“Learning how to bind up the broken-hearted”

Thank you for sending the book of testimonies of healing. It is a great help and a great source of happiness. It is helping me think about Christian Science treatment.

The introduction, which tells about the two wartime workers, made me think of Mrs. Eddy’s words, “If we would open their prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted” (S&H 366:30–31). The most broken-hearted of all would be those who feel the way that man in the introduction felt—that God isn’t there, because if He were, these terrible things couldn’t have happened.

The two wartime workers had gone through terrible things, but they hadn’t believed those things were the last word. They had believed what the Bible says about God: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5), and “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” (Gen. 1:27).

Those wartime workers also believed what Mrs. Eddy had learned about God and written in the Christian Science textbook: “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power” (S&H 192:23–24). That meant the evil they saw around them during their ordeal didn’t have any power. Those terrible events couldn’t produce any real or enduring effects. But the good they were doing and embodying did have power, enabling them to heal the broken-hearted soldiers who came to them for help.

And healing is the proof of what really has power.

The healings showed that the wartime workers knew God is all good and that God’s man is the image and likeness of all good. To be part of the Gestapo is to be in great darkness, but the two wartime workers proved they did not believe that about man. They believed God is good, and man is His good reflection. Those in the Gestapo did not believe in that good yet. But maybe the two wartime workers realized those men would finally believe in that good, because it was their own true nature.

One of the last things Mrs. Eddy wrote was dictated to Adelaide Still in the fall of 1910: “Who believes what I have written? He who has the most experience of Good. Who disbelieves it? He who has the most fear of evil. What is the remedy for this belief? It is experience, for every moment, hour and day of mortal existence brings each one of us nearer the understanding of the nothingness of evil in proportion to our understanding of the allness of Good.” (See Stephen Gottschalk, Rolling Away the Stone, pp. 397–398.)

Mrs. Eddy called good an experience, but she called evil only a fear. When the light comes into a life in darkness, evil vanishes away because it was only a fear.

When that light comes to them, people will see that they have always had good, all through their lives, they just hadn’t seen it before. They will see their past differently. It will be like buried treasures coming to light, and they will have all the hidden gems they had not known about, and they will be able to put that treasure to use.

I can give a small example of this from my own past. A couple of years ago, my brother and I went to see a documentary film called “Playland at the Beach.” It was about a long-ago amusement park at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. My brother said our parents had taken us there often, but I could not remember it. But when I saw the part of the film about the carousel, I remembered riding on that carousel. I was sitting on my mom’s lap, and we were riding in a sleigh. I must have been about two, because three-year-olds can sit on the carousel horses.

Some time later when I was praying, I remembered that when my brothers and I were young, our mother felt really terrible most of the time because she suffered from depression. And our father was exhausted during his free time because he worked such long hours at his business. Yet they often had put all that aside to drive for over an hour to bring us to Playland at the Beach. Since then, the memory of their love in doing that has made me want to try harder to do something that will be helpful.

There are so many examples of kindness and love in my life that I could not name them all. And the same is true for every life, even those that look as dark as being part of the Gestapo. Those people only need the light that will light up all the good that God has always been pouring into their lives. That light is the Christ, which is always there for them to find.

After the introduction gave me the idea of learning how to bind up the broken-hearted, then came the testimony of the soldier serving in Vietnam. (See Douglas Norman Keith, Sentinel, October 20, 1980; pp. 1–2.) His experience illustrated what Mrs. Eddy says to do first in treatment: “Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients. Silently reassure them as to their exemption from disease and danger” (S&H 411:27–29). Divine Love keeps anything harmful from ever getting near the patient. Just as the enemy soldiers were turned back from doing harm that night, divine Love has always kept harm away from the patient.

The next testimony, from the Spanish-American War soldier, made me think of how even if the evidence says that the patient has been harmed in the most grievous way, Christian Science treatment can prove he is really all right. That soldier was so terribly wounded he couldn’t stand the pain, and his body was so maimed he couldn’t be medically restored. Christian Science treatment restored him completely. (See John C. Carlyle, Sentinel, May 17, 1900; pp. 3–4.)

Next there were testimonies about healing deafness and blindness. They reminded me of the instruction from Class that we must start with God. We start by seeing and hearing what God is giving us through spiritual sense.

We can handle animal magnetism by taking our thought of the patient out of a material basis and putting it back where he really is—in Spirit. God made man, and God always keeps him safe and well.

One of the testifiers in this section wrote: “I wanted God’s will, not mine. I was convinced of the efficacy of Christian Science, and I so wanted to understand my way out of this belief of matter as substance. I did not want temporary means; I wanted knowledge and understanding of God and man. …It was at this point I was fully awakened and listening for the voice of Truth uttering itself. I thought: God is Truth, always operating, expressing Himself through His image. I do not have to wait three weeks to know the Truth; Truth is ever present, operating to make me free” (Doris Dworznik, Journal, December 1959; p 7).

She was healed of hearing loss, and her landlady, who had been deaf for twenty years, was healed too. She didn’t start with wanting to fix the problem of deafness; she started with wanting God’s will. God’s will for us is always good. By starting there, she walked into that universe of light and saw that good appear humanly in good hearing.

The testimonies in the middle of the book made me think of Jesus’ words, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s great love for us is shown in all those examples of the most dire human circumstances being overruled by God’s law.

Spirit is man’s substance. So man’s substance couldn’t be damaged by an exploding furnace or a fall from a high window; the fire and the fall weren’t causes that could injure or destroy. God was causing those people to have only good, and Christian Science treatment brought the true state of their lives to light. The material laws that said those calamities produce pain and disaster were completely overruled. Love was the only law.

Many testimonies showed how the practitioner didn’t do all the work, but that the patient helped too, no matter how young the patient was. One five-year-old patient knew, “I am not in my body. Can God’s child fall?” And her three-year-old sister knew the answer, “No, because God is good” (C.E.M, Journal, July 1898; pp. 77).

The testimony of the Burkhalters brought back the idea of seeing the right way. The father said that his lost son was so far away in the ocean that he could not have seen him from the boat using ordinary eyesight. But the father did see him, and took the boat right to him. And again the patient, though only seven years old, gave so much that helped in the rescue. (See Georgia and Charles Burkhalter, Sentinel, August 26, 1950; p. 78.)

In one Association address, I remember your saying about Mrs. Eddy, “She believed God.” That applied to the woman in the last story. She didn’t see anything changing for the better, but she believed God. So her heart was singing. (See Annette M. Slimmon, Sentinel, October 7, 1950; pp. 79–80.)