During a marathon of Saturday lectures I gave over a six-hour period as a Christian Science lecturer, I faced some pretty noisy competition from an organization nearby playing loud music. Although there was amplification, I still needed to project my voice strongly to be heard. Upon awakening Sunday morning I found myself voiceless, mute. But the next lecture was scheduled for three o’clock that afternoon, so this simply would not do.
I prayed for healing. “Pray to get your voice back?” my husband asked as I sat with my Bible open to Isaiah’s promise: “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you. And when he comes … those who cannot speak will sing for joy!” (Isaiah 35:4–6, New Living Translation).
“Here, drink water,” my husband said. “It will help.”
Now I will admit something. I got mad. Not that I said anything to him about it. But I didn’t appreciate what felt to me like a lack of support for my desire to apply what I was learning about God and healing prayer.
Then the sweetest thought interrupted my mental tirade, “But he loves you.” That softened me a little—enough to set me to praying again. I thought about the water he offered and realized that a material substance couldn’t do for me what the Mind that is God could do. In her Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy explains, “In metaphor, the dry land illustrates the absolute formations instituted by Mind, while water symbolizes the elements of Mind” (p. 507). I thought about how the divine Mind that is God is continuously speaking, and He has formed me to reflect His ability to speak His Word. Every element of truth that I express is sourced in God, who cares for me while I care for others. Within moments of these considerations in prayer, my voice reappeared in the form of a faint, breathy whisper.
When my husband returned to the living room, he saw me making some notes and looked concerned. “Stop working so hard. If you want your voice back by this afternoon, you need to rest.” Well, now I got irritated again. Here I was making good progress, and he’s telling me to stop and nap? Then I thought: “Wait a minute. He loves you.”
I understood that the human advice and concern my husband was expressing stemmed from his education under the medical belief system that he relied on to care for himself. However, remembering that he loved me quieted my irritation, as well as any fear that I might need to rely on matter, time, and hygiene as healers. Discerning love to be the true motivator of man allowed me to plunge ever deeper into the renovating laws of divine Spirit, which would heal me through spiritual means alone. Divine Love was my helper, and I realized I could not be harmed or slowed in any way by fear or interference as I advanced toward complete freedom. That finally eradicated my anger and reaction to my husband’s sincere desire to help, and it propelled me forward to engage exclusively with the divine Mind and Mind’s spiritual method to care for my needs.
In Rudimental Divine Science Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Christian Science erases from the minds of invalids their mistaken belief that they live in or because of matter, or that a so-called material organism controls the health or existence of mankind, and induces rest in God, divine Love, as caring for all the conditions requisite for the well-being of man” (p. 12).
I understood that a mistaken belief—that my capacity to speak was material—was being erased from my thought through the recognition of the one and only Mind and substance, which is God. Gaining such an understanding wasn’t work. This understanding was doing the work for me. My job was simply to rest in divine Love’s ability to care for me in all ways and circumstances.
At this point my voice seemed stronger, although frog-like, and I decided to practice out loud. I began croaking the words when my husband walked in again. “Oh, no!” he said. “Don’t talk. You will never be ready if you do that.”
This time I remembered straightaway that he loved me. And I felt a deep urge to sing!
That Sunday morning I had decided that I would stay home from church, forgetting to consider the value of worship when seeking healing. But now I really wanted to go to church and sing the hymns with the congregation. Although I would be late, I hurried to get to church. In the car I rasped out some hymns. I am glad I did, because when I arrived, the first hymn had already finished.
It was a holy service. I felt so embraced by the Scriptural Selection of the First Reader; his reading was inspired. When we sang the second hymn, I could actually get the words out. A soprano soloist sang for us. Her heavenly voice was filled with such reverence and praise. Manifesting perfect tone, cadence, expression, and rhythm, her singing glorified God.
The service was complete. Nothing was missing in the full range of harmony and inspiration. It struck me that it symbolized my own completeness and that I, too, express the full range of God’s infinite goodness and harmony.
When we sang the third hymn, I was completely well. That afternoon, I gave the lecture with a voice heard to the rafters of a grand church edifice. No mechanical amplification was available (their system had blown out during their service that morning), and none was needed.
When I think of my dear husband and his effort to help all those years ago, I am reminded of how this healing marked the end of his offering me medical or hygienic advice. He witnessed, step by step, how I worked out the problem by spiritual reasoning and prayer. When health challenges arose after that, he simply encouraged me by saying: “You know what to do. How can I help you?” It was a sweet and helpful change.
I am deeply grateful to God. For me this was a changing-water-to-wine experience. Mrs. Eddy referred to the spiritual sense of wine as “the inspiration of Love” (Science and Health, p. 35) and “understanding” (p. 598). As the material belief that water, rest, or time could bring healing gave way to an increasing spiritual understanding of Love, God, within me, I discerned my real, uninterrupted existence as spiritual. And that healed me.
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