The egg man and I

My neighbor and I had the same egg man. One morning the egg man, who was a longtime friend of my neighbor, stayed longer than usual next door. When he finally arrived at my house, sadness was written all over his face. His ailing friend had suddenly become critically ill. He began to describe the man's condition.

I had been thinking only hours before of a similar recent conversation. The account had been so gloomy that there seemed nothing hopeful I could contribute. Worse still, I felt I had simply accepted the situation without praying about it at all. As a Christian and a Christian Scientist, this bothered me.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, asks, ''Will you bid a man let evils overcome him, assuring him that all misfortunes are from God, against whom mortals should not contend?'' And she continues further on: ''Are material means the only refuge from fatal chances? Is there no divine permission to conquer discord of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love?'' n1

n1 Science and Health, p. 394. aving heard of numerous cases and having witnessed a few myself where the medical prognosis had been reversed through Christian, scientific prayer, I was troubled. Is it right, I asked myself, to accept as conclusive a negative report about man when the Bible reveals his actual status to be a child of God, made in His image? n2 Didn't Jesus, on the basis of this verity, demonstrate the power of God to heal disease as well as sin?

n2 See Genesis 1: 26,27

I had been praying about this question, and my answer had come just before the egg man knocked. As clearly as if a voice had spoken, came the thought, ''Don't let evil have the last word.'' This seemed right. At least in my own thought I could strive to let God's word be the final one.

As I listened to the egg man, I tried to discern God's tender love and care. The man finally concluded, ''He has an awful lot of things the matter with him.''

Somehow I couldn't refrain from asking him if he thought that was the way God was seeing his friend. He seemed surprised at my question, but he had to admit that if God made man in His image and likeness, his friend was actually perfect, right then and there. ''But he has an awful lot of things the matter with him,'' he insisted again. Once more I got him to agree to his friend's present perfection as God's offspring. Then he left.

The next morning I happened to be looking out the window when I saw my neighbor's son coming up their driveway. To my surprise, I saw his father get out of the car and walk into the house unassisted. That afternoon I spoke to the son while he was outside raking leaves.

''It was good to see your father home so soon from the hospital,'' I commented.

''He had a remarkable recovery,'' the son said quietly. That was all. I did not ask for any details, nor would I have presumed to claim that the recovery came about as a result of the conversation about God and man the day before. But in my own heart I felt grateful for the answer that had come to my prayer - not to let evil have the last word. This passage from Science and Health strengthened my conviction: ''It is well to be calm in sickness; to be hopeful is still better; but to understand that sickness is not real and that Truth can destroy its seeming reality, is best of all, for this understanding is the universal and perfect remedy.''n3

Whatever the circumstance may have been in this instance, it is gladdening to know that there have been many ''remarkable'' recoveries through prayer, even though some dire prophecy was claiming to be the ''last'' word. DAILY BIBLE VERSE With God all things are possible. Matthew 19.26n3 Science and Health, pp. 393-394.

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