My 6-year-old grandson, James, had been ill for several days. The medicines weren’t working and he was getter weaker and sadder. His Mom wanted me with them because he was always better and happier when I was there. She knew why—because I was praying. So I was there every day.
One evening the material picture seemed overwhelming. I couldn’t focus and was becoming terrified. I began to re-read the Association assignment from the beginning. By the time I had finished the section titled “God’s infinite, omnipotent care for children,” I was calm and fortified. The material picture could be alarming, but it wasn’t accurate. It was a powerless lie. What was true? “God’s infinite, omnipotent care for children,” which included dear James, his Mom, and me.
The next day as I was taking care of James and his Mom, the suggestion came, “You don’t even know how to pray about this!” I hesitated, and it came again—more insistent, “You don’t even know how to pray about this!” My response was, “God knows. Mind knows. Mind will tell me because I am listening only to Divine Mind, and that Mind is caring for this child and all children.”
James’s Mom came in and said that she was going to take him to the doctor. James did not want to go. He was crying and angry. I calmed him down, reassuring him that God loved him and the doctor loved him and only wanted to help him.
At the doctor’s office they met with a doctor they had never seen before. He was loving and alert. He discovered that James was afraid to eat and why he was afraid. The doctor gently encouraged James to eat and not to be afraid of the consequences. He also removed Mom’s fear about James having a serious illness.
James came home and I made him some food. He began to eat without any negative consequences. His recovery was steady and complete.
A few days later, on a Sunday morning, I got a phone call from James. “Grammom, I want to go to Sunday School.”
Standing next to him as his sweet voice sang the last hymn, my heart was filled with joy and my eyes were filled with tears of gratitude.
An additional comment:
James’s Mom, my daughter-in-law, embraced Christian Science about 10 years ago. She had class instruction. After her teacher passed on suddenly, she began to drift away from her deep study. Two years ago she withdrew her branch church membership and her children (13 and 6) stopped coming to Sunday School. They can come if they choose, but there is no encouragement or expectation.
This was a real struggle for me, as I saw more and more medicine in the household and the children were often sick. I am there two days a week helping out, so I was aware of all the changes. I couldn’t say anything because I was angry, confused, judgmental, and saddened. So I kept quiet and prayed to correct my thinking and love—really love.
During the time of James’s seeming illness, my daughter-in-law told me that she had been trying to read and pray and had gone on-line to listen to some lectures. This opened the door. I was able to share with her some of the thoughts I was praying with. To each affirmation she would quietly say, “Yes, I know, I know.”
She isn’t ready to give up the medicine, but I feel a reconnect with my friend, my daughter-in-law. I still have much to do in learning to love. But I feel we have begun a quiet conversation. God is leading us both gently forward.