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A holy night brings rest and freedom from fever

From the December 22, 2003 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

I vividly remember how quickly a healing came to our family when four words from a hymn and some tiny gleams of light, brought me insight into the significance of the Christmas story and the Bethlehem star.

When our first daughter was a child, she had been feeling quite sick and feverish one holiday night. As prayer had always been our healthcare choice, we were leaning on God's love during this time, turning to Christian Science treatment in order to find healing. Our children had learned from the time they were small that they could count on God as an always-present Caregiver and Provider. And that evil in any form, including sickness, was not part of His creation. We had often talked about God as Father-Mother and the Love that keeps us happy and well. We are made in Love's "image" and "likeness," as the Bible records. Our prayers included gratitude for these facts.

During moments of fear or doubt, our family had often sung hymns to affirm that God was real and powerfully good, and healing would follow.

As I sat by our daughter's bedside that evening, singing hymns of comfort while she tried to settle into sleep, I glanced around her room at the familiar surroundings. On one side were her bed and furniture, and on the other side were toys—stuffed animals, books, games, and dolls in a much-loved dollhouse. Deep in thought, I began to sing a favorite hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal set to the music of "Londonderry Aire," a traditional Irish melody (No. 412). As I reached the line, "The Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking," I leaned forward to adjust the blankets.

Just then, the light peeking out from behind our daughter's dollhouse appeared as a perfect elongated star, reminiscent of drawings of the star of Bethlehem in Christmas books, holiday greeting cards, and magnificent stained-glass windows. I thought of the wise men traveling to worship the baby Jesus, who would lead humanity by example into a fuller understanding of the Christ, Truth, which heals and saves.

It was as if that tiny indoor star was God's comforting message to me saying that this, too, was a holy night—that the saving truth of our spiritual perfection was here, right now, just as it was 2,000 years ago. I could see this truth, follow it, and trust it to lead us to healing. As God's child, our daughter was created healthy, perfect, and free already because she was born of Spirit. In that moment, I thought, "The message of Christ is here, it's here now—and that's what Christmas is about."

At that moment, I knew my daughter was well. Suddenly all the outward trappings of the Christmas season bowed before the meaning of Jesus' humble nativity. My fear was gone. At that point our daughter fell asleep. In the morning, both she and I awoke refreshed and well.

Every Christmas season since that healing, whenever I see a scene that depicts the star of Bethlehem, I remember that night. The night I realized, "The Christ is always here."

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