One Wednesday in September, 2018, as I returned home from morning errands, the left side of my groin started feeling uncomfortable. That afternoon, as the pain increased, I started praying about the situation. But in spite of my prayers, by about 3pm I began throwing up, and the pain had increased to the point that, although I had no idea what the condition was, I knew I needed help. I decided to phoned a Christian Science practitioner—a Christian Scientist who devotes their full time to helping others through prayer. The moment I explained the situation to her, she said: “You can’t be fooled, convinced of a lie. It’s not real‼!” This sense of the unreality of evil is Bible-based: “All things were made by him [God]; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3); “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) So I knew that if God made all, and it was all good, evil had to be a lie, a false suggestion that I could reject. Mary Baker Eddy states in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The notion that both evil and good are real is a delusion of material sense, which Science annihilates. Evil is nothing, no thing, mind, nor power. As manifested by mankind it stands for a lie, nothing claiming to be something…” (p330). As the practitioner prayed for me, I also prayed, holding to truths such as these.
I called her twice more that afternoon, as the pain continued to intensify. Finally, it became so severe that I called my girlfriend, and asked her if she could come over and drive me to a hospital to have the problem checked out. Now, please understand that this decision to go to a hospital was not easy for me, as I was accustomed to relying on Christian Science for my health needs, and had sought medical help only once since the 1970’s. But the pain was severe and debilitating enough that if Christian Science treatment wasn’t providing the needed relief, I was willing to try something else. So, I called the practitioner again, explaining my decision. She respected it, but said that if I wanted, she could continue giving me Christian Science treatment right up until the time any medical treatment would start. I told her yes—please continue praying.
My girlfriend picked me up about 5:30, and drove me to a local hospital. As we drove, the practitioner continued to pray, as did my girlfriend and I—holding to truths like the ones stated above. By the time we reached the hospital, the pain was just a little less. I asked if we could sit in the parking lot and continue praying, which we did. During that time I called the practitioner, letting her know of the slight improvement, and asked her to continue her prayerful work. I remember telling her with a lot of emotion that walking through those hospital doors would feel to me like going into a different world, which I did not want to do. She assured me there was nothing to fear and that she would stay with me in prayer. After about half an hour sitting in the parking lot, the pain was gone; and since it was a Wednesday evening, we drove straight to church for the regular Wednesday night testimony meeting. I called the practitioner again from the church parking lot, this time emotional over God’s goodness, and full of gratitude. I mentioned that it reminded me of Abraham sacrificing Isaac: he was willing to follow God’s orders until at the last instant he was told to stop, and sacrifice a goat instead. So it was with me—at the last minute, as we arrived at the hospital, the pain started to lessen, and I was spared of the ordeal of being analyzed and diagnosed from a purely material basis, when I knew that my real identity was purely spiritual.
During the church service, this Bible passage came to mind: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, …” (Hebrews 4:12) This was just how this healing felt: quick and powerful, far more powerful than the lie of inharmony and pain. I was so grateful!
As we walked to the car after the service, some pain returned. I phoned the practitioner again, and she continued to work. That evening I lay on a sofa for about an hour, until the pain was gone, and went to bed. That was the last of it. I phoned the practitioner in the morning, again filled with gratitude for the healing, and for the recognition that any suggestion of evil is nothing but a lie that we can reject. I also learned that God’s Word is indeed quick and more powerful than a sword, and that my need was to focus entirely on Spirit. Eddy says, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” (Science and Health, p261). I am so grateful to God for His unlimited goodness and complete care.