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From the April 12, 2010 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Last year, toward the end of the summer, I began to have a problem with bug bites. Although I didn't see any bugs in my house at first, in a matter of days I had dozens of little bites all over my body. After a week or so, I started finding fleas on my cats as well.

This was not something that I thought of praying about at first. I wouldn't have even known where to start. So I bought every bug-repellent product I could get my hands on to spray the house, the yard, and the cats. But as weeks passed, the situation with my bites was not getting better. In fact, one weekend when I went on a cabin trip with my girlfriend and some friends, it even got worse.

Here in the middle of the woods and away from home, I would wake up every morning with dozens of fresh bites and my first thought would be, "I am so uncomfortable; I itch everywhere!" Adding to this, whenever we would go hiking, it seemed that I would end up with bites from every creature in the forest. What really got my attention, however, was that I wasn't noticing anyone else complaining. Was I the only one being attacked?

This was the first time I turned to God for answers, but I didn't feel like I knew where to begin. As I prayed for direction, I decided to start from a standpoint of harmony. I thought about the unity of Life: If all creatures are created by God and express God, there can be no place for adversarial relationships. I expressed the same God that the spiders in the forest and even the fleas back at home expressed. To think of adversarial parties in the equation would be similar to believing in separate powers, or separate gods.

Though this line of reasoning did not immediately result in the bites stopping or healing, it set me in the right direction for my prayerful work. The ultimate revelation would be a much more compelling understanding of unity of Life and of Mind.

Several mornings into the trip, I woke up still covered in bites, and my first thought again was, "I itch!" My discomfort over the bites from fleas and other insects was turning to desperation. However, the second thought, which came to me immediately following, was much more calming and profound.

It dawned on me: If there is only one Mind, one Life, one God, which we all express (as Mary Baker Eddy's writings teach us), then there is only one real consciousness of which we all partake. To think that "I" was uncomfortable was to falsely believe that I had somehow been separated from the unity of God and man. I felt a hint of greatness in that concept, and although I didn't feel I could fully grasp it just then, my thought quickly moved from, "This is how I feel," to a more inclusive and divine sense of, "This is how we feel, as God's children."

I thought some more about my unity with my fellow man. I saw that I wasn't feeling uneasy because I was an individual with personal issues; those issues did not belong to me. They were the result of a supposed human consciousness that swings back and forth between angel messages from God and mortal beliefs, that are limiting and separating. I felt I was feeling the effects of these shared beliefs.

This idea brought on an incredible sense of compassion, which immediately turned into love. That morning my prayer was not for myself, or my own condition, but for the state of mankind. It was a much further-reaching effort, and I felt I gained a much broader understanding of who I was as a child of God.

Very quickly my situation began to change. Though the bites did not immediately disappear from my body, the daily discomfort instantly evaporated. Within a few days the bites went away, and I didn't notice any more bugs in my house or fleas on my cats. Every aspect of the situation seemed to have resolved itself in perfect harmony.

At first I was just happy to feel comfortable once again and didn't think much of this healing. But as time goes by, I realize more and more that what I learned in that situation has transformed the way I pray. I now find my conversations with God to be much more precise and effective, and I feel I have a more spiritual understanding of the situations I confront in my thought.

Above all, I feel more and more thankful every day for the practicality of Mrs. Eddy's wonderful discovery of Christian Science. If turning to God for answers on a peculiar bug issue changed so beautifully the way I pray for the issues faced by mankind, then there is infinite spiritual inspiration to be found even in the seemingly mundane circumstances we face every day.

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