Healing of Autism

I had lunch with a very dear friend yesterday who was quite distraught. She is the grandmother of a dear little boy who, despite being sociable, bright, and able, has been labeled as autistic. I always keep him and my friend in my prayers, because I know that this is not the truth about him, and that they are both spiritual. (My friend left the Catholic church and is no longer a churchgoer.)

When his little brother was born, doctors told the parents that he had a 25% chance of being autistic as well, and the family has been very fearful about this. My friend told me that the previous night before our lunch, her son called to say that he had stopped talking, stopped walking, and did not recognize his mother when she picked him up at day care. Also, that the children scream at each other at mealtimes, when they wake up, and at bed time, and the family is full of stress and anxiety. My friend was so sad and fearful and seemed to be resigned to this horrible diagnosis and situation. (This is the friend who sent me an email when I was at Association in April saying, ‘Just had an ultrasound. Clots completely gone. Technician was surprised. So relieved!’) I told her not to give up and said I would ‘beam good thoughts’ his way and ‘keep him in the light, as the Quakers say.’ She was happy to hear this, and encouraged me to hold him in my thoughts, and I felt I left her better than I found her.

I just found an email from her that I want to share with you:

‘Where to start! Please keep doing whatever you are doing. Lovely FaceTime with [her son] this evening. He was with the younger son, and [his wife with the other son]. Seemed relaxed. The younger son seemed totally ‘normal’. Learned he’s had teething problems plus minor cold issues.

They have employed someone to help in the evenings!!!!!! I believe she is an elementary school teacher who has experience working with special needs children. Awesome! I didn’t ask any more questions. [Her son] joked that the kids were perfect this evening. I have to wonder if the dynamic had changed just with her there. It’s awesome no matter what.

A relief for now anyway. I trust you have contributed to this and I imagine you can hear me exhale.’

Well, I know that the kids are perfect right now and always. I'm SO grateful for this wonderful development!

“God governs the weather” and ”God’s idea is always complete”

God governs the weather

During this winter, I realized the need to take a stand on damaging winter storms, particularly high winds. We live in a rural area at a relatively high elevation, and in winters past we have suffered significant tree loss and wind damage. When the first Nor’easter of this winter arrived with high winds, I worked with Irving Tomlinson’s recollections of Mrs. Eddy’s guidance ‘that Christian Scientists should not attempt to control the weather… [but that] we should know that God governs the weather and no other influence can be brought bear on it.’ To me, if God was all, and all good, there was no place, no effect nor power that could be destructive. The work that first evening wasn’t arduous or complex, it was simple, clear, direct – and perhaps the best part was I knew immediately in my ‘heart of hearts’ it would be effective – it was the first time I had ever experienced that perception. The winds did die down, all became quiet, the snow beautiful, and I went to sleep. Not that time is ever factor in any healing, but it was instructive to me that I did not work for more that 15-20 minutes. In the morning my wife, who knew nothing of my work the previous evening, remarked on how quiet things had become overnight. This work was repeated for the two other Nor’easters with the same results – in all three storms we had no wind damage, and our immediate area had no power outages, though we had substantial snow.

It happened again two weeks ago as I was driving in for Wednesday Evening meeting – the wind began to blow quite heavily, at times pushing the car around. I arrived at church early, and watched the trees through the windows whipping around in the wind while reviewing what I had experienced with the nor’easters. Within minutes of the service starting, the wind died down, and the trees became still and stayed still throughout the service. When I returned home, it was again blowing – this time I remembered Mrs. Eddy’s comment about looking storms ‘directly in the face and seeing the face of God’ vs the claim of any another power. I stood in the doorway and attempted to follow her instructions… and the wind dissipated. The next morning there was no damage around our house, but other areas in our region had been hit with wind damage and power outages.

Interestingly, the biggest challenge in all this work was not the weather, but dealing with animal magnetism – overcoming the subtle voices that kept saying ‘yes, the wind did die down and no damage was received, but that had nothing to do with prayer – it was just luck or a matter of timing’. Even more challenging has been the resistance to sharing these with you or at a Wednesday Evening meeting which have seemed quite aggressive and personal: ‘you can’t verify this, no one will ever believe it happened… no one will ever believe you could do this – you’re not experienced enough to have accomplished these healings… even you yourself doubt it.’ Well, the truth is I did not do this – I just stood still and saw the salvation of God… and He did it.

God’s idea is always complete

We occasionally help a senior neighbor who lives by himself and needs help with day-to-day items. A few weeks ago, he called quite distressed because somehow he had lost his wallet, including his credit cards and driver’s license somewhere in the snow. This was just before our last significant snow storm, and he was quite concerned they would be coved by the impending snow, pushed aside by plows and never found. We talked about some possible steps he could take and a few practical ways we could help, and he seemed a bit more encouraged.

After he hung up, I realized that while his call was not a request for metaphysical help, my thought had been presented with the claim that a loss or disruption of good could happen, and I realized I had the right (and requirement) to handle this in my own consciousness. As I worked, it became clear that this claim was not so much about losing physical items, but the ongoing mortal argument of aging, a loss of health, happiness, familial care, diminishing life prospects, comfort, and limited goodness that challenges all of us. I worked to counter each of these claims in my thought, knowing that God’s idea is always complete, whole, perfect in Love’s constant care. The familiar citation in James (1:17) offered a framework within which to see that every spiritual attribute – whether expressed personally or through items of practical value – was always complete, ever-present, never missing:

‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’

Within a day or two I had a call from him telling me he had found his credit cards and wallet, but somehow the most important item – his driver’s license – was still missing. I kept on this line of prayer for a few more days, and then early one morning he called, saying that his license had just showed up, apparently somewhere in the house. The best part of his call was it came at a time when I was working on a claim of sickness myself, and his upbeat voice at the rediscovery of what had seemed lost lifted my thought as well and helped me move forward.

“Take possession of your body…”

Sharing a wonderful, quick healing here, and as usual, it’s the spiritual growth that was the main thing.

I developed a very painful condition in my neck such that it was jarring to move my head or turn in bed. I had to be very careful walking, but I could at least sit quietly at my desk and work without any pain, so that was nice. This went on for a few days. I prayed about it and also called a practitioner. The healing came one morning when I was reading this statement from Science and Health from the weekly Bible lesson: ‘Take possession of your body and govern its feeling and its action.’ I really wrestled with that command. Just how does one do that? I listened for an answer. Two things came to me as I sat quietly listening.

First, I realized that it is not really myself that governs the body, but divine Mind. I went through all of the seven synonyms as governing my feeling and my action.

Then, I suddenly remembered what Mrs. Eddy says about how a tree trunk doesn’t suffer from a wound or gash, and neither would our bodies – were it not for mortal mind. I saw that matter is just plain old dumb. It doesn’t know anything and can’t say or do anything.

The healing was complete shortly thereafter, and now, here’s the really neat thing. On Sunday, when I shared this healing with my high school student in Sunday School, we looked up that quote about taking possession of our bodies. As I glanced down the page, I saw that the tree trunk idea was in the very next paragraph. I was in awe. I did not know that these two ideas – taking possession of our bodies and the gashed tree trunk example – went together. I study the lesson with the full text quarterly, and the lesson that week only included the first statement, not the second one about the tree trunk. And yet, God very clearly communicated to me that second idea, as well. The two are meant to go together, and even though I did not have them together in the full-text citation, divine Mind delivered them to me that way.

That’s the thing that impressed me. I did not know these two ideas went together, but Mind did, and revealed it to me. I find this so comforting and reassuring. We are ALWAYS given what we need to know.

I want to feel and acknowledge God’s love

One Sunday morning I woke up with a belief of a stomach ache, which hurt when I breathed deeply in the way that is necessary for singing. And I was scheduled to solo in church, so that was a problem. I was worried that it would prevent me from soloing. And I prayed, and what I was thinking was, I don’t just want to pacify the physical, I want to feel and acknowledge God’s love. I read the ‘Love’ version of the 23rd psalm in Science and Health, and also this quote about the city of God: “Its gates open towards light and glory both within and without, for all is good, and nothing can enter that city which ‘defileth,…or maketh a lie.’” (SH 577:24) I prayed that that’s what church is, the City of God, and therefore it’s not violable or disruptable. The city of God was right there. Soon after that, the pain disappeared. It had been getting less, but all at once it was just gone. And then it was wonderful to go straight into the service and put all my gratitude and realization of Divine Love’s presence into the solo.

Partway through last year, I had this feeling that I wanted to serve God better than I had been, but I was afraid of what would happen to me if I did. I just remembered all the persecutions that people have suffered because of doing good and was afraid. And then at the same time I would say to myself, that’s a terrible excuse! Sometimes I would find myself daydreaming about making a small life away from all the problems in the world, even though I knew that isn’t a viable way to live. I just found myself stuck in a conflict between duty and fear.

Then we took a trip to the beach, and as I looked at the sea I found myself thinking about Christ My Refuge, where it says:

‘Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock, Upon Life’s shore, ‘Gainst which the winds and waves can shock, Oh, nevermore!’

And I suddenly saw it in a new light. It really struck me that Mrs. Eddy doesn’t write about Truth putting her inland, like some homeowner prudently avoiding rising sea levels, but instead she is ‘on the Rock, upon Life’s shore.’ And then comes the part that really had me paying attention: the winds and waves can’t attack her there – ‘against which the winds and waves can shock, oh, nevermore.’ Truth puts us right on the forefront of things, but also protects us. And as I thought about that, it was clear I could let go of my fear of what would happen if I stood with Truth. It also became clear that the small, ‘safe’ alternative I had been ashamedly imagining would not leave me on solid ground, but on quicksand, and that I was very tired of it.

Newness of Christian Science bringing new resolve to practice, home repairs, branch church work

I’m quicker to be obedient to Mrs. Eddy’s clear advice in Science and Health to ‘Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being…’ (495:20) and less apt to think of physical discords as having any life of their own. The ‘support’ this brings feels new and is substantial.

With a recent healing of my own, I gained a new insight into the fact that the so-called physical aspects of the problem actually contained no matter. While it wasn’t a life-threatening problem, it was one that wasn’t going away and was bringing much distress. As I prayed, I stopped accepting the symptoms at their face value. And when they forcefully entered my thought I consistently turned to the allness of infinite Mind and divine Love and sought to feel their immediate presence. As I went on this way the symptoms yielded until they were no more.

Another piece of fruitage: a belief of inaction in regard to some much-needed repairs in our home was strongly challenged when our awareness increased that God had something better for us. As of now, beautiful solutions for several key needs have been demonstrated and are in place. Christian Science has been lifting this unnecessary belief of impossibility by its strong emphasis on the reality and naturalness of goodness and the unreality and unnaturalness of inharmony and delay. We have more that needs to be done, but are greatly encouraged by this recent progress.

Branch church work: In our church our members have been working at letting tensions among us wash away. We’re much better at this than we used to be, and a number of us have felt a decided change from the way things were even a year or two ago. At a recent business meeting, there was a period when we found ourselves spontaneously and quietly sharing things we’d each been thinking and praying about. Branch church work is ongoing and there will always be issues that test us. Instead of feeling that they foreshadow divisions, I’m working to turn them over to God more quickly than I have in the past. This feels to me like the ‘Life that maketh all things new’ (Hymn 218:1).

In the All-Mind there are no accidents

Recently I was scheduled to talk with a meeting of Christian Scientists. On the way, as I was stepping down from the bus taking me to the airport, I turned and tripped backwards over the curb to fall flat on my back on the cement sidewalk. I got up quickly.

Several people kindly brushed me off and inquired if I was alright, and I assured them I was and went into the airport and walked fairly normally to the gate for departure. I did think about the truth that in the All-Mind there are no accidents, but while waiting for the plane to board, found that I could no longer stand or sit or walk without severe pain. I managed to get on the plane but was grateful to have the flight to do the praying that was obviously needed.

As I prayed, it became clear to me I couldn’t just brush off the experience by holding in thought a line or two from Science and Health. I needed to understand more thoroughly what had supposedly been going on in that particular experience and get much clearer about the spiritual truth that was actually present and making all the difference regardless of what the body had to say. I realized that it wasn’t a simple mistake, as such things sometimes are, but in this case was the aggressive effort of mortal mind to insist on its sense of things instead of the spiritual light and goodness coming from divine Spirit and Soul. In other words, the meeting wasn’t just one of the millions of meetings going on during that same time but with Science as its purpose and content, it could make a unique difference in how people thought and lived. The mesmeric sense opposing that possibility had to be undone and done away with by Truth. With a practitioner’s help, and working steadily and obediently with Truth, I felt the apparent injury (the error) begin to lessen, and soon it was no longer a factor or even a feeling, and the healing was complete.

Gratitude to God for guidance and protection

I would like to give gratitude to God for guidance and protection from the belief of accidents.  I was driving to my younger daughter sports event 2.5 hours south of us yesterday morning.  I was driving alone as she was riding on the bus with her team mates.  There had been a snow storm in the days before and the roads were still snow and ice covered, especially further north where the older daughter was headed to work.

The roads were not great and it was a long drive alone, and I took the time to pray and be with Mind and remind myself of my commitment to push away the world and the work which seems to so often take over my life and push out the time for prayer.

The 23rd Psalm was my meditation and I was grateful to have quiet time to be grateful for God’s mercy in giving us green pastures to rest in and peaceful waters to be beside. Safe places where we would live all the days of our life.

The sports competition was good; the team was cohesive and joyful and expressed energy and life and spirit.  But when we got home my older daughter told me that she and her co-coach had been in an accident that morning.  The co-coach had “fishtailed” on the ice into the other lane in the way of an oncoming car.  She accelerated into the snowbank to save from getting hit.  I was so grateful for God’s guidance of her thoughts.

I am very grateful for this demonstration, and I want to share my gratitude and put it in words as a reminder and renewal of my intention to God to pray and to demonstrate. It wasn’t just a near accident that happened to work out ok. It was proof of the presence of God and the power of prayer.

On My Own, Not Alone

Back in September, I was feeling pretty desperate. We had been almost ready to put our house on the market when hurricane Sandy hit in 2012.  It took four years to finish fixing all the (thankfully minor) damage.  After a year on the market, we finally had buyers, who assured us they could close at the end of August.  We weren’t so sure of that, so we arranged to close on a house at the end of September.  By mid-September, it seemed that that wouldn’t happen either.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t praying and working hard metaphysically, but my sense of peace each time I found it, turned out to be fragile and easily broken.  At this point I sent you a couple of emails.  After all, when the going gets tough, go to your teacher, right?  An email exchange with Bree brought the information that you weren’t available.

What? No Skip! Now what do I do?  What I did first was realize how loving and warm Bree’s message was.  I felt hugged.  I wasn’t alone at all.  That broke the mesmerism,  I realized that my Teacher – the Bible and Science and Health – are always with me.

I began to look back through the citations I’d been working with.  By this time I had quite a collection.  The ones that really stood out were about trust.  I organized those into a set of readings (I was scheduled for a Wednesday evening in a few weeks.)

By the time that Wednesday arrived, the end of September had come and gone, along with our deposit on the house we didn’t buy. Yet I felt buoyant! I finally had an understanding of what “self-reliant trustworthiness” (S&H 23:27) is. And after the service my husband asked if he could borrow the books for a few days to study the citations.

The change in our outlook brought about change in our situation. We realized that we had options we’d never considered before. As we explored those, our sense of trust deepened. We were being guided into new ways of thinking humanly and spiritually,

In early November, we had the opportunity to attend a Christian Science lecture given by a friend and fellow Association member.  Her subject was freedom and, oh, how it spoke to me!  It was what I needed to complete claiming my freedom from limitation, from being constrained to stay somewhere that I didn’t want to be.

Two days later we received the news that our buyers’ house was under contract and they could move forward with buying ours.  We did some house hunting and found one even better suited to us than the one we didn’t buy.  We’ll be moving in mid-February ready for our next great adventure.

I doubt that you often receive a thank you note for not being available. The lessons I learned, the growth and support I found along the way are invaluable gifts. Thank you.

The perfection of man is intact

Here’s an experience our Association family might enjoy hearing about. I had a dentist appointment scheduled to get a crown. I already have a few of these and I wasn’t thrilled about getting another one. I had hoped for that appointment where they say “Everything looks fine.”

I had been feeling kind of despondent and worried about the world these days. I don’t remember which event it was that was bugging me the day before the appointment because it seems like every day there is challenging news.

I couldn’t get to sleep and I knew I had to do something about my state of thought so I got out some inspirational readings I had put together on Concord last year. The theme was holding crime in check and the unreality of evil. Here’s one of the passages from Miscellaneous Writings: “If God is Mind and fills all space, is everywhere, matter is nowhere and sin is obsolete. If Mind God is all-power and all presence, man is not met by another power and presence, that – obstructing his intelligence – pains, fetters and befools him.  The perfection of man is intact; whence then is something beside Him that is not the counterpart but the counterfeit of man’s creator? Surely not from God for He made man in His own likeness.”

I went to sleep more peaceful than I had felt in a long time, feeling clearly that God is All-in-all.

When I got to the dentist the next day he looked in my mouth and said “Hmmm…maybe this isn’t as bad as I thought.”  He looked at the x-rays again and said, “There’s a possibility that the decay doesn’t connect with the other area that I thought it did. I’ll know after I drill the old fillings out.” He drilled them out and then decided to just put a new filling in. He’s a very experienced dentist I’ve been going to for 30 years and just two weeks prior he had been sure this was crown-worthy and the insurance company agreed, pre-authorizing it after seeing the x-rays.

What I love about this experience is that I was not working on my tooth!  I have often dwelt on the physical things that need healing, with list of things I need to “work on”.  But this time, by changing my worldview even temporarily from “decaying” to perfect, this took care of the problem on my personal level also.

I connected this to another dental experience a few years ago. (I may have written this in before).  This time what was upsetting me was seeing houses go up in a huge development near my home, a development we had fought for years and now apparently lost.  As I was driving by one day feeling angry again, I realized that I had just been teaching Sunday School the day before and was telling 8-yr olds about how to handle anger through prayer.  I sure wasn’t walking the talk myself.  So, I decided to send a silent blessing for all my new neighbors each time I drove by instead.  When I went to the dentist a few weeks later they were confused because they had put a “watch” on a tooth expecting to see a worse condition this time, but instead, the dentist couldn’t figure out why there had been a watch on that tooth because there was no evidence of anything wrong.

I could see the unreality of both claims

By the way of introducing this testimony, this past fall, I served as a coach for the high school football team at the school where I teach.  On our team were a brother (a senior) and his younger sister (a junior), I had known them both and worked with them over the past several years.

During a football game, there was a long stoppage of play.  When I looked up, a player was down on the far side of the field.  I began to pray, as I headed across the field, where an array of medical trainers and others were gathered around this boy. The human sense testimony was that the boy had lost consciousness, and while he had regained consciousness, he had pains in his chest. Knowing that the boy had a sibling on the team, I went back to our sideline to get the contact information from the sibling so that I could call the boy’s mother.

When I got back to our sideline, there was another crowd of people surrounding the sibling, who was having difficulty breathing from what people said was a “panic attack”.  At this point, I could see the unreality of both claims.  Neither picture was true and I didn’t have to believe the panic attack or the claim of injury on the field.  This understanding helped me comfort the sibling, settle the sideline situation and go back to the field so the boy could speak on the phone with his mother.

By this time, an ambulance had arrived for the boy and I agreed to ride in the ambulance with the boy. I went back to the sideline and found the sibling completely calm and our team on a knee, praying for their teammate. I reassured the sibling everything would be okay and I felt a strong sense of love that was there. The citation, from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy, that “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power” was applicable (192:31).