Testimony

One day I was going to my softball practice.  We were working on pop flies.  I reached out to get it and it hit my finger in mid air and bent it backwards.  It really hurt and I couldn’t move it at all.  When my mom came to pick me up after class I told her what had happened and she said some comforting things.  When we got home I called my practitioner and he said some very comforting things.  Weeks went by of praying.  After a few weeks I couldn’t even feel the slightest bit of pain and I was very grateful.  I go to the Christian Science Sunday School.

Ainsley, granddaughter of a member

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Christian Science practitioner instantly healed me of migraine headaches.

HEALING TESTIMONY No. 5

Christian Science practitioner instantly healed me of migraine headaches.
Judy: Tell me about your healing by a Christian Science practitioner of migraine headaches and the spiritual sense of well-being and peace that this spiritual healing left you with.
Jan: Oh, yes, that was just the dearest experience. It took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The practitioner lived in a hotel, she had a suite. Her sister also lived in that hotel. They had a beautiful view of the lake, and she was very active.
I had been having migraine headaches for 35 years. The last one that I had, I was so ill that I just really felt that I wasn’t going to be able to manage another one. There’s that word “I” again, me, me, me, me! I hadn’t had any Practitioner working for me, [providing healing treatment] because this was something that just came up at unexpected times. [When it did] I would study and fill my thought with good and then I’d be okay, and then [there would be] a next time. So I decided that I was going to let God do it [heal me].
I opened up the Christian Science Journal [a publication that contains articles and verified accounts of spiritual healing] and I just kind of guided my finger and found a practitioner. When I called her it was like I was enveloped in love. It was something I had never experienced before. It was her voice; I could imagine what Mary Baker Eddy must have sounded like and how she must have dealt with things. There was something about her voice that love just flowed through the [phone] wires so to speak. She didn’t throw words at you. She wanted to meet with me and suggested that I come to the hotel and meet her in the lobby. Bert [my husband] drove me there. I went in and sat down on a bench right inside the door, and waited. And I heard these brisk footsteps coming along the hall. I looked up and here’s this tall, very erect, thin lady; crisply, beautifully dressed. Not fancy, just trim. She came directly to me and said, you must be Jan Gutteter, and I said yes I am. She said probably five sentences at the most. Then she was done. If I had walked past her in the hall less than five minutes later, I would not have recognized her. There was just no sense of person at all. No sense of personality. And, what the [Christian Science] Truth was that she spoke, I cannot recall. I went out to the car and Bert said, well, that was short. (She laughs.)
I called her a year later on something else. Her sister answered the phone and said she had passed on. She had been sitting in a chair, doing careful meditating for someone. Her sister said, you know, she was 91 years old. [Yet, when I saw her year earlier] she looked like she was maybe in her thirties. It’s kind of hard to judge ages when someone is that alive. She wasn’t what you’d call vivacious; she was just, uh, it was indescribable.
Judy: You mentioned the Practitioner “meditating.” Can you share with me what the word “meditating” means to you?
Jan: It was so effortless with her. I felt like she had gotten herself out of the picture. She just went directly to God. There is no sense of person there.
The outcome of my being healed was that I suddenly realized, oh my gosh, I haven’t had a migraine or a headache of any kind this last year, and I haven’t since! I just left it with her and it wasn’t part of me anymore. It took a year to recognize that I wasn’t having the kind of spells I’d been having, or believed I was having.
That was a beautiful, beautiful experience. And I think it’s the thing that keeps me grounded now, so to speak. I was flailing around a bit after Bert left (passed on). There were times that I even wondered if I should bother going to church.
Judy: You know Mary Baker Eddy put in our Church Manual, p. 42, “Prayer in Church, Sect 5. The prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively.” That tells me that Mrs. Eddy knew that Christian Scientists have a challenging road to travel and we need each other’s loving support along the way. And we need to come together at church to “collectively and exclusively” support, comfort, and express love for and to each other. Each student of Christian Science is an indispensable component in realizing our calling and fulfilling our duty as a true Church of Healers.
Jan Gutteter as recorded by Judy Piercy

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Christian Science healed my infant son of constipation

HEALING TESTIMONY No. 4

Christian Science healed my infant son of constipation
I had experiences with my little boy when he was just a few months old he wasn’t having bowel movements. This went on for a number of weeks, at least eight weeks. Yet he was smiling, he was nursing, he was completely normal in every way. He never cried. He slept through the night. But fear was beginning to enter in there, because people think children are being mistreated if they aren’t under medical care. I was studying different areas in the Science and Health, and would just open it up to different pages. I wish I could remember what it was that I read because it was something so clear to me that, there again, I was just at peace. And the next time I changed his diaper, “bing!” (We laughed.)
Judy: That is a wonderful testimony to the healing Spirit and the living Principle of Life, Truth and Love, ridding you of all fear so you were able to hold to God’s truth of the perfection of your child, His child.
Jan: Well, I had the advantage of being an at-home mom at that time. I’m not saying that’s why but at least I had the opportunity to meet this condition through what I believe. Because I really believe that God is the greatest power. And my husband, a Christian Scientist, left it to me [to work through and meet the error for our child]. He had complete confidence in God and me.
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Christian Science healed my extreme leg pain and disfunction.

Christian Science healed my extreme leg pain and disfunction.
During [Christian Science church services] on Sunday, I teach Daniel in our Sunday School. 0f course it’s very important to me to be there to teach him.
Two nights before a particular Sunday, I woke up in the middle of the night and my legs were pressed together so tight and uncomfortable that when I went to pull them apart it was a searing burning experience, like they were glued. And I thought, I am not going to acknowledge this. God is the law of my true being. I don’t have to acknowledge this. So I didn’t get out of bed. I didn’t look at my legs. I wasn’t going to give it any life whatsoever because. That’s all! In the morning I woke up and there was no evidence of a problem whatsoever and I even went outside and did some work that day which was a Saturday. Sunday School was a joy.
You know, some of these things are really hard to even relate because my heart is so full of gratitude and I know for the law of God’s goodness it isn’t real; it seems so unreal. And you [a practicing student of Christian Science and follower of discover Mary Baker Eddy’s teachings] know that it’s not real but it seems to be going on, you get a little bit of the idea of what it must have been like for Jesus.
Judy: And Mary Baker Eddy. She had many seemingly physical ailments to overcome.
Jan: Oh, yes, even as a child. And, I often wonder how she could be the author of a [text]book like that [ Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,] when she herself was having difficulties [ yet the writing inspiration would be there, day after day]. She was a marvelous [spiritual] thinker.
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Christian Science healed my painful feet.

Christian Science healed my painful feet.
Jan: [Conducting the principal part of Christian Science Sunday services and Wednesday meetings is a Reader(s) job. Wednesday spiritual meetings include singing of hymns, readings from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and testimonies of healings or comments on Christian Science from the congregation. One Wednesday meeting, the Reader recited a verse from hymn No. 57 of the Christian Science Hymnal.] When he read it from the [podium] desk, I had been glued to my bench because I wasn’t going to get up to give another [healing] testimony because I’d already given testimony and I (laughingly) thought, this is overdoing it a little.
But when he read the last verse:
“Naught shall affright us, on Thy goodness leaning;
Low in the heart faith singeth still her song;
Chastened and blessed we learn life’s deeper meaning,
Thus in our meekness Thou dost make us strong.
But that [hymnal verse] just hit me like, my gosh, I’d better get up! It was almost like I was being pushed!
I thought, I am strong because God has made me that way. I was meek enough to put God first rather than looking for a healing or release from pain. I was looking to see Him as the only power. And considering I was at one moment to be in agony and next everything was just at peace.
[Prior to this healing of my seemingly deformed feet] Every day I had been keeping in thought the 91st Psalm. In there it says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.91:1 ..… For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.91:11” I just knew I was safe.
Judy: It just proves that the material body is not material but spiritual.
Jan: Yes, because any of these experiences are growing experiences. You know you are, uh, what should I say, uh, your faith gets tested. Not because God tests but because maybe, maybe, something is going on in your life or your thinking is needing to be recognized. If you don’t recognize it, you aren’t going to be doing too much about it.
It seems like I have a need to learn right now because of the challenges that have come up, one right after the other.
[In handling the fear of an illusion of deformed feet] I think for the very first time I got a real glimmer of the fact that we can of our own self do nothing. You know it’s all God working through us. If it wasn’t for us, He couldn’t be God. And if it weren’t for God, we couldn’t be us. He’s the “I,” we are the “AM.” And I had never thought of it in that way before.
Judy: Thank you for sharing that. I’ve never thought of “I AM” in that way before either.
Jan: Well, in the morning I woke up earlier than usual. I was in pain, which seemed to be in my feet. I sat up in bed and when I went to put my feet down, I looked down because it was like, how can I use them? They were all twisted out of shape. It was really grotesque. I didn’t have anything to hold onto in the bedroom and I had to get to the toilet. It was such a belief of suffering it was hard to be coherent or think clearly. But I guess that I had enough wits about me that I somehow used the side of my heel and I managed to stumble my way into the bathroom. I just stood there and I couldn’t even move to sit down on the toilet. I was standing in front of the sink. I don’t think that I’ve ever experienced something quite [like it]. It could have been so frightening.
As I stood there in absolute agony I was led to turn to the great heart of Love – My thought was -God, I know you love me and I love you – there is no fear in Love. The response to this was that within a few minutes the pain completely left, I was able to do what I came to the bathroom to do. I did not have to look at my feet to know I was completely free. I walked normally back to the bedroom, went to bed and slept peacefully. In the morning I went about my normal activities and when I happened to look down- my feet were in their usual shape.
And all of a sudden I thought, God is the only power, work out from God. It was like I reached out to the great heart of Love. And it disappeared just like that – the pain. And I thought, I could not have of my own self done that. I just couldn’t!
I actually thought I’m getting opportunities, and that’s why I refer to it as opportunities to grow. I know (laughing) I had been getting a little apathetic [with regard to my taking God and the Christ Science a bit for granted]. And I was so grateful. I did get back to bed and I had no fear of any return or any trouble. I went sound asleep. I woke up at a more manageable hour, shall we say, and I was ready for the day. I’ll have to admit that I was more sore than I normally would have been, but I was able to do the tasks that I needed to do.
And that’s what I’ve been claiming since Bert [my husband] passed on. My every need has been met, and I have been so totally grateful. And I say, Thank You, every day. But this [mortal experience, mortal illusion, of deformed feet being so quickly healed] was a Wow!

SH 243:32 Inasmuch as God is good and the fount of all being, He does not produce moral or physical deformity; therefore such deformity is not real, but is illusion, the mirage of error. Divine Science reveals these grand facts. On their basis Jesus demonstrated Life, never fearing nor obeying error in any form.

From Concord Express – A Christian Science Study Resource: The King James Version of the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s published writings
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Christian Science healed me of TB, tuberculosis.

Jan Gutteter’s trusted KJV Bible verses often relied on for healing:
“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
 For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy food from being taken.” Proverbs 3:25-26
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Christian Science healed me of TB, tuberculosis.
Judy: So Jan, how did you come to Christian Science?
Jan: My grandfather had divorced and remarried. It was she who was a Christian Scientist; although I wasn’t very well acquainted with her at that time.
I had a glimpse of its teachings through a note received from her after I had run off to marry; I was quite young, quite foolish and didn’t know the fella well. I thought when I married him, then we had to say, “I do.” But from that time on I think I probably saw him once. I don’t know what he did with his time, but we traveled to 24 states and I didn’t know he was one step ahead of the law. We married in July and the following July I had a little girl. In March, before I had her, he came to me and said, I think we’ll go back to Milwaukee because that way your family can get to enjoy the child. And, you know, something inside me just said, I wonder. So we got to my parent’s home and we were unable to get motel, so they invited us — oh, my mother was so glad to see me because she had had misgivings. She invited us to stay the night, and in the morning we got up and he informed me that he was leaving, that he didn’t want the responsibility of a family and he walked out. He was 6’1”. And I was 5’2” and I couldn’t catch him. [We laughed.] It must have looked like a cartoon because I went running after him, and my mother went running after me. She was worried because of my condition. I was expecting in July.
Judy: So how again did you come to Christian Science; or perhaps I should ask, how did Science come to you?
Jan: Well, it goes back a ways.
I was working in Las Vegas, that’s the last place we [she and her first husband] were. I was working in one of the gambling places, The Golden Nugget, downtown. I wasn’t so sure I wanted a child because of the circumstances. I hardly knew I was married.
I received a note from my second grandmother. She being a Christian Scientist, there was just something that she expressed in that note that was so clear and so loving that it stuck with me.
And, when we got to my parents place I was extremely cold because it was 90-degrees in Las Vegas. When I got to Milwaukee, it was one of those March’s that have just really cold; there was still snow on the ground. So I wanted to get legal advice to see what I was to do about this situation. And I couldn’t get it because I didn’t have the money to pay, and they [attorneys] wouldn’t help me because my parents were willing to help me, and if the parents are willing then you don’t qualify. So I was really depressed and I proceeded to have pleurisy [disease that causes pain when breathing] and pneumonia [painful lung inflammation]. And my mother was such a dear. She took care of me. I was up on the second floor; I hate to think of how many times she took that flight of stairs, I was perspiring a lot because of the fever.
I had started reading the Bible because I was feeling really desperate and I thought maybe there was an answer there. I had been raised Baptist in the Sunday School from when I was in school and was little. And my mother very much loved Jesus and very much believed in his teachings. Although she never did become a Christian Scientist, she was open to it and had healings.
Well, anyway, one day the family in that household – my two brothers were still there, because one was going to college and working, and the other was still in high school – and my grandfather would stop in each day – and my sister was there with her baby because her husband was in the service – and my parents – so it was a very crowded household and there were not enough bedrooms to go around but it worked out.
They [everyone] had left for the evening so I was alone in the house. I crawled down the stairs because I was bedridden at this time. I got across the divan [sofa] and I used the piano bench to raise myself up, and happened to glance down and saw this copy laying there, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. And that word health just jumped up. I think maybe something that my grandmother had stated made it acceptable. It was something that I could relate to. So I took the book upstairs to the bedroom and between the Bible and Science and Health I continued to read the two of them.
It was after I had my first child. I was ordered into a sanitarium for the care of tuberculosis because the x-ray they’d taken. The reason they ordered me into the sanitarium was because of this belief of contagion. However not one single person, not even my sister’s baby or my child was ever affected. You know, so much is made of contagion these days. You hear about it on the TV and you see it on the computer all the time. So, I was grateful, knowing from the beginning, knowing that God was present. HE was in charge!
So when I went into the sanitarium, I didn’t have a heavy sense of fear. I was, uhm, uh – I don’t know exactly how to express how I felt. Well, for one thing the attendant came to me right away and gave me a little glass of water and a pill. She stood over me and I was so intimidated that I felt obliged to take it. After all, I was in their care. But I only swallowed that one pill. I never took another pill while I was in the sanitarium or since. Somehow or other I had already accepted the spiritual fact that there’s no power in a pill.
Shortly before entering the Sanitarium I called a Christian Science Practitioner. I really believed God was on the scene. She lovingly informed me she couldn’t take the case because it would be an interference (conflict) with the medical belief. I said I understood and I knew where she was coming from and let it go. I had absolutely no sense of being deserted because I knew that God was still there. When I was institutionalized, my Mom brought my daughter to visit me. When they put a mask on her to protect her from me, I didn’t want her influenced by fear and so I requested not to bring her again. That lessened the burden for my Mom, too.
Judy: How long had you been reading Science and Health by this time?
Jan: Just a few months.
Judy: Just reading the textbook that short time lessened your fear and brought you healing?
Jan: Oh, yes. I had a friend that I would go visit in the sanitarium where we both resided. I had absolutely no hesitation to do so. Even though she would at times have such coughing spells that she would cough up blood while I was visiting her. (And no one would come to help her.) I just knew that blood had nothing to do with the reality of her being. I just loved her. I had absolutely no fear of the contagion at all. I was of course knowing that everybody was a child of God. And I think that she was very grateful that I was willing to spend time with her, because none of the others would go see her.
We’re perfectly safe [from the illusion of contagion]. Mrs. Eddy has something to say about that – Florence Nightingale – in Science and Health. And I accepted it. And my parents had never made a lot over diseases or doctors. But I had had a lot of instances in childhood with a couple of really nasty things. I was in the hospital twice, but I won’t go into that at this time. But I had not really learned to trust that procedure. It wasn’t that I disliked doctors, it was that I disliked what they did.
Judy: So. When the Science and Health textbook was found lying there on the floor that day by the piano – just reading of the book was how you came to rely on and trust Christian Science for healing?
Jan: Yes. Nobody in the household knew or had any memory of where it [the Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures book by Mary Baker Eddy] came from.
What’s interesting is after my father passed on, my mother was extremely ill and she called me. It was a holiday weekend. And there was a practitioner just a block away and I asked my mother if she would like her to work for her. And she said, yes!, and she was helped. I had taken two weeks off from work. After all they had taken me in and this was an opportunity to show how grateful I was. I sang hymns to her; I’d spend half a day singing hymns and she loved it.
But getting back to the case at hand [tuberculosis], they tested all the time, they took x-rays without any padding but I don’t know if they use padding today. They ran a hose through my nose and into my stomach, and I thought why are they doing this? You felt like a Guinea pig. They never explained anything, and I didn’t care to even ask because I wasn’t interested in their procedures. I was interested in what God knew. And, you know, one of the girls found out that I was studying Christian Science she had no mercy on me; she just took every opportunity to have a jolly good time making fun of me about it. But you know that I never retaliated; I never felt it necessary. I just had this sense of peace. And incidentally I never took another pill [after that first day I arrived]. The thing is, from that time on, after having taken it, I thought, why did you do that? Were you afraid of that woman? What could she have done to you? And I just didn’t take one [a pill] anymore. And I was out in one-third of the time they expected me to be there.
Judy: Did you live in the sanitarium or just check in from time to time?
Jan: I was in the sanitarium [all the time] but my child had been at my mother’s, so I knew my daughter was safe. I was in the sanitarium with eight other girls in one room. All they talked about was [their health] problems.
But I just had this sense of joy somehow. And I know what it was. You cannot be studying Science and Health and at the same time feel like you’re under a different law [than God’s divine law].
After two years they released me to out-patient care. And they told me that I should report to the infirmary to pick up medication. I hadn’t been taking any [all along] so I never went to pick it up. They discovered that I hadn’t been taking the medication, so after releasing me to out-patient care, they kept me coming back to the sanitarium for testing for six [more] years!
During that time I was married to my second husband, who couldn’t wait to adopt my daughter after we got married. He was a great man, a wonderful musician, and we had a beautiful 48-year marriage. The thing is, every time I would get that notice from the health department that I had to report out there [to the sanitarium], I would have all these [dis-ease] symptoms. I mentioned it to my husband one time. He was a member of the Christian Science church for which I was so grateful. He was my rock. He would say, you’re going out there, you’re going to be fine, you know you’re going to be fine. He was a very good Thinker. And so, I was fine. Every time I left all that discomfort [dis-ease] would just disappear once I had taken the tests and was back home. That just proves how mental that condition was.
Judy: How did your out-patient six years of continuous, required testing come to an end?
Jan: Well, I went to the Christian Science Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Committee on Publication. I talked to them about it. I said isn’t there something I can do. Anybody that is not taking medication shouldn’t have to go through all this testing to make sure they’re still okay to be out in the public. They said, why don’t you go out there and meet with the head guy and have a talk with him, and see what the result is.
So, I went out there. I was kind of a little shaky about that to begin with but then I thought, No, I know what I know and I know that God is directing and that’s all I need to know. Well, when I got out there I did get hold of one of the guys and I asked him to take out all my records. And, there was a table that was probably 15-20 feet long. He laid them out, one-by-one, well I don’t think one-by-one because he would have had to have two tables. He did have them all displayed to his satisfaction. Then, I asked him to take look at them. And he looked at me in a strange kind of way [she laughs], but he did it. He went along the table, around the end, and back. He scrutinized them, then he sat down and looked at me waiting [for me to speak]. I asked him a question. I think he may have thought I’d been talking to a lawyer or something because I asked him: if I was to be taken into a court of law today would they be able to determine me as being a public health menace? He went and looked at the records again and studied them. Then he came back and he said, no, I couldn’t. And I said, well I’m so glad to hear that because I have found a religion that puts God first, is the greatest power there is, and I’m sticking with that and I will not be out here anymore. [Laughingly she says] he sat back and said, well you may be okay today but wait ‘til 15 years from now. And I thought to myself, baloney [and she laughs]. I didn’t worry about 15 years from then; I didn’t even know when the 15 years came. That was more than 60 years ago.
~ ~ ~ ~ Jan Gutteter (recorded by Judy Piercy)~ ~ ~

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Conversation about Christian Science Healing

CONVERSATION ABOUT CHRISTIAN SCIENCE HEALING
Judy: So it seems you have extremely meaningful healing experiences that you fall back on and say, “I know. I know that CHRISTIAN Science is the Law. I know that God is here. I know that it is only fear. It is only mortal thinking and illusion of dis-ease that has no reality.”
Jan: And it probably had a lot to do with the fact that I also could feel that way about my healing of the deformed feet. (see Jan Gutteter testimony, “How Christian Science healed my deformed feet.”)
Because any of these experiences are growing experiences. You know you are, uh, what should I say, uh, your faith gets tested. Not because God tests but because maybe , maybe, something is going on in your life or your thinking is needing to be recognized. Because if you don’t recognize it, you aren’t going to be doing too much about it.
Judy: it seems like some of the physical challenges that come to some devoted, long standing Christian Scientists, just rise up out of the blue. Just like your waking up with the impression of deformed feet. Just like your waking with terrible leg pain.
Jan: That’s always a temptation and that’s why I feel that this [the deformed feet] was so unique. It was like an awakening. I’m getting the idea. Put God first. Don’t even give it a second thought as far as [mortal, physical] cause and effect. Mrs. Eddy warns about that.
Judy: I recall a C.S. practitioner relaying a situation to me where she ended up paralyzed for several months before she could break through that. It just seems like some of the situations devoted Christian Scientists are faced with just surfaces out of the blue, for them to work through.
That’s why I think your healing testimonies are so important, and I for one appreciate your bringing a healing testimony to Wednesday meetings. You never know who in the audience has need of a shared inspiration, needs a healing thought that will stay with them for a long time.
Jan: You know that makes me think of when I was in Boston one time, for the annual meeting I believe. When we went to church I gave a testimony about the TB, tuberculosis, and a gal came up to me after the service and she said, “Oh I thank you so much. That is just what I needed to hear.”
Judy: You just never know when we hold to God’s Truth, the truths in Christian Science, you never know who that Light touches. I think that’s the way it’s meant to be. That’s the ultimate, when our stand for the Truth of God’s law of Science heals. We often never know what impact taking that stand has. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We’re supposed to just trust that our taking a stand for the truth puts weight in the divine scale of freedom for good.
Jan: I agree with that, and I think that what is important to me is that I’m really beginning to understand that it isn’t ME, it’s God. It’s God and me. If you approach something with the goal being healing, this isn’t as important as having the goal be your understanding of what God is all about.
Judy: It’s not about the physical ailment and healing. That’s why you’re saying, it’s about God. In fact you’re saying, it’s about me and God. So when you’re working to gain that understanding you realize that He is bringing about healing. When you are working to gain that understanding, it’s the two of you working together.
Jan: Yes, I think that we have to recognize [that single spiritual element of healing] when Mrs. Eddy talks about One, the oneness of God.
Jan Gutteter (recorded by Judy Piercy)

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Gratitude

My daughter, Mary, was diagnosed with cancer several weeks ago and had an appointment with a cancer doctor today.

I reached out for prayerful help and am pleased to report on her visit today, there was no sign of the lump that previously gave concern.  Praise God!  This truly is yet another demonstration of the power of prayer.

Christian Science is a most practical, rewarding religion.  As Mary Baker Eddy said “Christian Science will meet every human need”.

That statement has proven itself over and over in my experience.  I am blessed to have found this religion some fifty years ago and knew right off it would be an important part of my life.

Love, Mary Vance

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Protected From Danger, Freed From Lingering Anxiety

Spiritual intuition – a clear, calm sense of divine direction and guidance – is something I’ve come to value and completely trust.  This spiritual sense is inherent in all of us as the cherished children of God.  In times of need – great and small – when I’ve turned to God and quietly listened, I’ve experienced what the prophet Isaiah said in the Bible:  “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).

A number of years ago, I had an opportunity to prove the spiritual power of these words in an unexpected way.  After the passing of my father, I wanted some time to myself to pray to better understand him as God’s eternal, spiritual child and to heal the sadness in my heart.  I rode my motorcycle to a lovely state park – it was a gorgeous spring day – and I found a sun-warmed wall overlooking a quiet lake – a perfect place to think and pray.

Lost in thought, I suddenly realized a man was standing quite close, on a gentle slope above me.  He appeared agitated, switching his weight from foot to foot and then pacing back and forth.  His presence made me uncomfortable and edgy.  Within a matter of moments, however, the discomfort grew into a numbing terror.  I sensed that I was in grave danger of sexual assault.

I reached out to God.  I had time for only “Father, help me!” because the man suddenly moved to within a yard of me.  Without thinking, I was on my feet.  A voice in thought said firmly, “Step toward him”.  I hesitated, but the thought came again,  more strongly and loudly:  “Step toward him now”.  I obeyed.  I stepped even closer and hollered, “Leave me alone!”  He spun on his heel and ran away, up through the grass and into the woods.

I walked away in profound gratitude, but as I neared the parking lot, I saw that from behind a tree the man was sneaking toward me.  My arm shot out and I felt impelled to point my finger at him, shouting, “No!  You!  Go!”  He did, and I was able to get in my motorcycle and leave.

Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home”  (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 152).  I knew that my Father-Mother God is always present, telling us, “This is the way, walk ye in it”, and that receptivity to divine Mind had protected me.  However, the event continued to negatively impact my thought and actions.  I found myself more hesitant to ride alone and blamed myself for having courted a dangerous situation.

But as I continued to grow in my spiritual understanding, I began to see that, in a spiritual sense, in the reality of God and His perfect creation, that man wasn’t “bad and predatory”, and I wasn’t “dumb and unaware”.  I realized we were both – no matter how it appeared humanly – the direct spiritual representatives of divine Love, God, made in God’s image and likeness, expressing intelligence, calmness, and clarity of thought.  We always had been and always would be.  This understanding freed me from the aftereffects of this incident.

Human experience tells us that man can be deviant, greedy, unconsciously selfish.  Or naive, vulnerable, blithely unthinking.  But material opinions about life have nothing whatsoever to do with who man really is as the reflection of God.  Mrs. Eddy says, “Every mortal must learn that there is neither power no reality in evil” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 186).  As the spiritual idea of his creator, man cannot be evil.  It’s impossible.

A number of times the Bible states that when Christ Jesus looked upon those who were in need, he was “moved with compassion”.  And then he healed – quickly and effectively.   What was going on with those healings at their deepest level?   In every situation, it was always the presence of Love, the divine Principle, being demonstrated.  Jesus proved that God’s law governs man, as he saw man’s true spiritual selfhood in whatever situation confronted him.  What naturally followed was that healing came to those with receptive hearts.

Grief about my dad was eased that day in the state park as my true Father’s care was so actively proven, and as I continued praying, full freedom came a short time later.  And whenever the incident in the park comes to thought, which it seldom does these days, I see how God’s love and care have overcome disgust, judgment, and fear.

The countless Christian Science hearings and demonstrations that have graced my life could well fill this entire publication.  I have tremendous gratitude for all that God is and all that God causes to be.  Amen.

Colleen Coleman Lester, Green Valley, Arizona, Church Member

 

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Atonement Revisited

Growing up, although I was familiar with “atone” as a verb, it didn’t occur to me to consider it in any theological/religious context.  To me it simply meant making amends for mistakes or misdeeds, owning up to them, straightening things out.  The implications were somewhat grim and foreboding.

I suppose that this view remained somewhere in the back of thought as I came into Christian Science.  The Bible Lessons on “Doctrine of Atonement” did not seem of great import or relevance to me for some time, although Mrs. Eddy’s hyphenation of the word into at-one-ment began to give a fresh, clearer sense to the term.

The fourth tenet of Christian Science begins “We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love…”.  What followed was for me like the pre-digital days when any presentation with visual images likely included transparencies projected onto a screen.  As each slide came up, there was a brief interval before the light and heat of the projection bulb touches it, when the image was blurred and unclear.  Then suddenly it snapped into perfect focus and remained crisp and distinct to the viewers.

Similarly the word “evidence” stood out and called for attention.  I knew you can’t have evidence of something that doesn’t exist.  So Jesus didn’t, couldn’t have, originated atonement; he was demonstrating something already in existence.  Genesis 1 tells us God created man in His image and likeness.  As long as God and man have been (that is, since the beginning of creation) there must have been at-one-ment.  Like that slide popping into focus, what this made obvious to me is that atonement is not a process – it is and has always been an established fact.  We have to acknowledge and bear witness to it, but we can’t make it happen, because it already has.

The effect of this realization has been to replace the old, dire, somewhat off-putting view of atonement with a warm, joyous, uplifting sense of it.  Familiar terms take on wider, richer meaning – unity, oneness, coexistence, indissoluble connection (some terms Mrs. Eddy uses in Science and Health).  Atonement has become comforting and encouraging, it has warmth.  No longer an item on the “to do” list, it is a cause for gratitude and rejoicing, opening wonderful new dimensions to the idea of “togetherness”.

Beth Sanborn, Member

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