Healing during an epidemic
Some time ago, I lived with a family in a country far from my own during a cholera outbreak. The illness was a big topic in the news, and as contaminated water supplies were thought to spread the disease, my host family followed recommended hygiene precautions. However, I became very ill with the symptoms described in the media and was confined to my bed.
The mother of the family came to my bedside, extremely concerned. She stated that she had never seen a friend or guest this sick and felt I should go to the hospital. I thanked her for her loving care and asked if she would place a telephone call for me to a local Christian Science practitioner and ask her to pray for me. I did not know the practitioner personally but found her telephone number in the Directory at the back of a copy of The Christian Science Journal I had with me. I did not speak the local language well at that time and was too ill to make the call myself. The mother lovingly agreed to do so. Not long after, she reported back to me that she had reached the practitioner.
I also had with me small travel editions of the two books that constitute the Christian Science pastor—the Bible, and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy—and I lay in bed pondering short passages from these books. I began to feel deeply loved by God and profoundly free. Soon I was out of bed, freely eating and retaining food. I felt joyful, totally well, and radiantly content. There were no symptoms of illness.
I called the practitioner back on my own. Discerning that I could not understand much of what she was saying, she simply said, “Un beso”—a kiss. The healing and our mutual gratitude to God were evident.
A few months later, after traveling extensively, I became ill again. I don’t know if it would be considered the same or a different illness. It was the middle of the night, and I didn’t have telephone access. After losing and then regaining consciousness, I lay on the bathroom floor and reached out to God with all my heart. A rousing and encouraging angel message came clearly to my thinking: “If you’re going to do something about this, you’d better do it now.” This completely awakened me and stirred me to pray with total faith and love. A conviction of God’s presence overtook my thoughts and feelings.
As I prayed, I felt gratitude for God’s loving care and a deep trust in Him. I turned to the Bible and Science and Health, grateful that my copies were lightweight and easy to pick up and read. Many specific spiritual truths came to my waiting thought to ponder, affirm, and enjoy. I became undisturbed by the hard floor and distressing symptoms, and at the same time, more fully aware of God’s tender love and presence. By morning, I was well. I never again faced a similar situation.
A welcome side effect of this second healing was the resolution of two inharmonious situations—one within the home where I was staying and the other in a close relationship in which I had felt pressured by inappropriate and misguided expectations. It now became clear how to naturally, simply, and safely remove myself from these pressures. I continue to have a deep love of the country where I lived during those months and the friends I enjoyed meeting there.
Since that time, my family has experienced many healings, including of self-righteousness, a learning disorder and related underemployment, an ear infection, and a serious internal problem. A long-standing skin rash from a gasoline spill cleared up as well. My mother was healed after a sudden collapse left her unable to walk. Christian Science nurses came to her home to help feed and bathe her. After a short time, she regained her mobility completely and has been happily independent for several years. Witnessing these healings has brought the joy of being in God’s presence, which is by far our greatest treasure.
Moral issues have also been beautifully overcome. At one point, I was experiencing sexual harassment by an acquaintance, and was immediately freed when the little ones in my Sunday School class asked what adultery meant in the Commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Using age-appropriate language, I said it meant a husband or wife acting like they are married to someone else. With wide eyes, they soberly informed me, “That is wrong.” In that moment, I saw that God absolutely rules out of existence anything contrary to His law. This man, a real estate agent, had for weeks withheld the key to a property I had rented, suggesting we meet on personal terms, despite knowing that I was married. That Sunday, he left the key outside the door and never contacted me again.
Experiences like this have made me grateful to our dear Savior, the master healer, Christ Jesus. They have made me grateful to Mary Baker Eddy for leading me to Christ through her writings. I am also thankful for the many individuals who have so unselfishly helped me and my family along the path.