Thank you for the wonderful collection of testimonies. The demonstrations they describe have had a salutary effect on my thinking and, hopefully, on my ability to progress in Science.
As you suggested, I made no effort to read and digest them all at one sitting. Since I had to look them all up in their original form, I repaired on four separate days to the terrific Reading Room of First Church, Arlington, Virginia. Reading the original volumes required physical as well as mental effort—climbing onto step stools many times to retrieve volumes, some over 100 years old, gently pulling them down with their crumbling covers, and gently turning the pages in search of the valuable lessons these testimonies taught.
Here are just a few of the many revelations I had from these readings:
First, admiration for the splendid courage, patience, and trust demonstrated by the patients and also by the brave practitioners who took on cases that had made even hospital physicians lose hope. These testimonies are proof that absolutely nothing is beyond the power of God—a fact that can easily slip away in this materialistic age of “medical miracles” and faith in drugs.
Second, I was impressed with the confidence demonstrated by these Scientists, and often by people previously unfamiliar with Science. Once they applied the truths of this revelation to their lives, they never gave up, no matter how serious the material condition.
Third, I was impressed that familiar words and phrases sometimes took on more useful meanings as a result of reading the testimonies. Just a couple of examples that have already directly helped me in my own Christian Science work.
- J. Guy Haugh’s testimony (Sentinel, November 24, 1951) speaks of Isaiah 55:8,9: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Reading this was a quick blow in the solar plexus. I thought: “This applies to me.” Even when I have tried to elevate my thinking, I often dwell on the material condition, whether it involves me, a relative, a friend, or world conditions. In a flash, I realized that even when I try to think “right thoughts,” I often am over-weighting the material side of things. Once I realized this, thanks to Isaiah, I find myself interrupting my “normal” chain of thought, and replacing it with my best understanding of what “God’s thoughts” would be about a condition. This change in process has already brought good results.
- While reading Georgia and Charles Burkhalter’s testimony about losing their son at sea (Sentinel, August 26, 1950), the quotation from Mrs. Eddy’s “Mother’s Evening Prayer” took on new meaning. Somehow, I had always seen the line “Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight,” as a sort of plea. It came to me that it is no plea. It is a fact. And how much stronger it became when I thought of it this way.