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Grief, bodily growth, and shingles healed

From the March 17, 2014 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

This testimony was originally recorded as a Sentinel podcast, and published on the Web on July 12, 2012. It has been adapted for print.

When my son was killed in an automobile accident, my whole world was shaken. This happened before I found Christian Science, and at that point in my life, I thought that God was a punishing God. But I had heard that God was good, and I thought: “Well, if there is a God, and God is good, God would not do this to a mother. No one who is good would take a child away.”

This took me on an intense search. I talked to ministers, I read books, I listened to everything I thought would help. But every time I tried to understand or look for comfort in the Bible, nothing was making sense. It just kept raising more questions. It seemed like I was reading and exploring almost 24 hours a day. I was desperate to make some sense of what had happened.

In this search, I attended a nondenominational inspirational meeting. The man who addressed it introduced himself as a family counselor, but his talk was more about good, about God, and about healing. Afterward, I made an appointment to see him.

When I got to his office, I sensed that he was very kind and loving. He started asking the usual questions: What’s your name, your address, do you have any children? I just burst out in tears. I said: “That’s the problem! My son has just been killed in a horrible automobile accident.”

He said, “What you need is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.” Although this man wasn’t a Christian Scientist, he used the ideas in Science and Health in his counseling. I knew nothing about this book, but he began to talk to me about God, saying that God is Spirit, and is good, and divine Life, God, is eternal. It wasn’t that we were here today, and we’d find life or eternity after we died, but that it was already present. These were ideas that I had not encountered before, and that had my attention. 

I said, “How could a good God do this to a mother?” He said: “He didn’t. God did not do this, and you will find the truth.” That’s exactly what I was looking for. I bought a copy of Science and Health and began reading it.

I was getting answers to my questions, and one of the things that stood out was on page 275 in Science and Health: “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind ….” It was like, “OK, we always start out with God—what God is,” and we are made in the image and likeness of God.

The other thing that I held on to from the beginning is in Philippians, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (4:8).

I knew that this was an order—this isn’t, “Hey, it would be nice if you did this,” or, “Maybe this is how you should go,” but that God is the starting-point. And that we’re spiritual. This spiritual reality is where we have to start, and stay. Also, through Science and Health, the Bible was unfolding to me in a way I hadn’t understood it before. I was no longer seeing God as a punishing God causing all these horrible things.  Just about everything that can befall a human being is brought up in the Bible. But it also says that Spirit is all-power, and good is always the victor. That’s what I had always been looking for. I always loved the idea of goodness.

I was beginning to understand that God’s laws of good, of love, and of health are scientific and provable. So, I had to start out with divine Science. It’s absolute, provable truth, and that’s what I was searching for.

This was calming, and it gave me ways to stand up to nightmares I was having about my son.

I turned to this quotation from Science and Health: “The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis” (p. 201), and that’s what I attempted to do—to pour in truth with flood-tides of Love. I read articles and healing testimonies in the Sentinel and The Christian Science Journal. I took Science and Health with me wherever I went. I would read it  during my lunch breaks. I just devoured all the words of truth that were available to me. As a result of all that, I had a lot of relief from this grief.

Around that time I had a growth on my body, and it seemed like it needed medical attention, so I had an X-ray, and the doctor said that it was a very nasty situation. The growth was in an area that was inoperable, and the outcome didn’t look very good. He said what I needed first was a biopsy, and he left the room.

I just reached out, and I said, “God, dear God, is this malignant?” And I heard this loud, “No!” in my thought. So I left that office and wrote to a Christian Science practitioner for prayerful treatment. I thought that if there is a God, and God is good, then it’s like in the Bible, where it says, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15). I just knew, “I’m going to serve God, and that’s my stand.”

The practitioner phoned and said, “Oh, my dear, you are safe—you are OK,” and he started to pray for me. One day, driving on the freeway, this sudden joy swept over me for no apparent reason. I mean, there was nothing happening—I was in traffic—but I just felt this enormous sense of joy, that all was well. I felt I’d received the message that “everything is all right, and you are safe.” I can’t tell you when the growth left, but it just vanished. It is completely gone. This healing really helped cement this idea that we are not material and that matter is not what we think it is.

Within the next two years, I became a member of a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and of The Mother Church. I also took class instruction in Christian Science, where we learn more about God and how to heal in Christian Science.

Before I learned about Christian Science, I had a very nasty case of shingles, which had gone on for a very long time. I had been to doctors who said, “There’s no cure for this, and it may come back.”

After the growth disappeared, I had a recurrence of shingles. I was terrified because I didn’t want to go through that painful experience again. At this point, however, I had learned something about praying. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health: “The counter fact relative to any disease is required to cure it. The utterance of truth is designed to rebuke and destroy error. Why should truth not be efficient in sickness, which is solely the result of inharmony?” (p. 233). So, I took a walk, and I was thinking, “God, what is the counter fact? What do I need to see at this moment?”

Well, the counter fact came, and it is that we are spiritual. So I knew that I was spiritual. I am God’s idea, whole and complete. I came to a stoplight at a crosswalk, and all of a sudden, it was like all that fear was poured out. I knew I was healed. In a flash, it was gone. I was so clear that I was healed. I knew that there was nothing there. I ran home and pulled off my shirt and there was no evidence of shingles. It disappeared in that understanding of God as Love. It was an instantaneous healing, and it was so remarkable that it made me realize even more that matter is not the solid substance that we think it is.

That was a little over 25 years ago, and as a result of all this, I have found my peace—I have overcome the grief. I have no sense of loss at this point in my life. I have a sense of love—I have a sense of loving my son. This greater understanding of what love really is has helped me to understand my son’s eternal spiritual being. And those two healings solidified my understanding and trust in God, good. I turn to God for everything—in every need.

Pat Segars
Lake Oswego, Oregon, US

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