Vision defect reversed
In the late 1960s, when I was in my last year of college, I planned to become a United States Navy pilot. I had completed my four years in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps and had the desire, skill, and aptitude needed to be an aviator. However, when I took the required physical exam, I was told that my eyes did not meet the Navy’s standards, and I could not become a pilot.
The doctor explained that I had a genetic defect that could become a hazard. Under the stress of combat, my vision could split into two fields of sight and become blurred. My dad always wore strong glasses to correct a difficulty he’d had since his youth that he described as “seeing two moons and having severe headaches.” It seemed I had the same issue, and I was told that this condition was permanent and couldn’t be corrected enough to enable me to be a pilot.
I was very disappointed and asked that I be reexamined at a later date, and the doctor agreed. I spent the next several weeks praying, and I contacted a Christian Science practitioner, who agreed to give me metaphysical treatment. I remember thinking about this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494). I knew my needs were being met by God.
I was examined two more times but each time was told the result was the same. I could not become a Navy pilot. Instead, I was commissioned as a Navy supply officer, a noncombatant role. I don’t recall ever actually seeing double during my service in the Navy, and aside from the multiple exams confirming that I had a problem, I didn’t think much about it. I actually enjoyed my duties of overseeing the supplies needed by the crew over the next five years, then working in several careers, trusting all along that divine Love was meeting my needs and guiding my work.
This, however, was not the end of the story.
Many years after this, I was getting a routine eye exam, and the doctor commented that I was fortunate to have perfectly healthy eyes and perfect vision. I said I was grateful, except for that one issue that had kept me from becoming a Navy pilot. The doctor said that he had, as a routine part of the exam, tested for that condition, and my eyes checked out perfectly. He then voluntarily rechecked that part of the exam, with both the current technology and the old method the Navy used back in the 60s. Both tests showed no defect in my eyes. Subsequent exams in following years have always reconfirmed that the supposed incurable, permanent defect had been healed and that only right conditions were and are present.
After the initial testing by the Navy doctors, I rarely thought about the condition that had kept me from being a pilot. Yet, at some point, the healing had taken place. Although I hadn’t been specifically praying or giving Christian Science treatment to address a vision problem over those years, I had been making great strides in becoming a better student of Christian Science and in taking to heart its absolute, divine Truth and Principle.
A passage I continue to love describes my efforts and growth in this wonderful Science of being: “A little more grace, a motive made pure, a few truths tenderly told, a heart softened, a character subdued, a life consecrated, would restore the right action of the mental mechanism, and make manifest the movement of body and soul in accord with God” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 354).
So, while the practitioner’s specific prayers and my own had certainly helped, the healing finally came with the recognition of the all-power, ever-presence, and goodness of God, divine Love and Life, filling my consciousness more and more consistently. My thought was renewed, and the body had to follow in a positive way.
As Mrs. Eddy puts it in Science and Health: “Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth. It changes the secretions, expels humors, dissolves tumors, relaxes rigid muscles, restores carious bones to soundness. The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind” (p. 162).
Moreover, as God delivers us and provides answers even before we ask, so God had delivered me to where I could do the most good during the war. My role as a supply officer was entirely one of support, so it was actually in line with my desire to serve. In fact, many of my fellow officers and crewmen knew I was a Christian Scientist, and I was often noted for my Christian approach to issues in my department, which brought harmonious solutions. Not only had my eyes been healed, but I had always been in my right place as well.
Robert G. Rupp II
Freeland, Washington, US