I GREW UP in a family that believed pain and suffering were things that had to be endured, and that some ailments had no cure. Like other people I knew, we'd often take a drug to gain relief. Back then, I thought this was the way it had to be.

As a young girl, I attended several Christian Sunday School and read of Jesus' healings. I felt sad that Jesus wasn't present to heal me and my family of illness.

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Then my grandmother was given a copy of Science and Health. She read it and was healed of a longstanding ailment for which she'd worn a heavy surgical corset and taken ten different tablets every day. This healing led me to begin studying Christian Science.

A few years later, I found work in a small, local pharmacy. Fascinated by the shelves of ingredients that went into ointments and liquid remedies, I asked the chemist what the jars contained. He told me animal, vegetable, or mineral substances. Surprised at those ingredients, I asked myself how they cured people. I watched the results, and I noticed that the same medication helped some people, but not others. Then I began wondering whether the outcome had to do with the person's belief in the drug.

One day, a woman came into the pharmacy to collect six bottles of her husband's pink prescription headache mixture. This time, however, the medication was white. Because of that, she claimed it wasn't his and refused to take it home. After checking with the chemist, I assured her that only pink strawberry flavoring was missing from it—the doctor had forgotten to include it in the prescription.

An hour later, she returned the six bottles declaring that her husband had experienced one of his bad headaches and the white mixture had not worked. She was adamant she wanted his pink medicine. The doctor was telephoned, and he gave permission to add the strawberry flavoring, along with instructions to return the prescription form to him for alteration. When the woman left, I remarked to the chemist that what seemed to be relieving that man of headache pain was strawberry flavoring. The so-called drug apparently had no curative effect on him. The chemist agreed.

This incident changed my way of thinking about drugs forever. It vindicated this passage I'd read in Science and Health: "The only effect produced by medicine is dependent upon mental action. If the mind were parted from the body, could you produce any effect upon the brain or body by applying the drug to either? Would the drug remove paralysis, affect organization, or restore will and action to cerebrum and cerebellum?" (p. 401).

I could see that for a painkiller to work, the person taking it had to endow it with his or her belief in its power. The inanimate drug didn't know what to do. It was the person who determined what effect it would have. I decided that if I had to endow a drug with my faith to make it work, then I would rather give that faith to God. So I began studying the Bible and Science and Health more deeply. And I took Christian Science Primary class instruction, as I wanted to know how to heal myself and others through prayer.

I came to understand that God, the great divine Mind, has all power and is the healer of mortal mind and body. God was the source of my health and harmony. Created in His likeness, I was forever pain-free and well. I didn't have to endure disease and suffering. My God-given, spiritual nature was sound and untroubled. And, as God's daughter, I could expect to stay that way without drugs. Just as Jesus healed people without drugs, I realized that I could, too.

This understanding revolutionized my approach to pain. By utilizing the method of healing taught in Christian Science, I was completely healed of menstrual pain and severe migraine headaches. For more than 45 years now, I've never taken medication of any kind. On the occasions when I've had other physical difficulties and pain has struck, I've been healed through Christian Science treatment. This has proved to me that prayer is more effective in removing pain than anything else.

Anyone can trust the power of healing prayer. Through an understanding of God, we can gain freedom from pain and be healed of disease. css

February 20, 2006

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