to find me. It was starting to get cold, and I wondered if I would have to spend the whole night outside.
Then the idea from Miscellaneous Writings that I had been praying with and studying, about impersonalizing scientifically the material sense of existence, came to me. At first, I thought sarcastically, “Great! How is that idea going to help me right now?”
However, I started praying with that specific thought. I sat outside in the dark, affirming that all the love and care I ever needed was with me and could be demonstrated right now because God was ever present. I did not outline how divine Love would meet my needs, but I knew they would be taken care of and that God would send an angel message. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love, no matter what their individualism may be” (p. 298). I started to sing a hymn:
O longing hearts that wait on God
Through all the world so wide;
He knows the angels that you need,
And sends them to your side,
To comfort, guard and guide.
(Violet Hay, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 9, © CSBD)
I knew I just needed to be open to however God was guiding me. Shortly after this thought, I heard a voice yelling, “Hello!” and asking if I was a new neighbor. A man was on the street below. I said hello and asked if he could give me a hand. He trotted up the driveway and helped me stand up and walk to my door. He introduced himself, but that was the last time I ever saw him. I had no idea where he came from or how he could have even seen me. I sat in my living room for a long time, thinking about this and just being in awe of God’s care for me. By the time I went to bed, something had snapped into place in my foot, and I could walk freely. I was healed.
Since then, I have seen how God has provided healing angel messages many times as my heart has opened up to God’s ever-presence. I am most grateful for what I have been learning about impersonalizing the material sense of existence. This has taught me not to put my trust only in people but to rely wholly on God. The idea that God is my husband now makes perfect sense to me and is wonderfully comforting and healing.
Santa Barbara, California, US