This past year, I went on a “writing spree" and decided to record a bunch of my healings as articles. Here are two I’d like to share with you.
Not even a mark.
Once I became a teenager, I started to get blemishes on my hand that looked like warts. I was mortified and did anything I could to cover them up or hide my hands because I was afraid of what other people would say. I loved to play golf because I could wear my golfing glove, and when it came off I could say I had blisters from golfing so much. Although the warts would occasionally go away when I used “home remedies,” they would return.
Because of this issue, I was often tentative about holding other peoples’ hands either in a caring way or even just in playing a game. Once I got into college and moved into a house at Principia College, a school for Christian Scientists, it became effortless to let go of what I thought were burdens and live life as God’s perfect reflection.
Living in a house full of girls, inspirational quotes about womanhood and beauty were constantly being posted on bathroom mirrors or doors. Some of my favorites I would take with me and write on my own mirror, or write them down in my notebooks, to be stumbled upon at random moments. My favorites included, “The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage” (Science and Health, p. 191) and, “Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand” (Science and Health, p. 246). I love that word grand as it’s defined in the dictionary as “incontrovertible,” and “marked by . . . dignity.”
I kept these spiritual ideas in mind as I continued in my daily life surrounded by new people and loving thoughts. It wasn’t until one day when I was holding the hand of a close friend that I looked down and realized that there were no blemishes. Not even a mark. Years of reservedness and concern were gone, as if it was all a dream. The idea that something that seemed so long-standing and never-ending could be gone without a goodbye or fade-out just shows how healing does not need to be slow.
I sat down with a Science and Health and began to flip through the pages searching for nothing in particular. What I did find was monumental.
Now with every hand I hold, whether it’s helping my grandma out of the car, helping someone to their chair, keeping someone safe while crossing the street, or sharing a moment with someone I love, I can acknowledge God and all that He has done for me.
Gratitude + simplicity
One of the greatest revelations I’ve ever had involved gratitude and simplicity. After a rough junior year in high school I headed off to a summer camp for Christian Scientists. It would be my CIT (Counselor-in-Training) summer. About a week or two in, before the campers got there, I was finding it hard to enjoy myself and focus on my work. With a constant feeling of anxiety and worry, even my down time was spent in a dreary mood. Through this murkiness of thought I ended up walking to dinner a half hour early one night and found my energy level too low to walk back to my cabin once I arrived and realized my mistake. So I sat down with a Science and Health and began to flip through the pages searching for nothing in particular. What I did find was monumental.
On every single page I flipped to, the word gratitude jumped out at me. By the time I stopped flipping and decided to look deeper into this “coincidence,” I was on page three. It read: “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.”
From that moment on, I was freed from a cloudy state of mind. I walked away from that reading knowing my reason for being at camp—to learn, to love, to glorify God, and to be grateful for everything that God blesses me with. With every challenge I ran into from that moment on, big or small, all I had to do was look around and be grateful for the “good already received.” That next instant I would be back to myself, glorifying God through action-expressed gratitude.
Soon campers began to arrive, and I realized that my newfound gratitude could easily be used as I worked with them. This is also where I found my love for simplicity. I was working with new horseback riders in the third and fourth grade. What I love about this age is that, to them, Christian Science isn’t made up of long treatments and hours of studying. Christian Science is made up of “God is Love,” the seven synonyms, the Ten Commandments, and other simple things that I often overlook when something that feels serious comes up in my life. Healing does not need to be more complicated than acknowledging our connection to God and how we reflect all of His perfection. The combination of this simple acknowledgement and our gratitude, expressed in all hours of the day, makes for a happy life.
To this day, I still use what I learned that summer in my daily life. I try to never overcomplicate a healing, and often this kind of simplicity in prayer is preventative too. By keeping my thinking straight, knowing what is true and what I can be grateful for, I feel free.
Emily Mattson is a sophomore at Principia College, studying sociology and religion.
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