Not long after graduating from college, I began experiencing bouts of severe back pain, which occurred a couple of times a year for quite a few years. Each time it happened, I was incapacitated by the pain and unable to get out of bed. And each time this happened, I asked for prayerful help from a Christian Science practitioner, and the pain disappeared within a few days. I remember on one occasion that the practitioner came to our apartment, sat next to my bed, and prayed for me. During these times, I prayed for myself more diligently, was strengthened by the Christian Science treatments given by the practitioner, and felt I was making spiritual progress. And I’d regain painless freedom of movement.
Because the incidents kept occurring, however, I began curtailing some of my activities. I stopped playing tennis, rode my bike less frequently, and no longer went jogging with my husband, all out of fear that sudden movement or strenuous activity might trigger the pain. I really yearned for full freedom from a condition I knew didn’t come from God, Spirit, who is wholly good and the source of my life and action. I wanted to better understand my identity as the perfect, healthy, beloved, spiritual idea of divine Love. Because of previous healings I’d had through turning to God in prayer, I was confident that this problem could be healed through spiritual means as well.
Some years later, I experienced the worst attack yet. I was in bed for several days, unable to move. I felt a sweet sense of love around me, though, from my husband who read to me and took care of me with such tenderness; from church friends who brought meals to our house; and also from the loving practitioner I had called. The practitioner asked me to memorize a paragraph in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy so that I could pray with the ideas in it and keep my thought filled with God’s goodness and power. The passage begins on page 252, line 31: “Spirit, bearing opposite testimony, saith:
“I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory,—all are Mine, for I am God. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because I am that I am.”
I prayed constantly with the truths in this paragraph, and it was a holy time. I felt God’s presence with me. I began to know Him better as divine Life, Truth, and Love, and to understand more about my inseparable relationship to Him as His reflection. I gained new insights into the synonyms that describe God and began thinking freshly and deeply about myself as divine Love’s spiritual idea. Inspiration filled my thought. I truly felt I was being baptized, that I was submerged in Spirit, and that I was willing “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8; see also the definition of baptism on page 581 of Science and Health).
My thought was wholly focused on God and filled with light. Learning more about God became more important to me than gaining freedom from pain, and I think this was the turning point. As I continued to pray, supported by the prayers of the practitioner, the physical discomfort began to recede until I was able to get out of bed, move fairly normally, and return to my job. I used a pillow behind my back at work for a couple of days until I was completely free of any discomfort.
That was the end of the chronic problem. The back pain never returned, and I never felt restricted in my movements or activities after that. In fact, I never even thought about it again. It wasn’t until some years later, when my husband and I were driving along, that I looked out the car window and saw a large sign that read “Lower Back Pain Clinic. Make Your Appointment Now” and realized I had been free of the difficulty for some time. It’s been over 20 years since this healing.
I might add that during the time I was praying with the passage from Science and Health, there was a beautiful moment when several friends came to thought, all of whom had passed away during the previous year, and I “saw” each of them as safe, happy, progressing, and continuing to live their lives with vitality and joy. I didn’t see them with my eyes, but I understood more about their never-ending spiritual identities. This was so clear and comforting to me that I’ve never forgotten it.
I’m deeply grateful for this healing, and for all the blessings the study of Christian Science has brought to my life. Also, my gratitude knows no bounds for God’s great love, expressed and demonstrated by Christ Jesus, and explained and amplified for us by Mary Baker Eddy.
Boston, Massachusetts, US
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