Devoted prayer proves invaluable
Several years ago I began to experience a sharp internal pain, which at different times would move back and forth from my side to my back. For several nights, sleep was very difficult. I called a Christian Science practitioner for help and was able to go to work and carry out my duties as a professor during the day; at night, however, the problem was more challenging.
At this time I was feeling a lot of pressure with my workload, since it was the end of the semester. As the holidays approached, my husband lovingly gave me an early Christmas present—an entire day all to myself at a local hotel for prayer and study. When I checked in, the room number assigned to me reminded me of a favorite hymn, which begins,
O may we be still and seek Him,
Seek with consecration whole,
Listening thus to hear the message,
Far from sense and hid in Soul.
(Fay Linn, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 237, © CSBD)
This time of devotion to prayer proved invaluable in helping me draw closer to God in thought. I do not recall any specific truths that I worked with, but to me it was an occasion to follow this directive from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love” (p. 201). I found these “flood-tides of Love” to be the perfect antidote to the flood “the dragon” would send forth (see Revelation 12) in an attempt to overwhelm me with pain and fear.
When my time at the hotel ended and my family came to pick me up, I had a strong sense that God was caring for me, no matter the circumstances. Within a few days, we traveled to visit family for the holidays, and while the pain was not entirely gone, it had subsided substantially; within a week it had vanished.
A couple of months later, the pain recurred, but with the loving help of a practitioner, I was completely healed. The pain has never returned.
At times during this healing, I wondered whether or not it would help to know the name of the condition. But some months later, another Christian Science practitioner shared an experience that helped resolve this question for me. He and his wife were hiking in the woods when in the distance they saw what appeared to be a wolf. As the animal came closer, they saw that it was wearing a collar, so they assumed it must be just a dog. Later, they learned that the type of collar they had seen on the animal was used for tracking wolves. The practitioner then pointed out that they would have probably felt a lot different during the encounter had they known it really was a wolf. This made me realize that the human mind builds up fear just by identifying something by name—in this case, a wolf being more frightening than a dog—and it can do the same with disease.
Science and Health states, “. . . animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind” (p. 103). For me, I needed to be no more specific than that in identifying the disease. To allow error no identity—to see it as unreal, and thus powerless—aids in destroying it. In this way I also nurtured my trust in the omnipotence and omniscience of God—our only Mind—because in bringing about the healing, knowing the truth was of far greater importance than naming the disease.
In looking back to my first healings as a child, I am profoundly grateful for the stand my parents took to trust Christian Science for my welfare. This spiritual foundation has resulted in a firm reliance on Christian Science throughout my life. As it says in Romans, “We know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good” (8:28, International Standard Version).
Every healing is an opportunity for spiritual growth and reveals our permanent and purpose-filled perfection in Spirit.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US
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