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Freed of breathing difficulty
During my grammar school years, I was often confined to bed for days at a time with what appeared to be asthma symptoms. The malady would come and go, along with much discouragement, and when it was present, I would be unable to go to school. I loved participating in sports such as football, baseball, and basketball and hated being stuck in bed. My parents, devoted Christian Scientists, were praying diligently for me, no doubt with the help of a Christian Science practitioner, and my brothers and I regularly attended Christian Science Sunday School.
One day while experiencing the familiar symptoms, I made my way to the living room, sat on the floor, and began reading a comic book. One of my older brothers came into the room and began playing hymns on our piano. He called out to me to join him as he sang and played the hymns. I thought, How dare he call out to me? He has to know that I cannot breathe, let alone sing. So I ignored him. But he persisted in summoning me to the piano bench.
Finally, I decided to show him how dumb his request was. Slowly, I dragged myself across the floor to the piano. Lying on the floor next to the piano bench, I thought that surely he could understand my problem. He was playing the hymn that begins, “O gentle presence, peace and joy and power,” with words by Mary Baker Eddy (Poems, p. 4). He hollered, “Climb up and sing!” So I got up on the bench to show him my nothing voice. Self-pity filled my thought. “Come on, sing,” he said again. After a short while, something took hold of me. I began trying to match his voice. I forgot about the suffering. Soon I was singing as loudly as my brother. Our mom came in and asked me what had happened. At that point I realized I was totally healed.
Never again did I suffer from that illness. That was more than forty years ago, and since then I have enjoyed competing in 26-mile marathons and triathlons (swimming, biking, and running), making flying leaps in football tackles, and participating in many other vigorous sports.
My brother could have given up on me and walked out of the room. But he didn’t. He persisted, and I’ve since had a lifetime of healings. If discouragement tries to sneak into thought, I defeat it by rehearsing and remembering with tons of gratitude the blessing of this permanent childhood healing.
Phra Arnsen Blakely
Newport Beach, California, US
The value of stillness
Adam and Fallen Man
May 1–7, 2023
Letters & Conversations
Letters & Conversations
Chris Raymond, Truth Johnston