A healing of poison oak

I loved visiting my cousins in California every summer. We always had a great time playing outside in the woods. But the summer I was nine years old, playing in the woods didn’t turn out to be so fun. 

One day, without knowing it, I walked through a patch of poison oak. By the end of the day, I was covered in an itchy, ugly rash. 

I was so embarrassed about how I looked that I didn’t want to go outside. I didn’t even want to leave my room.

My family had always prayed about problems, so my mom and I called a Christian Science practitioner for help. He reminded me that I am God’s spiritual idea. What does that mean? Well, he helped me understand by sharing this passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “A spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive” (p. 463).

So then I understood that because I am spiritual, I am only good, with nothing bad added to who I am. This helped a lot, because when I looked in the mirror, what I saw didn’t seem very good at all. But I knew that the truth that I am God’s spiritual idea would remove anything offensive, including the rash. This made me feel better, but I was still embarrassed about the way I looked. 

A little later, my mom invited me to go on a quick trip to the grocery store with her. I said yes, but first I put on a coat with a tall collar, plus a hat and big sunglasses. I didn’t want anyone to see the rash.

When we got to the checkout line, the guy who was the cashier looked at me and asked, “Poison oak?” I nodded shyly, and he added, “Don’t worry about it, kid! The same thing happened to me when I was your age, and you’ll be just fine.”

Well, that instantly wiped out my embarrassment and fear, and I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt so free from those “offensive” feelings, and I stopped worrying about how I looked.

ANNA LITWILLER — STAFF

Even better, a couple of hours later, every single bit of the rash and discomfort had completely vanished. I was healed. 

That summer’s trip to my cousins’ house turned out to be my favorite. Not only did we all have a great time, but I also had a wonderful healing. And I got to see for myself how knowing that we’re spiritual really does remove anything offensive in our lives.

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