Recently, I was asked to be an expert witness on Christian Science at a jury trial for an individual who had relied on Christian Science to deal with some incredible employment challenges. I didn't want to testify, as had seen other instances where Christian Science practice had been distorted in hostile or public situations.
But I was required to testify, which included several hours before and after lunch. There seemed much to meet the evening before, but the peace of God prevailed. I couldn't find the courtroom after lunch (though on the same floor) and was five minutes late. They had to send someone to find me. I realized what was at work. I turned to God to leave personal sense and humiliation outside the court room door and see Christ going before me, relying on God's law that "all things (even things that don't appear good) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28) I humbly apologized to the court and showed humanity. The opposing attorney had a snide attitude toward Christian Science and spent 1.5 to 2 hours going over pages of treatment notes in court, highlighting things which he thought made CS look silly. Each one became an opportunity for me to share more broadly what CS is and healings and the inspiration God brings.
For example --
• He made derogatory comments about Christian Science, and implied one wouldn't practice or rely on CS if they knew about psychology. Reply: I had a degree, with specialty in counseling and consulting psychology, and training/experience working with people, but had left this because of my own healing through CS and seeing firsthand the limits of psychology to meet student needs and the ability of Christian Science to better meet those seeking help.
• Psalm 23 – an inadequate response to patient's severe depression. Reply: I shared Psalm 23, "He prepares a table in the presence of mine enemies…anoints my head with oil." I shared Mary Baker Eddy's spiritual interpretation, and the definition of "oil" in the textbook. (Attorneys later said several on the jury took notes on this. When the testimony was completed, two Christian jurors came up, one to share their love of prayer and another to express gratitude for how much more the Psalm 23 passage now meant to them.)
• "Call God when cat is ill? Cats can't study passages." Reply: Cat healed. Cats, children, those unconscious…God's healing is not limited, but extends to all His creation.
• Call practitioner for help with teacher conferences? Individual can't seem to handle anything. Reply: Actually many teachers and workers in different fields call for help to make a healing difference. Prayer isn't just to help oneself, but to bring help and healing and deeper understanding to work, community and world situations, because Christianity is here to make a healing difference in our world.
• “‘Fidelity’ – individual having marital troubles?" Reply: Actually no. That refers to an article on Christian discipleship in Mrs. Eddy's writings that the patient studied to help her better respond as a Christian to the grave accusations and injustices she faced.
While the outcome of the case isn't all one would hope for, God turned even the antagonism of the attorney and my inexperience as a witness to praise Him and to correct—in ways none of us could plan—many of the misconceptions about Christian Science treatment, and to touch some hearts. Two heartfelt exchanges occurred with jurors after the testimony (I was not allowed to talk to them during), and one healing encounter with a couple facing some challenges, during lunch. Once again I am in awe of glimpses of God's government—What cannot God do!