How I Found Christian Science

My wilderness experience led me to Christ

In the Gospel of Mark, we read, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (1:3). Mary Baker Eddy gives this definition of wilderness in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Loneliness; doubt; darkness. Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence” (p. 597). These statements remind me of my experience of finding my way out of a career in medicine and into the study and practice of Christian Science.

Working in the medical field had been becoming more and more of a wilderness experience for me. Having a growing dissatisfaction with, and doubt about, what I had studied for years, I was feeling lonely, and even fearful. After learning what Christian Science teaches, I didn’t know what to do with my new insights. But at least I could understand why I’d been doubting my medical work. I also realized that until now I’d had no idea who I really was, let alone that I was spiritual. 

I learned that man (each individual’s true being) is the pure reflection of God, Soul, and that therefore man is sinless, having a perfect, unique, spiritual identity. Since man reflects God spiritually, he is not a material body or bound by matter; he is not subject to inharmony or death, and is incapable of sin and suffering. That all seemed so wonderful! 

The ideas I was learning made so much sense to me. Not only did they touch me and stir my thought, but they answered my questions and satisfied my deepest yearnings, even changing my goals. But I felt I was in the dark about what to do now, how to go on. Because of these new insights about God’s nature, and the practical impact they were having on my life, I didn’t want to continue working in the medical field. But could I just leave it?

In spite of the enlightenment I was finding in the truth of Christian Science, this became a dark period of uncertainty for me. Then, an old physical problem became so serious that I ended up in a hospital in preparation for an immediate operation. This was a real wilderness. 

The medical staff began preparing me for the operation, then left to attend to other patients. As I lay there, I felt a warm quietness—different than sleepiness, as I felt very awake and alert. Then I mentally heard a voice speaking the ninety-first Psalm to me. I forgot everything around me and just listened. Nothing else seemed to be present but these powerful words. The last two verses of the psalm say: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation” (verses 15, 16). I felt as if a hand were reaching out to me and a voice were saying, “Come, I will show you that all is well.” I felt a trust stronger than I had ever felt before. 

I was perfectly clear and awake—and knew I was healed. I got up and asked to sign the papers allowing me to leave on my own responsibility. The hospital staff saw the change in me, and they too felt it was safe for me to leave and drive on my own. I dressed and went to my car, but I didn’t drive home. Instead, I drove about four hundred miles to the home of a friend who, in the past, had shared with me ideas from Science and Health. I needed that book and my Bible. She gave me a copy of Science and Health, and my mom, who lived close by, invited me to stay with her.

I never went back to my employer in the medical field except to get my belongings and sign papers ending my employment. I felt like a little child. I felt safe, and knew I could trust this new direction without needing to know what would happen next or how I would manage without that income. I didn’t have much in savings, and neither did my mom. But she, too, felt that something very special must have happened with me, and she was grateful that I was feeling fine and not showing any sign of the old physical problem. 

For the next nine months, I did little else but read Science and Health. More and more, I began loving my wilderness, as it was now becoming that “spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence.”

God was showing me His salvation. I had found my Savior, Christ, which Science and Health defines as “the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error” (p. 583). Like one “crying in the wilderness,” I was prepared to receive Christ, Truth, this true understanding of God—to take the hand of God, Love, so to speak, and trust this power that was revealing to me what I really am.

I began attending a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and oh, indeed, it led me home! Nine months later I began working in a Christian Science nursing facility and training to become a Christian Science nurse. 

This was a significant departure from my medical training and experience. While Christian Science nursing provides skillful, practical care, the work is spiritually based, completely consistent with the theology of Christian Science, and is available to those who choose to rely on Christian Science as their healing treatment.

When I became a Christian Science nurse, I more fully recognized that it was my wilderness experience that had led me to the glory described so beautifully by Mrs. Eddy: “As the children of Israel were guided triumphantly through the Red Sea, the dark ebbing and flowing tides of human fear,—as they were led through the wilderness, walking wearily through the great desert of human hopes, and anticipating the promised joy,—so shall the spiritual idea guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, from a material sense of existence to the spiritual, up to the glory prepared for them who love God” (Science and Health, p. 566).

Later, I became a Christian Science practitioner, fully devoting my time to spiritual healing. And today I am also a teacher of Christian Science. I still love my wilderness experience, for it is what led me to take God’s hand and begin to witness His glory.

September 19, 2022
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