November 2014

Testimonies tell honestly of fellow Christian Scientists’ relief, their joy, and of spiritual reality becoming substantial and actual to them. There are lots of reasons to read testimonies past and present. They bring encouragement. At a deeper level,  they break the mesmerism of mortal mind’s lie that Christian Science practice can’t heal. And often you feel as though you are there with the fellow Scientist who needed the clouds to lift so he could land on the carrier deck rather than ditch in the stormy sea. Or you can feel the joy of the practitioner who, having just been told by the doctor of the immediate need for an operation for appendicitis and peritonitis, but returning to the patient’s room both doctor and patient found that healing had occurred.

Here’s an excerpt from one testimony in the 1947 Sentinel, pp. 605-06:

“In the winter of 1933, three specialists met in consultation regarding the grave condition of our younger son, who for almost two months had been under constant medical care for a complication of diseases diagnosed as scarlet fever, lobar pneumonia, and acute nephritis. They told us that the boy was beyond recovery and could not possibly survive through the night.  One specialist sympathetically added: “I do know what your religions is.  There is always prayer; some things are beyond our knowledge.”

It was in this extremity that we turned wholly to Christian Science and discontinued all medical treatment for our son.  We telephoned a practitioner… This consecrated worker for Truth drove through a severe snowstorm seventy miles to our home that night.  On his arrival, he gently refused to be rushed to the child’s room, saying: “I have not come to see a sick or dying child.  God is Life and God is All.  There is no evil to fear.” A sense of peace prevailed as these and other truths in Christian Science were voiced and held to. 

Later, when we went to the child’s bedside, he was still in the state of coma which had persisted for several days, but for the first time in two weeks his respirations were regular and unlabored and he was resting quietly.  The improvement was so obvious that every vestige of fear was removed. 

A few hours afterward, the child awakened as from a deep sleep; he smiled and asked for food and his dog… When the doctor called the following morning and was told of our resort to Christian Science and the boy’s recovery during the night he said: “If that boy has recovered it is a miracle.  I came prepared to write a death certificate on the strength of last night’s consultation.”  After examining our son, he said, “He is really out of danger, but it is my duty to warn you that no one could possibly survive such a seizure and not suffer serious impairment of faculties or physique.” That medical law of material cause and effect was promptly denied and the truth affirmed that man’s existence as a child of God was, is, and ever shall be perfect and intact…

Although no more medical treatment was given, the doctor continued his visits for about a week, until he could authorize our release from the scarlet fever quarantine under health laws. Treatment in Christian Science was continued, and soon the boy was up and about…

Not one of the aftereffects predicted was manifested and the boy, now grown tall and robust, has continually and without a single restriction taken part in all school and athletic activitities…we are grateful for each opportunity to serve this great Cause which brings to light man’s true heritage and blesses all mankind.”  

Charles W. Henstenburg, Mrs. Helen W. Henstenburg, Scarsdale, New York