"I have enjoyed reading these [testimonies] because I know they are a constant illumination of the unfailing healing power found in Christian Science. And it is important to be reminded that what one has understood and accomplished, another can see and do." (Sept. 25, ’43, Anderson) This is exactly how I felt upon reading all the marvelous testimonies in the 1943 Sentinel! The cumulative effect of reading just one year's published (the tip of the iceberg) testimonies of healing is indicative of how much Christian Science has done for individuals, families and the world.
I was struck by the use of the word "privilege," appearing over and over again throughout the testimonies. Attending Sunday School, branch and Mother Church membership, class instruction, attending association, serving in branch churches and in the cause of Christian Science – all were seen as privileges, rather than obligations. ("The children have never had the privilege of Sunday School. I often wonder if those who have churches almost at their door half appreciate them." (April 3, ’43, West) Even more striking was the sheer number of instantaneous healings. So very many sudden injuries or lingering struggles of every sort were healed in an instant when the Truth was revealed and applied.
Also notable were the examples of non-English-speakers who were healed as they strove mightily to read and understand Science and Health, by Mrs. Eddy. Their dedication and perseverance were remarkable, "reading one page in English, then in French on the next page, then back to English, until we understood the meaning of the passage," (Feb. 27, ’43, Hunkeler) or "my healing was accomplished, even though I had not yet mastered the English language." (May 8, ’43, Lindsey) Also impressive was (May 27, ’43, Tello) "I could not read the textbook properly, for I am Russian by birth, nor could I understand it. That night I prayed that God would reveal Himself to me....The next day, I opened Science and Health, and to my surprise, I was able to read and understand it spiritually."
The many marvelous healings we read about – whether the persons came to Christian Science reluctantly because of family opposition or their own mistaken ideas of what Christian Science is, in desperation because of their dire circumstances, or out of curiosity – were experienced by people who approached Christian Science with a willingness to have their consciousness raised. They had (or learned) humility. As in the chapter on "Fruitage," many were healed by reading Science and Health. Many others were healed with the unflagging support of patient, loving practitioners.
I believe that examples of the same kind of impressive healing can be found today – weekly in our 21st-century Sentinel, on paper and online, and in our monthly Journal. Just as writers in 1943 were grateful to be able to shed reliance on medications and to overcome the drinking habit and the tobacco habit, so testifiers today are grateful for these same freedoms, in addition to conquering drug addiction.
I think healing can be expected because the truths that Mrs. Eddy set down in our textbook have not changed and remain as clear, logical, accessible, and, most of all, as inspiring as ever to all who seek healing. What's required of us are the same qualities of humility, openness, honesty, obedience, gratitude, and perseverance that the testifiers expressed in 1943. (A tall order, seemingly, but qualities I think we all continually strive for.)
The following testimony could not be more timely for us in 2016. "I am deeply grateful for the comforting and steadying influence of Christian Science during these days of world stress. Time after time, when the mesmerism of flaring headlines in the papers caused a state of mental depression and a deep concern for the peoples of certain nations, intensive study of Christian Science would break the hypnotic spell, and I would realize that in reality, all is well in God's universe....The world needs the stabilizing effect of Christian Science today as never before. Only omnipotent Truth can disperse the mist of material thinking which is shutting out the crystal-clear vistas of the spiritual universe from so many millions of fear-stricken individuals at this time." (Jan. 2, ’43, Stuart)
I do pray for peace in the world each day, and I am so grateful for the great gift that Mrs. Eddy has given to the world. In the words of one of the testimonies, "My daily prayer is for the universal acceptance of the great Truth, which alone will bring world peace." (Jan. 23, ’43, Lyle)