About three years ago, I began to suffer from allergies. I had never before experienced a problem with pollen or dust, and I was angry and embarrassed, thinking that a lifelong Christian Scientist shouldn’t start having a problem like this. Distracted by those thoughts, instead of recognizing the false belief for what it was and addressing it, I took it in.
I had moments of prayer, but since this belief claims to be seasonal in nature, for a while I let it slide. However, the more aggressive the situation got, the more I began to wake up to the need for dedicated prayer.
First, I acknowledged that there is no power to make me feel angry or embarrassed. As mortal mind is the counterfeit of the one true Mind, God, this false mind’s suggestions of discord or sickness are not legitimate or true. Only what comes from God, good, makes up what we really are. This helped me stop criticizing myself for having this challenge to meet.
I remembered the following from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise?
“If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown” (p. 254).
I asked myself, “Where do I want to be—asleep upon the ‘quiet surface of error,’ or awake on the ‘ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth’?” I knew I wanted to be where the real action, the spiritual reality, is. I began to focus on obeying the requirement in Mrs. Eddy’s Manual of The Mother Church to defend myself daily against aggressive mental suggestions (see p. 42).
One unusually warm Wednesday in January, my wife and I decided to go for a walk in a nature preserve. I had taken only a few steps when I began to sneeze. We completed the walk, but I had several bouts of sneezing. When we got home, there was a video on the news that showed clouds of pollen blowing through the area where we had been walking. That picture kept playing over and over in my thought.
That night at the testimony meeting at my branch Church of Christ, Scientist, I listened closely to the church service. I had wanted to give a testimony about something else, but I was struggling just to get through the meeting without sneezing. During the testimony portion of the meeting, I reached out to God, asking what I needed to know to wake up from this claim.
I got an answer! The thought that came to me was, “You think you’re suffering from east winds, don’t you?” I almost laughed out loud. This was in reference to the account in Science and Health of a woman Mrs. Eddy healed of consumption, who had struggled to breathe when the wind was coming from the east (pp. 184–185). One lesson I’ve learned from that account is that any suggestion that we can be less than God’s perfect, spiritual children is just as groundless as the belief that the direction of the wind determines our ability to breathe.
That broke the mesmerism. I had seen through the lie about my identity. Proof of my healing came when, a couple of weeks later, there was another news story about high pollen counts, and I then noticed my car was covered in pollen. Not only did I not experience any problem, but I realized I had not needed to carry an “emergency” handkerchief since that moment of insight at church.
The healing remains complete. It has now been over a year, with no further symptoms of allergies. I am ever grateful for Christ Jesus and for the Science of the Christ discovered by Mary Baker Eddy.
J. Douglas Wood
North Richland Hills, Texas, US
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