When our son was seven, he started becoming crippled in all his joints, and was in great pain. So alarming was the physical condition that my husband, who was not then a Christian Scientist, asked my consent to take our son to a doctor. He did, and our son was hospitalized for tests.
Several specialists examined him and told my husband that they were sorry, but there was no cure for the disability. They predicted that the condition would worsen, and that the damage already done would be permanent. They said they could prescribe drugs to help ease the pain, and that when he was grown, a series of operations might make movement easier. My husband thanked them and then said, "I guess I'm ready to trust God now." A doctor encouraged him to do exactly that.
We brought our son home and called a Christian Science practitioner for treatment, which is specific, scientific, Christian prayer.
The practitioner's first words to me were: "God is in the blessing business. He does not, cannot, curse. This experience can only bless your whole family." How I held to that promise! It so fitted with the God, all Love, I learned of from my Christian Science Sunday School teaching.
The practitioner, understanding how concerned we were, came to our home. I noticed he didn't seem alarmed in the least. After he left I realized he had been looking at the same child we were, but had been seeing God's child—spiritual, whole—instead of a disabled mortal. I reasoned that if he could see this child's perfection, only God could be showing it to him; then, God was showing it to us too.
I expected to see our son healed. ... A week or so later, I heard his little feet running down the driveway.
During the next few weeks, my husband and I prayed consistently for our child. Also, I'd begin each day reading and pondering a Biblical promise and proof of Love's allness. I studied the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) earnestly. They contain Jesus' healings, teachings, and promises. Particularly helpful, I remember, was Jesus' answer to his disciples when they asked him why they hadn't been able to heal an epileptic boy. His answer wasn't why they couldn't, but how they could. He said "This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29). I was learning to fast, or starve out of consciousness every thought that would deny the supremacy of God. Divine Love was "becoming nearer, dearer, and more real" to me; as Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit" (p. 239).
Meanwhile, our son improved enough to go back to school. I drove him to the door. Then came a particularly bad day. A well-meaning friend, a physical therapist, stopped by. She told me that as a responsible parent I must put my son in physical therapy, because if I didn't, he'd be in a wheelchair within the year. I felt torn apart. In desperation I opened my Bible for inspiration. Through tears I saw these words: "Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them" (II Tim. 3:14). Of whom—I knew that was God, and He was reassuring me He'd not forsake us.
The Biblical account of Peter's healing of a lame man at the Temple came to mind (see Acts 3:1–11). Here was a grown man, born lame. He went from never having had any use of his legs at all to jumping! No learning to walk process, no gradual strengthening of muscles. God's allness expressed in man! The temptation to feel neglectful for entrusting our son entirely to God vanished from my thought. The evidence of disease was no longer as impressive to me as God's great love. I expected to see our son healed.
A week or so later, I went out to get in my car to go pick him up at school, and I heard little feet running down the driveway. There he was, grinning from ear to ear. "I ran all the way home!" he said.
So complete was his healing, he finished his required studies by the end of the school year, even though he'd missed a lot of school time. The summer following he went on a backpacking trip with perfect freedom. Six years later our son had to have a physical examination, a company requirement when we moved to a foreign country. The results of the exam showed no trace of the problem remained.
The practitioner was right—every member of our family has been blessed by this experience. And this is only one of the fine healings our family has had.
I am the son of Judith Hardy Olson. I read the testimony and verify that it is correct and true. I am grateful to Christian Science for this permanent healing that blessed not only me but our entire family as well. This incident is but one of many healings I have had throughout my life.
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