The healing practice of Christian Science—behind bars

If you want to learn more about healing and get more experience in the ministry of Christian healing, go to prison. Not by breaking the law, of course, but by volunteering as a Christian Science chaplain. 

Many years ago Mary Baker Eddy, the Leader of the Christian Science movement, sent her student Irving C. Tomlinson into the prison ministry. She wrote him, “I am glad you have begun the C. S. mission with faith that you can open the prison doors and set free the captive. God will bless us in this way of His appointing....” (Irving C. Tomlinson, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition, p. 243). Like Mr. Tomlinson, I felt impelled to make a difference in this way. Over the past five years, twice a week for several hours a day I went from cell to cell visiting with inmates. I brought a clear backpack filled with Bibles and copies of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, as well as copies of the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons, the Sentinel, and The Christian Science Monitor. I led discussions on the Bible Lessons and distributed the books and magazines. There were always inmates who wanted to participate. They asked lots of tough questions, which moved me to study and pray more for helpful answers. Everyone was blessed, especially me. Some asked for me to return to their cell block, and we began meeting regularly. 

One man, a career offender, took a special interest in our visits. After a year and a half, he asked me how to heal hatred and the desire for revenge that he felt for many who had betrayed him over the years, especially close family members. He said he could not sleep at night due to this anger inside. We talked about following Jesus’ command in Matthew 5:44 to love, bless, and pray for our enemies. I recommended he make a list of those enemies and begin praying for them every day. The prayer could simply be to see them as God’s image and know they could see themselves that way. 

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

How I Found Christian Science
Christian Science rescued me
March 30, 2020

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.