An experience last year taught me a practical lesson in Christian Science healing. I realise more and more that my role in healing is to bear faithful witness to the healing activity of the Christ and to demonstrate the omnipotence of God; to “break away from the constant, noisy assertions and assumptions of worldly materialism,” to get quiet and still, and to learn “more of the All-God who is Love,” as you wrote in the Topic letter for 2010.
I was in church one Sunday, listening to the Readers read the Lesson Sermon for the week and appreciating its healing message. As the Second Reader read one of the sections, he seemed to stumble a bit over one of the words, and then stopped reading altogether. I was focused more on listening than on looking at the Readers, so I only became aware that something was amiss when I heard a member of the congregation sound a warning. At that point, I became aware that the Second Reader was falling backwards, while the First Reader and soloist were moving quickly to ensure that he ended up in his chair.
My first thought was a silent protest that man cannot fall. I recalled right away what Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, that “man in God’s image is unfallen …” (S&H 476:31–32). I believe I may have then said to the congregation words to the effect that all was well because God was in control. Then I became quiet and listened for what Love was prompting me to do next. It came to me to go round the back and assist with whatever might be required. So I got up calmly and went to take the Second Reader somewhere quiet. An usher also got up.
I knew Love was in action. As the usher and I prepared to move the Second Reader, he came to and stood up, steady, all by himself. The usher then left to join the congregation. The Second Reader and I went to a quiet place, and the soloist naturally stepped in as substitute Second Reader. All this took place within a minute or two.
As we sat together quietly, I felt led to take the Second Reader’s hand and reassure him with the truths I am learning—that he has always been in God’s presence, the immediate object of Love’s care, and could only feel God’s love. He seemed to look at me blankly for a short while, so I told him that he is a law unto himself because he is governed by God, and encouraged him to say this aloud. This broke the mesmerism, and I saw full awareness return.
As I helped him mop his brow, I asked if I might send for his wife, who was in Sunday School. He declined, saying that what he needed most was to hear the statements of truth. I gave him Christian Science prayerful treatment. I answered his question as to how he came to be sitting down rather than reading by assuring him that error has no history, and that searching around for what does not exist is utterly futile. He found this quite funny, but true.
We sat together in Christian companionship until the end of the service, and he was just fine. He promised to be more alert in prayerfully supporting the office of the Readers, by knowing that he is at his post to express God alone and to share Love’s healing message, which includes both the congregation and Readers. He also promised to obey the Manual instruction to defend himself daily against the belief that animal magnetism, or evil, is an actuality. After the service, he attended a scheduled meeting, where he contributed actively, in his usual feisty manner, to the joy and gratitude of members.
I must say that for all of us that witnessed the healing that day in church, there was a sense of renewal—a renewed assurance of the certainty of Christ healing and of the efficacy of Christ’s Science; indeed I knew that the member who came up to me afterwards with a quiet but heartfelt “thank you” was thanking me for my role as witness. No more. No less.
What a privilege to witness firsthand healing as Jesus Christ said is possible, healing as Mrs. Eddy consistently healed and encouraged us to do, healing today, despite the noisy worldly assertions to the contrary. What a privilege to know we can all bear witness to the activity of the Christ, always.