One morning last summer, my husband received a call from his brother, informing him that their family dog, Sadie, had been bitten on the tongue by a rattlesnake. She was at a nearby veterinary hospital, and it was uncertain whether she was going to survive. Medicine had done everything it could for her, and all that remained was to await the results.
My brother-in-law, who is not a Christian Scientist, phoned primarily for moral support. At the end of the conversation, my husband mentioned that he would pray for the dog, and his brother gladly accepted the offer. Then my husband called me, asking for prayerful support for the situation. Since nothing else could be done for the dog medically, I felt this was a legitimate occasion for treatment as set forth by Mrs. Eddy. I also called a practitioner to help with this emergency.
I then turned to two familiar passages in Science and Health—“good friends” that had given much comfort, courage, and inspiration while praying for animals in the past. The first one states: “God is the Life, or intelligence, which forms and preserves the individuality and identity of animals as well as of men.” (S&H, 550:5–7) The second passage reads: “All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible.” (S&H, 514:28–30) I spent some time knowing that these statements applied directly to Sadie, right where she was lying in the veterinary hospital.
When praying with the second passage in previous situations, I had always concentrated on the fact that the animal in question was “harmless, useful, indestructible.” This time, I suddenly noticed the most important concept: God’s creatures are harmless, useful, and indestructible because they are moving in the harmony of Science! Moving in the harmony of Science is the natural state of being for all creatures. It is the primitive principle of their being, and their harmlessness, usefulness, and indestructibility are the result of this principle.
Wanting to amplify my understanding of the passage, I searched the line previous to the one already mentioned. It says: “Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel felt safe in the lions’ den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless.” (S&H, 514:26–28; my emphasis) Here, divine Love spoke directly to the problem with specific healing.
I had been praying to see Sadie as untouched, unharmed by any dangerous or life- threatening element; but this concept was abruptly replaced with the truth that God allows no dangerous or life-threatening element into His kingdom in the first place. That rattlesnake was, is, and always has been harmless, innocent, and benevolent. The fact is that our God is vastly superior to the false concept of Him as creating a world with animals (or anything else) predisposed to hurting or killing each other.
I continued reading backward up the page and found this passage: “The individuality created by God is not carnivorous, as witness the millennial estate pictured by Isaiah:—
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
And the calf and the young lion, and the fatling together,
And a little child shall lead them.” (S&H, 541:19–25)
The whole treatment was spelled out on the page, and I had come to absolute Truth by reversal. Mrs. Eddy had the correct order: perfect God and His perfect creation, governed by absolute divine principle, manifesting itself in unfailing harmony among “harmless, useful, indestructible” creatures.
A few short hours after praying, I received a call reporting that the dog’s condition had stabilized. By early evening, Sadie was so improved that she could return home. She went home the next day, but there was concern that she was not drinking because of a swollen tongue. A few days later, her tongue was back to normal except for a small bump.
A few weeks later, Sadie went backpacking, happily carting her own supplies in her own doggie backpack. She has also returned to her post as first mate of my brother-in-law’s sailboat. God is good to all His creation. Sadie is proof of that fact!