By Lawrence A. Backus with contributions from Asceneth H. Backus
From the October 26, 1974 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
My family and I had an opportunity a few years ago to spend a holiday weekend on a private island accessible only by boat from the nearby mainland. At dusk on the second evening of our stay, I was climbing a tree. Suddenly the branch I was resting my full weight upon broke, and I fell a distance of about ten feet to the ground. When I tried to stand, I discovered that three rusty spikes fastened to a two-by-four lying on the ground had been driven into my leg.
My first thought at that moment was “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter,” the first line of “The Scientific Statement of Being” found on page 468 of Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy. I had learned this statement in full by heart as a child in the Christian Science Sunday School. With the help of another I was able to stand and limp back to the main cabin area. I began praying to know my perfection as God’s child but became fearful of infection and death. I repeated over and over, “God is my Life.”
In a short time a boat was brought, and a friend offered to drive us back to the city. In spite of my prayers I was still afraid, and therefore on the way we stopped to call a Christian Science practitioner in a distant city. My leg had become stiff and difficult to move. Though it was one in the morning when the practitioner came to the phone, his calm patience and good nature were reassuring.
The practitioner referred me to Science and Health, where Mrs. Eddy says (p. 151), “Fear never stopped being and its action.” As we talked, the fear disappeared and I became more relaxed. We discussed the fact that tetanus was nothing but a word for a temporal belief and that it had no power over me, but that Mind, God, was governing everything.
When we arrived home that night, the wounds were washed and bandaged. No medication was used. I was able to sleep peacefully through the rest of the night. In the morning I was able to walk without difficulty, and by evening I was entirely free and able to engage in a strenuous series of business and personal activities during the next five days.
I am grateful for the privilege of being a Christian Scientist, and particularly for the strength and courage it gives one as a parent. Our family is especially thankful for a rapid healing of our three-year-old daughter when she was bitten on the cheek while kissing a dog, and for her quick recovery from what appeared to be pneumonia, though it was never so diagnosed by a medical doctor. The latter healings occurred when my wife and I were able to fully realize that this little girl was God’s child and He was loving and protecting her better than we ever could as her human parents.
Lawrence A. Backus
As the wife and mother referred to, I would like to verify my husband’s testimony. In all three cases cited it was so very clear that as soon as we quit being fearful and fully trusted the child, and my husband, to God, the healing quickly followed. The healing of what appeared to be pneumonia occurred when our daughter was about eight months old. We were very fearful, and I began wondering if we should take her to a doctor. As I thought about my various friends who went to pediatricians, I knew I wanted the very best physician. As I mentally considered this, the thought came to me clearly that God is the best physician. Class instruction in Christian Science followed this experience and gave us both a clearer understanding of the application of Science and a stronger conviction than ever of God’s presence and power to heal and bless us. I am very grateful for Christian Science.
(Mrs.) Asceneth H. Backus
Healing of our pet quail
One of the great blessings Christian Science brings to my life is hope. My experience as a life-long Christian Scientist has taught me that it heals anything no matter how hopeless the situation seems.
On time my husband hatched a quail from some eggs that were going to be discarded at his work. The tiny bird that came out was wet and weak and we had to feed it baby bird formula on a toothpick. We set up a warm nest with a heat lamp for her but she didn’t look like she was going to make it.
I had recently learned in my Christian Science Class Instruction that there is no death because God is All and God is Life. So every time I went in to check on the little bird or feed her I affirmed “there is no death.” She didn’t have a name yet so I thought of that as her name. She grew to be a wonderful part of the family, she loved to jump up on laps, steal food or lay an egg in visitors’ shoes.
One day I was sitting on the couch reading and realized I hadn’t seen her for a while. (She loved to be wherever you were). I jumped up with the terrible realization that I had been sitting on her for a long time.
She got up but fell over immediately on her side and lay still. I called my Dad horrified at what I had done and asked him to pray for her. “I sat on my bird” I said. He agreed to pray for her. Later I read in Miscellaneous Writings, “And remember…calm strength will enrage evil. But the very heavens shall laugh at them and move majestically to your defense when the armies of earth push hard upon you. p.338*
She sat up but she was still breathing sporadically. My mom played a Christian Science lecture over the phone for me which was very comforting. It kept my attention away from the mesmeric picture of a dying bird. When my Dad called to check on her progress I told him she wasn’t breathing well and he continued to pray. Soon after that second phone call she hopped up and started her normal chirping and walking around (probably looking for food). Until that time I hadn’t looked at the couch where there were two large stains of blood. But this was even clearer proof that “The power of Christian Science and divine Love is omnipotent. It is indeed adequate to unclasp the hold and to destroy disease, sin and death.” S&H 412:13
“Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality and goodness,” S&H 518:19.
When I called her practitioner, Dad, to report the good news we rejoiced together. And I didn’t have to tell my husband that I crushed his bird.
*Misc Writs p.338:15 “And remember a pure faith in humanity will subject one to deception; the uses of good, to abuses from evil; and calm strength will enrage evil. But the very heavens shall laugh at them and move majestically to your defense when the armies of earth push hard upon you.”
Alice, daughter of church member