A perfect heart
Over a year ago, my husband and I lost our employer-backed health insurance and had to find our own. My husband, who is not a Christian Scientist, had an extensive medical history. But because I had no recent medical history, the insurance company required me to undergo a complete physical exam.
Though I had not felt ill nor had any physical problems for many years, the results from my physical exam and EKG showed that I had an advanced form of heart disease. The insurance company described the illness as incurable, untreatable, and probably fatal. They also informed me that it was likely I wouldn’t be able to obtain health insurance because of this preexisting condition.
Initially, I was stunned by the diagnosis because I felt physically fine. But later as I reflected on the condition of my heart, I remembered how, for the previous several years, my husband and I had been estranged from someone who was very dear to us. I thought of the number of times during those years when I’d said, “My heart is broken.”
Soon after the diagnosis, I began to experience some of the symptoms associated with heart disease. I knew it was not God’s will that I or anyone should have heart disease because “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). I knew that because God is infinite good, He creates and causes only good. God does not create disease and give it to His children, so I recognized that this diagnosis was a false accusation about my being.
Over the next several months, I focused my prayers by studying the deep spiritual significance of heart. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul” (p. 269). So, rather than focus on the physical function of my heart, I needed to understand its spiritual function.
I found that the word heart appears over 700 times in the King James Version of the Bible, but it is almost never referenced as a physical organ. Rather, it is used to describe the core or essence of one’s being. For example, in Proverbs, I read, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (23:7). In various mentions of the word heart in the Bible, it is described as functioning through understanding, love, inner strength, courage, forgiveness, devotion, etc. Each of these qualities is spiritual, and something spiritual can never be diseased, damaged, or broken.
I also knew that my true “heart” was a reflection of the “great heart of Love [God]” (Science and Health, p. 448), and could feel only peace, joy, and spiritual affection flowing through it. I found great comfort in reading Mrs. Eddy’s poem, “Signs of the Heart,” where she wrote, “O Love divine, / This heart of Thine / Is all I need to comfort mine” (Poems, p. 24).
During this time, I worked with a Christian Science practitioner to discard my belief that my harmonious relationship with my dear loved one could be broken. I saw that I needed truly to forgive this person. I began to see this loved one as God’s beloved child. As I forgave, the emotional heartache I’d felt lifted away. I also realized that I’d stopped experiencing the symptoms of heart disease, and they never returned.
I made an appointment with a doctor for another EKG, since I still needed to obtain insurance, and continued to pray. One morning, I awoke with the strong thought of a courtroom and a trial, which made me think immediately of the trial allegory in Science and Health (see pp. 430–442). I read the entire allegory and felt God was telling me that my case was not decided in the court of matter and medicine, but that it was time for me to take my case to the “Court of Spirit.” Later I received an e-mail from the Christian Science practitioner asking me to read this allegory. This was proof to me that one Mind, God, was at work. I was confident that God had given me a perfect heart and that I was ready for the verdict declaring me “not guilty” of heart disease.
The results of the new EKG showed that my heart was normal. The doctor sent the results to the insurance company along with a letter stating that he considered me to be in excellent health, with no cardiac risk. I was then able to apply for, and received, insurance with a different company, one that included a good rate and the option for coverage of Christian Science nursing care.
Georgetown, Texas, US