“More than anything, I needed to be in Science and Health.”

Early one morning last spring, I happened to open Science and Health to a testimony in “Fruitage” called “Saved from Insanity and Suicide” (S&H 637–639). I read it because it was there.

The author of this remarkable testimony was suffering from severe physical ailments and symptoms of insanity, and her daughter had been given up to die of consumption. When someone loaned her the textbook, she began reading the chapter “Prayer.” She wrote, “Before that chapter on ‘Prayer’ was finished, my daughter was downstairs eating three meals a day, and daily growing stronger. Before I had finished reading the textbook she was well, but never having heard that the reading of Science and Health healed any one, it was several months before I gave God the glory” (S&H 638). Blessings poured out, the author’s health was restored, and after three years her hopelessly unhappy home was transformed.

At 9:00 a.m., my daughter called, barely able to speak. She had chills and extreme abdominal pain and could not stand up. She had called a practitioner and was also calling for me to pray—but made it clear that she wasn’t calling two practitioners. Our conversation was brief.

In this sense of crisis, the thought crossed my mind I might need to bring her home. She was five hours away. Then I remembered the healing in “Fruitage” I had read just three hours earlier, and felt that more than anything I needed to be in Science and Health.

I turned to the final paragraph of Mrs. Eddy’s answer to the question What is Mind? in “Recapitulation” (S&H 471:13). Then I read backwards through the four preceding paragraphs; the marginal headings were Celestial evidence, Indestructible relationship, and The divine standard of perfection. Then I read forwards, then back again. I couldn’t leave those paragraphs. They brought a sense of certainty that at any moment my daughter would call to say that she was well. And I wasn’t going anywhere until she did.

At 10:30 a.m., my daughter called again. In an awe-struck voice, she told me that she had gone “from nightmare to daylight.” She had put on a Sentinel Radio CD and listened to the account of a horse named Polly that was lying in a field, doomed to be put down the next day. For Polly’s practitioner, the key sentence from Science and Health contained the injunction to “destroy the foe, and leave the field to God, Life, Truth, and Love …” (S&H, 419:5–6). Then my daughter fell asleep. When she awoke, she was free. She even had time to get to her job.

I thank God for meeting every need, for the work of the practitioner, and for Sentinel Radio.