Many of the testifiers found Christian Science for the first time and somehow learned more about it by putting into practice what is in the textbook. When I began reading these, from January on, I couldn’t help but notice how many testimonies told of healings coming shortly after Christian Science was found; some received a copy of Science and Health, by Mrs. Eddy, or attended a church service or a lecture, and some loving what they were reading or hearing.
There are amazing accounts of guidance and protection through the Battle of Britain, and others sharing experiences from World War I, assuring young people in the midst of WWII that “God is … a very present help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1)
There is one testimony I have been returning to this week over and over again. The writer is Lena Tello in London, born in Russia (CSS, May 22, 1943). Faced with “many so-called incurable diseases and very discordant conditions in [her] home,” she received a copy of the textbook from a woman in the house she lived in. A physician who had visited her saw her pondering the book, and when this specialist told her there was nothing she could do for her, she told her to go home and study Christian Science. That would have been amazing in the first place, but Lena Tello, whose native language was Russian, was very discouraged, because she could not understand the language or the content of the book. She tells how she prayed that God would reveal Himself to her. She “felt a sense of calm and peace that [she] had never known before.” She goes on to say how she was able to read the book and understand it spiritually. That being able to read the language of Spirit comes up in several testimonies, and it makes sense that this is possible, as “miraculous” as it may seem.
Understanding, in spite of the language barrier, is important in this testimony, and there is a further point that makes this account so vivid to me. Her home situation was resolved even after losing almost everything except her children. She continued to study Christian Science, and sought healing with the help of a practitioner, attending church regularly. She tells how the physical healing took place, beginning with the question following a Wednesday testimony meeting: “Why does everybody but myself get healed in Christian Science?” Instead of stopping with a depressing question, she prayed the Lord’s Prayer, and what followed included the acknowledgment of her wholehearted trust in God. She realized that she could not visualize herself being well, and that it was doubt that prevented healing. The realization came that she had never been through any bitter experiences, that material life is just a dream. She held persistently to these truths, and together with the help of a practitioner, she was fully healed.
That question, “Why does everyone but myself get healed in Christian Science?” is insidious. She recognized it, and her sharing that in 1943 does not leave it in that time period. That question, or suggestion, is equally insidious today, and it is wonderful to read how she faced the question, giving hope that we, too, can turn to God, no matter how desperate a case may be, no matter how tenacious a claim may be or how long it has gone on. We can get our answer from God, and stick to the truth of being.
New students, learning about Christian Science in spite of barriers, language or otherwise, and the volume of healing — seven to nine testimonies per week in the Sentinels — this is what I am most grateful for in reading all of them.