Healed in church
One Wednesday, not long before I was to leave for the weekly noon testimony meeting at The Mother Church, my vision suddenly became blurred. This had happened to me before, and in the past I would become completely debilitated and always needed to lie down for several hours. This time, even though I could not see clearly, I felt certain I could walk to church and that the service would help me. It felt unnecessary to miss the meeting, and I felt a spiritual strength carrying me forward.
I turned to a church friend, told him I wanted to go to church, and asked him to help me get there. As we walked together, I felt his quiet support and compassion. I could tell he was praying. In those moments I felt the spirit of Christ Jesus’ words that we should “wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14 ).
During the service, as I listened to the readings from the Christian Science Pastor, the Holy Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, I felt a deep sense of divine Love wash over me. I didn’t think about my vision once—I was entirely intent on hearing what the Pastor had to say about God’s presence and allness. By the end of the readings, my vision was completely clear.
At that time, the 2016 Annual Meeting of The Mother Church was drawing closer, and I had been thinking a lot about the theme, “Church: ‘Healing and saving the world.’ ” I had been cherishing the fact that Church is actively healing and saving humanity.
At this particular service, I felt especially grateful for the provision in the Manual of The Mother Church that “the prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively” (p. 42 ). I was experiencing the “unselfing” that happens when we pray for others, which also blesses and heals us simultaneously.
As I prayed during those moments of silent prayer, I started to feel a deep sense of God’s love wrapping around all of humanity, everyone included, and I felt a confidence that Love’s healing power was present throughout the world, helping and healing others, as it had just done for me.
For a moment, I had a glimmer of what it must mean to have “one Love,” as in this statement from Science and Health: “It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love” (p. 467 ).
Not only was I able to go to church that day, but I experienced a lasting healing while actively participating in the service. My gratitude for God’s ever-present healing love impelled me to give a testimony during that service. Once again, through my new sense of freedom, I saw how we are blessed by praying for Church and the “congregations collectively.”
I have often heard First Readers announce from the desk that we are part of a healing service. This experience reminded me that we should expect, and perhaps even demand, to see healing. We can lean on the Pastor and trust that healing is taking place, everywhere.
I was also reminded that healing is natural and permanent. I was able to return to work after the service ended and had a productive afternoon. I had completely forgotten about the vision issue, but rather carried forward the inspiration and growth that had come through the active demonstration of Church, affording “proof of its utility” (see definition of Church in Science and Health, p. 583 ). This healing has been permanent.
Through this healing, I learned that we are a vital part of Church, and Church is a vital part of us; there is no separation. And through the activity of this healing Church asserting itself, humanity is helped and healed. I’m so very grateful to have experienced this wonderful embrace of divine Love through Church.
Monmouth, Maine, US