This healing began about four years ago. And continued with renewed vigor this past year.
I received a call from a good friend who said that his son was in jail—had been arrested at a rock concert for selling drugs to an undercover policeman. Bail was set high because of the substances he had been selling. I had known this young man all his life, knew him to be very smart and very sweet. He had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder when he was very young, had difficulties in school and dropped out in the last semester of his senior year. His father posted bail and he was ordered by the court to get a job, pass drug tests, be evaluated by a psychiatrist, and get his GED.
I immediately began praying. Here are some of the things I worked with:
- As a child of God he was innocent and that innocence was inviolate.
- God was his Father; he was governed by Mind and Mind alone.
- “There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit.” (S&H 102:9 only)
I prayed to know that all ideas have their right place in the divine economy and this young man had talents and abilities and a right place for them to be expressed. God was communicating to him in ways he could understand, and he could hear the Shepherd and follow the leadings of Truth.
I knew several people near where he was living and I made phone calls to see if any could help find him a job. My prayers were more powerful than my phone calls. He found himself a job selling bundled phone products door to door. He chose to go on a strict commission basis, getting paid only when he made sales, which was at first worrisome to his family. With the help of his uncle he went from long hair, wearing jeans with holes, and shoes that barely kept his feet from touching the ground, to wearing a suit every day, neatly shorn hair, working six days a week, often long hours a day. He actually began to have a lot of success. He really liked what he was doing, loved helping people as he advised them on products and also loved the part of his job where he went to leadership training classes.
His lawyer advised him to plead guilty to a felony because if it went to trial he would likely be found guilty.
The probation department recommended probation with no jail time as did his lawyer and the prosecutor agreed, but the judge sentenced him to six weeks in jail and accused him of only getting a job to look good for the court.
I was told by a lawyer familiar with such circumstances not to be surprised if he lost his job, because now he had a felony conviction on his record. My young friend was devastated because he had found himself a job that he really liked and was distraught at the prospect of losing his job and having to look for another, now with a felony conviction and having served time in jail. The record of a felony could be expunged if he completed his probation requirements without further incident. He had a week before he had to report to serve his time.
I kept praying—knowing that nothing could keep him from his right place and I kept seeing his real being—his innocence as a child of God—seeing him as God saw him. “Progress is the law of God” and that nothing could stop his progress. (S&H p. 233)
When he called his boss, he was told they would hold his job as he had proven himself an excellent employee and that at the time he was hired he did not have a conviction and they could continue on that basis.
Soon after getting out of jail (where, because he was a model detainee he was sent to do community service at an art museum nearby) he decided to move from a house with a questionable roommate to renting a room in someone’s condo. The prayer during this time was to know that God was his Father and that God is always communicating in ways we can hear…and the one attraction was Spirit and that there was no other attraction.
He continued at his job for two years. The company then went business-to-business, meaning he would be selling to businesses, not individuals. He was very excited about that (prayer continued without ceasing through much of this time). He was making sales but the leads were not good and through no fault of his, the sales did fall through so he was not earning much money. Although on amicable terms with his boss, he was laid off and collected unemployment.
He still had 100 hours of community service to complete and had to get his GED to complete his probation requirements. When he ran out of money he had gone to stay with his grandparents who lived more remotely from the city where he had been living. Although he looked for jobs, he did not come up with one and seemed to be dragging. He also seemed not to be able to move forward to find places to complete his community service. I happened to be in the area at a time when his grandparents were getting frustrated with what they perceived as his lack of initiative. (He did however get his GED — with honors, thanks to his grandfather driving him in his car to where the exams were given.)
I kept praying that there were places for his talents and abilities. Also there was no deficit of attention and that he was governed and guided by God, that there was right activity for him and no blockages or resistance or delays, that God was omni-action. I was at a meeting where someone I had spoken to months before about community service opportunities asked how he was doing. I told her the situation, and she said to have him call her, that she had changed jobs and was in a better place to provide work for him. Two day later he got in touch with her and the next day began working for her and completed most of his hours.
His grandfather felt it was time for him to move out of their house. My young friend was going to return to the city where his dad lived and where there was work for him, but there was the issue of getting verification of his completion of probation and applying to have his record expunged. He called his probation officer, but was concerned because she did not return his calls, and was fearful that he did not do all the hours he was ordered to do. I encouraged him to go to the probation department but he told me, “You can’t just show up without an appointment.” I was only in that area for a few more days, so I listened for God’s leading, and then felt it was right to go to the probation department to see what I could find out. I went and asked for his probation officer’s phone number and was told that she was in, and did I want to see her? She told me that he was no longer on probation, and that his case and been closed nine months before! There was nothing more he needed to do! She also gave me information on the next steps he needed to take in order to have his record expunged. He was leaving that city in three days. I sent a text urging him to file the paperwork he needed to, and then knew again that he was God’s child, governed by God and that he could be led by God. It was not up to me. I had to give him to God.
A few weeks later his dad told me that a letter came from the place he was to have filed, confirming for me that he had in fact filed the necessary paperwork and that the work to have his record expunged is in process.
Recently his dad and I were having a conversation, talking about the progress his son had made. I said it was interesting that all the contacts I had tried to make for his son at one point did not bear fruit. But, I said, “I had been praying.” This friend is not a Christian Scientist and in fact is not even particularly religious. He looked at me, smiled and said, “It was probably your prayers that worked.”
What I keep seeing and learning, is that whether prayer is asked for or not, it is about what is presenting itself to us to be addressed, and how as Christian Scientists we are asked (privilege and responsibility) to meet those challenges. As we become more unselfed, more of a transparency for the Divine, the occasions, the work and the effects become more natural.
I am grateful.