True confession time: the first thing I read in almost every Sentinel starts on page 24 of each issue—News of Healing. I usually turn first to the testimonies in the Journal, as well. Testimonies have always been of great importance to me; sometimes I have felt guilty about not reading the articles first! What makes testimonies so valuable to me is their demonstration of the validity of the teachings of Christian Science. Without proof, Christian Science is a nice philosophy to live by, but what do we do at the crunch points of life?
I suspect if I had been one of Jesus’ disciples, my name would not have been Peter or John, but Thomas! When I’m tempted to believe that my situation is too hard to heal or beyond “my” ability, it almost never fails that someone in the Sentinel, the Journal, or at church on Wednesday evening is sharing a testimony of spiritual inspiration and growth that resulted in healing a similar challenge. Testimonies vividly remind me that I can rely on God’s allness, power, and immediacy. They reassure me that I am surrounded by a “cloud of witnesses.”
Reading the wonderful proofs in this year’s assignment has propelled me one step further. They have made me realize there is NO EXCUSE for accommodating any of mortal mind’s aggressive mental suggestions, such as I don’t know enough; this challenge is too BIG for me to handle; maybe I can live with this; I have too many other things that need healing, so this problem will have to get in line; or any other mindless, ridiculous lies that would try to diminish the efficacy and demonstration of spiritual law in my experience.
This assignment is a perfect follow-on to the impact that one of the testimonies had on me at last year’s meeting. I was struck by how what seemed to be an endless, overwhelming combination of personal circumstances and health issues vanished completely when brought out of mortal mind’s dark closet of arguments and justifications and into the sunlight of Truth. None of those claims was ever true about the man of God’s creating! Once seen, all were immediately destroyed and relegated to their native nothingness. It put my own challenges in perspective and provided great encouragement.
The testimony collection makes me feel differently about my own practice of Christian Science healing by strengthening my refusal to accommodate physical discord and by being more consistent in giving thorough treatment to heal it. The “Thomas” in me loved the practitioner’s words to the woman with the malignant cancer, “I never treat with a doubt” (p.21, from The Christian Science Weekly, November 3, 1898). I am working far more consistently to realize with total conviction that the treatment IS the truth of my being and I am free to express and demonstrate it NOW.
Sometimes when issues loom large, I tend to think it will take a long time and many treatments to accomplish healing. But the compilation gives many powerful examples that put that lie to rest, while the healings that occurred over a longer time provide comfort that healing is inevitable.
Another observation is that so many of the healings occurred with individuals who were new to Christian Science. Their healings weren’t the result of years of study, but of wholehearted trust and willingness to change thought. As Maud Whitten stated in her testimony, “as my thinking changed, so did the action of my body” (p. 59).
Thank you for this challenging, comforting, inspiring Association assignment.