February 2013

Check it out!

Testimonies are a witness to God’s great realness. They’re written out of thanks and tremendous gratitude for the experience of healing.  Writers tell honestly of their relief, their joy, and of spiritual realities learned in unforgettable ways.

In this space, we’ll bring to your attention some portions of testimonies from the past that deserve a second look. When you read what these fellow Christian Scientists have shared, I think you’ll agree that years don’t matter. But we’ll indicate the date and page number of the testimonies in the periodicals so you can read them in their entirety in “JSH Online” or in the bound volumes of your Reading Room.

Now, when we said “portions of testimonies from the past,” we didn’t mean the accounts of healing we’re looking at would always be in the distant past. This month, for example, we hope you’ll check out several testimonies in the January 7th Sentinel of 2013.  

Here’s the first excerpt. It sounds simple and familiar at first. But when you see it in the context of the healing of a serious and longstanding heart and circulation problem, you can see there’s a lot to think about in this remarkably humbled admission:

Initially, I thought my prayer alone had brought about the change. Later, I realized that I had experienced the clarity and power of Christ, the divine message of God’s love for man.
— The full testimony is on pp. 18-19 of the January 7, 2013 Sentinel

Here’s an excerpt from another testimony:

“The idea of not being able to drive my car was very discouraging.  I couldn’t imagine not being able to attend the many activities in which I was involved, but I parked my car in the garage and began to dig deeper into my study of Christian Science.”

“Since my husband passed on a couple of years prior to this, I had found it necessary to fill my days with one activity or another—luncheons, bridge clubs, hospitality and opera guild meetings, and so on.  I was often “rushing around smartly” with “no proof of accomplishing much” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 230). It was clear that I needed to cut out some of the more frivolous functions and use the extra time for spiritual study and getting closer to God.”

Well she did stop her rushing around, and she was healed of cataracts. It’s an account well worth checking out. (This healing is recounted on pp. 19-20 of the January 7, 2013 Sentinel.)

And finally, you’ll find in this same Sentinel an extraordinary story of one woman’s leaving Christian Science altogether after she had a mental breakdown and was diagnosed as being bipolar. She was told by the doctor that any relief she believed she’d had as a result of Christian Science wasn’t the effect of Christian Science but “merely the natural course of the illness”.  She then tried costly medical treatments, alternative medicine, hypnosis, nutrition, and so on. In spite of this she had a second breakdown.  

She writes, “I can now see that as I tried each different therapy, I was gradually losing faith in the healing power of matter and the human mind.  It wasn’t long before I again felt the childlike trust in God that had guided me for most of my life.” She returned to Christian Science and asked a practitioner for help.

Since this story of healing is in an article, not a testimony, there’s ample room for detail about what this person (who is now a Christian Science practitioner), thought and felt all along the way. I think you’ll find it a pretty special account with a powerfully encouraging message.

Here’s an excerpt (from pp. 4-7 of the January 7, 2013 Sentinel):

“I kept a pad of paper at hand to write down things for which I was grateful, even things as mundane as the piece of paper on which to write!  This discipline taught me that the whole of Christian life is worshipping God—thinking of Him, acknowledging His presence, asking Him for guidance, praising His goodness.  Surely keeping our thoughts “stayed” on God is the forever joy of life.”