A little over a month ago, I was sitting at the bedside of my dear friend Sally as she passed on, peacefully. This woman set such a good example to many of us who served in our Christian Science Reading Room. Sally was engaged in a path spiritward, a path many of us came to respect and appreciate. I realize, in looking back over the seven years I came to know Sally, that the reason many of us held her in special esteem is because as we were encouraging her to see herself in the best light, she was doing the same for us, but perhaps in less obvious ways.
She typically spent four to five hours, Monday through Friday, at our Reading Room, reading and re-reading Prose Works, Science and Health, and Mary Baker Eddy biographies, as well as listening to the weekly Bible Lesson and Sentinel Radio CDs. A notable fact was that this dear woman had read through our entire set of bound volumes—every article, editorial, and poem ever published in the Christian Science Sentinel and Journal—at least once. I found this so commendable, that I would from time to time ask her thoughts on certain metaphysical topics, and I always came away with the sense that I’d been edified, if not enlightened.
Sally’s time in our Reading Room was of utmost importance to her, as it truly was her home away from home. She lived in a nearby group home and was a ward of the state.
This past winter, I offered to serve as Sally’s Christian Science practitioner, pro bono, as she was distressed over some disorders that appeared to be manifesting themselves. We met once a week in our Christian Science Reading Room, sitting in a cozy room that also houses our set of bound volumes.
In January, the Reading Room staff and I perceived that Sally was not hearing properly. One day when I was in to talk with her, she proclaimed, “I can’t hear a thing.”
Over the next month, I prayed for and with Sally, wrote her treatments, and gave her “homework.” I started by asking her to read Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of “ears” in the glossary to Science and Health: “Ears. Not organs of the so-called corporeal senses, but spiritual understanding” (S&H 585:1).
I remember pointing out to this dear one that all the patient persistence she had shown over the years in reading and loving the essence of what the Science of the Christ means, was at hand RIGHT THEN. Because the ability to hear (understand) and to see (discern) are God-bestowed, no-thing, no power, no mortal belief could take them away.
I asked her to read Olive Henry’s fine article, “Man’s Divine Heritage,” found in the September 1959 Journal. Ms. Henry states: “The deceptive testimony of the material senses is never valid, because it is a contradiction of the allness of God, Spirit…according to Science, nothing is real that is not of God.” Our divine heritage is intact.
I also asked Sally to read “The Hearing Ear, and the Seeing Eye” by Noel D. Bryan-Jones, in the December 1963 Journal. The author points out that sight and hearing are not subject to injury, diminution, or loss. He also presents this powerful thought: “Christian Science insists that individual man is the eternal and unchangeable likeness of God, Spirit.” I encouraged my friend to recognize the higher nature of her Mind-derived, Soul-enhanced, Spirit-based faculties, to which she was heir, now and forever!
About a month into our focused study, Sally walked into the RR with her hearing fully restored. Her discernment that her hearing had never been taken away was fully demonstrated. We all rejoiced for this wonderful healing!