My path into the Christian Science healing practice has been unexpected and surprising.
Throughout my boyhood I saw the advantages of Christian Science in my life. After graduating from college I thought it wise to establish my post-college transition in line with God’s plan for me. So I called a Christian Science practitioner to help pray for me as I looked for a job and an apartment. Both fell into place pretty quickly.
But that was just the beginning. Over the next few years I continued to call on the practitioner, and with her support, I gradually “put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11). In other words, many aspects of my life—moral, physical, spiritual, financial, interpersonal—were uplifted, purified, “squared away.” The practitioner was busy, but always patient with me. Once, while waterskiing, I injured my ribs. When I called her to pray for me about this, her question was: “Were you showing off?” I answered, “I guess I was.” She’d immediately discerned the state of my thought, pointing out the importance of checking the quality of one’s thinking. Healing came quickly—and I learned something I’ve never forgotten about expressing God rather than trying to impress people.
I made a lot of spiritual progress at that time, and the wisdom and example of that practitioner stayed with me. It was indelible. As the years passed, Christian Science remained central to my life and work. I had many challenges, and I learned gradually that I could apply Christian Science to a wide variety of situations and trust the results. Prior to attempting almost any step of progress, I tried to remember to pause and let God lead me. For instance, for five years I attended graduate school at night, and by trusting that the whole process was God’s, not mine, I was able to complete the program without a single scheduling conflict between my work and school.
Once in a while, people would call to ask me to pray for them. The Bible encourages us to be generous along these lines. Jesus gives us this imperative command: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:8). I certainly had received freely. So when these occasional calls came, I did my best to provide the prayer. Once I even promised God that if He ever saw fit to send someone else to me, I would stop whatever I was doing and pray for them right away.
It wasn’t too long before I was tested on that. The phone rang late one night. I was tired, but I remembered my promise to God. I sat down at my desk, turned on the light, and prayed for a couple of hours, until I reached a point of understanding and peace about the situation. Then I turned in. The next the day I learned that a beautiful healing had occurred for that individual during the night.
I was never afraid of those calls, because I always knew that Christian Science was based on the law of God that never fails. But I was usually surprised when someone called me instead of a “real” practitioner.
Eventually it dawned on me that people were being prompted by their own prayers and obedience to the divine Mind to call me, and that I needed to be ready. Again I realized that my time and talents actually belonged to God, not me; and that helping His children find normalcy, strength, comfort, and meaning when they ask for it is really serving Him.
So I blocked out some hours in the evenings and weekends to be available for Christian Science practice. I established a phone line that only I answered and rented an office part-time to provide focused hours of prayer and a place to meet people in a professional setting when needed.
Jesus said, “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). As I have come to see that I am included in this statement and supported by it (after all, if God requires something of us, He also supplies the resources to accomplish it), other logical steps have unfolded. A few years ago I was able to leave my regular employment and become available to the healing practice full-time. A year after that I applied to be listed in The Christian Science Journal. And just recently I moved into my own office in the center of our town, where I now spend most days.
Maybe it required courage to take these steps, but really, I think it’s just a matter of listening and being willing to move at God’s pace. Divine Love “owns each waiting hour” (Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science Hymnal, no. 207). The work of a healer is a privilege to perform–it’s challenging, rewarding, and the spiritual growth is amazing.
Article originally appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel, March 16, 2009.
Republished with permission of The Christian Science Publishing Society.