Question 1: Highlights of the book
Family circumstances presented a perfect opportunity to respond to the first question for this report on We Knew Mary Baker Eddy: Expanded Edition, Vol. II.
Two relatives were staying at my house during my reading of the book, and on several occasions I jumped out of my chair to share something from the book with them. The first, and certainly one of the most significant insights for me, came on Page 33 in the report from Victoria H. Sargent. This is where Mrs. Eddy asks her class what would they do if they prayed for a healing, and it did not come. The correct answer, of course, was to handle animal magnetism. I thought I was well trained in this “subject” when I took class, but somehow I had never thought of working on the challenge of A.M. in mid-treatment if the healing work did not show quick progress. I was delighted to add this concept to my spiritual toolbox.
My next jump-up-and-share moment came in the report from Captain Joseph S. Eastaman in which he tells about his “black dog” experience aboard a ship. I found the story quite compelling, but must admit that my C.S. relatives thought it sounded improbable. But they are both trained journalists, and as I know from personal experience, reporters are taught to be skeptical.
Other memorable portions of the book, some of which I shared with family, include the concept that healing in Science often comes from the simple realization that God is always at hand. This was a frequent theme, as in the report by Emma A. Estes who was seeking Science treatment for her mother. A visit to a practitioner resulted quickly in a “wonderful peace,” and she asked the practitioner “will it last”? The practitioner explained that the peace came from the simple recognition of [God’s] loving presence. (p. 100)
Related to that truth, on a personal note: I’ve had a number of quick healings in the past three years at times I was in some pain. In two cases that immediately come to mind, the healings manifested themselves the moment I decided to call the practitioner for help. The decisions to call, I surmise, were evidence of my recognition of God’s ever presence and infinite power. In both cases, even before the practitioner picked up the phone, the problems had vanished. One of these episodes involved what appeared to be kidney stones. The other was a worsening problem with swallowing certain foods. Just dialing the practitioner’s number eradicated both problems instantly, and the practitioner and I were able to celebrate the healings each time when we eventually talked.
Question 2: How the book affects one’s goal to better serve Christian Science
Reading this thoughtful book, I hope, will lead to a more metaphysical approach to daily living. More emphasis on the metaphysical, hopefully, will lead to faster growth toward healing and other demonstrations of scientific thought. There is a temptation in these interesting times to put too much time and thought into the daily to-and-fro of news and events both tragic and sensational. In our household, we have cut back to one or two news reports per week on cable TV, we’ve dropped all but one newspaper, and we are devoting more of our time to Science. This was before reading the book. I am hoping that this volume will encourage even more prayer and scientific conversation, both in the family, and among friends, such as a monthly men’s lunch group to which I belong.