Gratitude can be instrumental in bringing about a healing. This was illustrated to me some time ago when our then four-month-old kitten was injured. We were on a trip out of town when I received a phone call from our pet-sitter saying that she had found the kitten hanging from a chair by his hind legs and that she was taking him to the veterinarian.
I immediately began to pray for our kitten, affirming that he was a perfect spiritual idea of God. A couple of hours later I talked to the vet, who informed me that the kitten was unable to move his hind legs or tail. He said surgery might be needed, but he wanted to wait a day or two to make a decision. I was grateful for more time to pray for the kitten.
I called a Christian Science practitioner and asked her to pray with me for the kitten and to help allay the fear I was feeling. She assured me that the kitten was safe in the arms of divine Love. I felt confident and reassured that our pet was then, and always would be, whole and complete.
I was struck by the contrast between the responses from the vet and the practitioner. It brought to mind a statement by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The surgeon, holding that matter forms its own conditions and renders them fatal at certain points, entertains fears and doubts as to the ultimate outcome of the injury. Not holding the reins of government in his own hands, he believes that something stronger than Mind—namely, matter—governs the case.…
“The Christian Scientist, understanding scientifically that all is Mind, commences with mental causation, the truth of being, to destroy the error. This corrective is an alterative, reaching to every part of the human system” (pp. 422–423).
That night I awoke about 2:30 a.m. and prayed again, vehemently insisting that in reality the kitten was an idea of God. I also thought about the answer to the question “What is man?” on page 475 of Science and Health, which begins: “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements.… Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique.”
Since our kitten is an idea of God, he is also not made up of material elements. I started thinking of him as an image of Love—which was easy, as he is a joyous, loving cat.
After a couple of hours, in which I also asked God what I needed to know, it came to me that I needed to be grateful, right then and there, for the kitten’s wholeness and not wait until there was some change in matter. I had the example of Jesus, who thanked God in advance of any change in the material evidence that confirmed God’s ever-present goodness and power.
So I endeavored to do the same. I saw our kitten as God’s indestructible idea, and I was grateful for his enthusiasm, curiosity, and joy. I refused to think of him as subject to accident or injury. It also occurred to me that God is always rejoicing in the perfection of His ideas, so both the kitten and I could also rejoice. Shortly thereafter, it came to me that the healing was complete, and I fell back to sleep for a couple of hours.
When I called the vet’s office a little later that morning, his assistant told me that although X-rays showed our kitten had cracked his pelvis and a femur, they were encouraged that he was showing an interest in eating and had managed to use the litter box during the night. Then she exclaimed: “This is amazing! He just stood up, arched his back, and stretched!”
I called the practitioner back, reported the good progress, and asked her to continue praying with me. She reminded me that God rejoices in His own unrestricted expression of good and that the kitten was forever free, forever expressing the buoyancy of divine Soul.
When I talked to the vet again later that afternoon, he said that no surgery or other treatment would be necessary but that he would like to keep the kitten there for a couple of more days for observation. Since we were not planning on being home for another week and did not want our pet-sitter to be concerned, I readily agreed. The practitioner supported us for another day, and then I continued praying on my own.
Our kitten went home four days after his arrival at the vet, and he was running around freely and getting into mischief. When we got home another four days later, he greeted us joyously. Shortly thereafter he was again jumping up on things and exploring, with no trace of the injury.
Aurora, Colorado, US