I will never forget what the testimonies of healing in the Christian Science periodicals meant to me many years ago when I was first introduced to this Science. I had been living in New York City for about a year because of my work. My home was in Los Angeles, and I didn't know many people in New York.
For quite some time I had been struggling with a great sense of anxiety. I was also physically ill. Under this stress, as a means of seeking relief, I had come to rely heavily on alcohol and drugs (the drugs of that day called "uppers" and "downers"). Instead of receiving relief I was getting steadily worse.
At one point, one night at a very late hour I felt so helpless and so disturbed that I got on my knees and said aloud, "Dear God, I know You couldn't possibly make life so miserable for the man that You created. There must be some way out of this suffering."
I was somewhat startled to hear myself talking to God because I hadn't consciously thought of God since I was a young child attending a Protestant Sunday School. I had long since stopped attending church, and I had also stopped thinking about God; yet I continued to believe in a supreme power. I knew that man was not capable of governing the universe. So there I was on my knees and actually praying in the only way I knew how—as a child reaching out for help. For a moment I felt that God was very close to me, and soon I went to sleep in a peaceful manner.
Within a day or two I ran into a dear friend from my hometown whom I hadn't seen in at least ten years. I was so delighted to see a familiar face! We went to a nearby restaurant and talked about various things. Suddenly I found myself telling him of all my troubles—my fears, the illnesses, the confusion, and so forth. I'll never forget what he said when I had finished my tale of woe, nor will I forget his look of compassion.
My friend assured me that I was cared for and sustained by my Father-Mother God, and since God made everything and it was wholly good, there was no validity in sickness, fear, or confusion. I could have only that which comes directly from God, the true source of man's being. I could have nothing that was unlike God, or good.
Well, even though I had never heard anything like this before, I felt I understood every word that was spoken and that this was the answer to my humble prayers.
The next day my friend gave me a Bible, a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and a Christian Science Quarterly, as well as a number of issues of the Christian Science periodicals. I was shown how to study the Bible Lesson, using the Quarterly. I went back to my hotel room. I couldn't wait to start reading the testimonies of healing in the periodicals. And I was eager to read Science and Health, which I did over the next three days, barely stopping to eat or sleep because I just could not put the book down.
While the healing of reliance on drugs was immediate, the healing of drinking occurred more gradually. However, the more spiritual understanding I gained, the less desire I had for alcohol. This statement from Science and Health impressed me greatly (p. 35): "Our bread, 'which cometh down from heaven,' is Truth. Our cup is the cross. Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers." I reasoned that I didn't need alcohol to gain inspiration or to feel happy. A true sense of love was all I needed for my inspiration. And I knew that as I awoke to the spiritual reality of being, I would feel God's presence and His love for all His children, and grow in an understanding of my true identity as God's idea.
I reached a point where I took a sip of wine one evening and just could not swallow it; it wouldn't go down, and it tasted very bitter. My healing of drinking was complete. That was over thirty years ago, and not once have I ever even contemplated taking another drink. The physical ills that had been very serious and frightening disappeared. I rejoiced that I truly felt "absent from the body, and ... present with the Lord" (II Cor. 5:8).
Christian Science continues to bless my life today, and I have witnessed healings in my family of false growths, heart trouble, facial paralysis, financial troubles, and inharmonious relationships, to name a few. I will ever be grateful to the dear one who gave me "a cup of cold water" when I was so thirsty for the truth. And I pray each day to "let this mind be in [me], which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).
Los Angeles, California
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