As a teenager, I was so grateful to be active in a local youth group for Christian Scientists. I went to some events and visited a Christian Science camp in Colorado for two summers. One guest speaker who visited the camp was a Christian Science teacher I really liked. I’d heard him lecture a few times as a youngster and he was the teacher with whom my parents had taken Primary class instruction. He really seemed to understand our interests and concerns at that age and knew how to relate to us. This same speaker gave a Christian Science lecture at my college a few years later. I was just a freshman, but I was interested in meeting with him individually after the talk. He answered my questions, asked me if I’d like him to give me specific Christian Science treatment about a particular concern, and explained class instruction. I found his direct approach refreshing and told him I would certainly consider applying when I was “grown up.”
He went on to explain that class provides an individual with a complete prayer “tool kit” that can be used in any situation, whether you need healing, want to prevent negative thoughts from creeping in, or are looking for guidance in the midst of lack, loss, or confusion. This teacher added that the instruction is valuable at any age, but particularly early in life. I requested an application right then and there, and was accepted into his class that summer.
I worked three jobs for the first part of the summer to afford attending class toward the end of the season, and every early morning waitress shift and closing-time cleanup was worth it! When I arrived at class, I discovered I was among the youngest, but there were others in their teens, as well as several people I befriended who were my parents’ age and older. We were all of a kindred spirit and bonded beautifully. In nearly four decades since that time, hardly a day goes by when I do not feel deep gratitude for the firm foundation of class instruction. It provided me with a deeper understanding of Christian Science and clear direction about how to pray effectively for myself, my loved ones, acquaintances, and people around the world.
During final exams at the end of my sophomore year in college, I had the opportunity to exercise my newfound ability to give a Christian Science treatment. I studied regularly, but prior to one final, I became seriously sick to my stomach. I felt so faint that I began to worry about making it to the classroom for the exam. Then I vividly remembered my dear Christian Science teacher’s words pointing us to Christ Jesus’ direction to know the truth (see John 8:32) and to the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explaining how to live the truth (see The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 252). I knew that with each breath and every step, God was with me. Within a few minutes I felt well and proceeded to take the exam and get a fine grade in the class.
Class instruction provided clear direction about how to pray effectively.
Later in life, my husband and I were traveling in Europe and left our hotel one morning to walk to the train station for a full day of touring. The weather forecast predicted temperatures in the 50s, but early in the morning dew had frozen on the sidewalks and I slipped and fell flat on my back. I was in severe pain but quickly relied on the firm foundation of class instruction as I prayed. Despite the pain, I got up, all the while remaining calm and firm in the knowledge that my existence is spiritual, not limited to a physical body that can be klutzy or fragile. I knew my nature included all joy, only joy, all harmony, only harmony, and there was no cause for an accident, therefore no resulting pain. Shortly after we boarded the train, I felt well. I don’t even remember any bruising! We had a wonderful day and enjoyed the rest of the trip.
In addition to physical healings, I’ve had opportunities to prove the true harmony of God’s kingdom in family matters and business situations. Conflicting “agendas” have been aligned as I’ve attempted to be more Christlike. I practice not being self-centered, critical, or judgmental. I keep getting better and have the tools to do so!
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