My journey to “the promised land”
I sat open-mouthed as people shared heartfelt gratitude for healings of all kinds of problems.
A long time ago I arrived in Mumbai (then called Bombay), joining my husband, who was working there, for what I felt would be an experience of a lifetime. Little did I know it would be life-changing, taking me on a spiritual journey beyond my wildest dreams.
As a result of my experience and ambitions as a singer, I was introduced to a superb pianist, a resident of Mumbai who had received her training in London. My rapport with this spiritually minded lady was immediate. I found her to have a most loving manner and a calm presence that intrigued me, and her integrity and honesty were readily apparent. She always insisted we leave at once after Saturday evening events because of church the next morning.
Prior to leaving the United Kingdom, I had dabbled in meditation and special diets, searching for something that would bring me the satisfaction I longed for. One evening I asked my friend, “What is this church that you go to?” Her response that she attended Christian Science services surprised me. Golly. I knew nothing of Christian Science other than a few disparaging opinions that I had heard from others. “Aren’t they the people who don’t believe in doctors?” I asked. My friend laughed.
I pressed her: “Well, what do you believe?” Her answer, which included neither proselytizing nor theological discourse, took my breath away: “We endeavor to see Love everywhere.” Wow! That squared with what I believed and instantly awakened something within me.
The following Wednesday evening, I hotfooted it to my first Christian Science testimony meeting. The welcome was most gracious, and peace descended on me as I awaited the arrival of the pastor. A smiling, sari-clad woman entered the auditorium and began the service. I later learned those who conduct services are lay Readers.
The Reader read passages from the Bible and from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Then we reached the part I had been eagerly awaiting—the testimonies. I sat open-mouthed as people shared heartfelt gratitude for healings of all kinds of problems. I had never heard anything like it before and was stunned. I discovered that those books are central to the study of Christian Science, and I am still amazed that any subject a First Reader chooses for the Wednesday testimony meeting can be addressed through passages chosen from the Bible and from Science and Health, which brings to light the spiritual meaning of the Bible.
I sat open-mouthed as people shared heartfelt gratitude for healings of all kinds.
After that evening, nothing kept me from those testimony meetings. My thought had been opened to the practical Christianity taught and demonstrated by Jesus, which could and would meet every human need.
Soon my dear friend gave me my first copy of Science and Health. I devoured the book, struggling some to understand it, and began studying the weekly Bible Lessons from the Christian Science Quarterly every day. My efforts began to be rewarded. As Mrs. Eddy assures us: “Whoever would demonstrate the healing of Christian Science must abide strictly by its rules, heed every statement, and advance from the rudiments laid down. There is nothing difficult nor toilsome in this task, when the way is pointed out; but self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence alone win the prize, as they usually do in every department of life” (Science and Health, p. 462 ).
I discovered the Christian Science Reading Room on the church premises and eagerly visited it to buy anything that would help me understand more of Christian Science. The workers on duty never seemed to tire of my repeated visits and constant questions, and would always find something that would answer my query of the day. Recently, rifling through old papers, I found a tattered pamphlet purchased all those years ago—“God’s Law of Adjustment” by Adam H. Dickey (reprinted from the January 1916 issue of The Christian Science Journal), full of underlined passages that had caught my eye.
My first healing from practicing Christian Science soon occurred. On a visit to the Reading Room, I encountered a Christian Science practitioner. In considerable discomfort, I mentioned that I had a bad sore throat. She gently suggested I go and sit down for some quiet study. When I emerged, the practitioner had gone and so had my problem. I spent the afternoon swallowing, trying to find out where it had gone. “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31 ).
My journey of many years has been filled with great blessings: Christian Science class instruction from a wonderful teacher; healings, sometimes through my own prayers, sometimes with help from practitioners; plus occasional necessary rebukes from which I have learned much. I am filled with untold gratitude and am in awe of Mrs. Eddy’s obedience to God in fulfilling Jesus’ command to preach the gospel and heal the sick (see Matthew 10:8 ). And I am most grateful for loving church memberships, not forgetting, of course, the unselfish and dear Christian Scientist who let her light shine and responded to my search for Truth.
A flight of nearly five thousand miles from the UK was unnecessary for my journey to “the promised land,” the kingdom of heaven, which is right here where we all are, now. My challenges are met, and will continue to be met, through the Love that is ever with us, our wondrous Father-Mother God.