NEITHER standardized tests nor his teachers gave him much hope of doing better. Once after putting a lot of thought and effort into a book report, he still received only a C--just average. He asked his teacher, ``Why not a better grade?'' ``Because you are not expected to do very well,'' the teacher replied.
By junior high school he was suffering from severe headaches that would ease off after the school day. Seemingly endless visits to doctors along with the medication they gave him had little effect. Finally, in late winter, he stopped attending school.
At home, in his parents' library, he found an old copy of a book on the shelf. It was Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by the Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy. He opened this book. He read. Well over halfway through the book the author asks, ``Do you believe this?'' (p. 429). Reaching this point, the teenager started the book again, studying it carefully, line by line, to be sure he believed what it was revealing of spiritual truth.
And at the end of his study, he was healed. The headaches left, never to reappear. He returned to school, graduated, and went on to college.
It might all seem unlikely--a teenager acting on his own like this and a book providing a healing of pain. But a close look at any teenager can show more depth than we might have anticipated, and a close look at the book this young man opened shows us why reading it healed him.
Science and Health is based squarely on the Bible. Through-out her life Mrs. Eddy loved the Bible's sayings and stories. She took them into her heart and reached deeply into them for understanding. Then, in a time of urgent need (she had badly injured herself in a fall on the ice), she opened her Bible and saw its relevance and meaning more clearly than ever before. And she was healed of the injuries.
``That short experience,'' she says in her Miscellaneous Writings, ``included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence'' (p. 24).
The Bible tells us that God, divine Spirit, makes man as His own child, His spiritual reflection. Christ Jesus depicted God's love for us, His creation, in warm, convincing images. He said once, Luke's Gospel records, ``Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows'' (12:6, 7).
Christian Science explains clearly how the healing love of God, so vivid in Jesus' life, is just as true today--just as powerful, just as active, just as available. Mrs. Eddy spent many years communicating what she understood God to be in the best language she could find. Science and Health is the result. Not only did she find the right words, but she herself proved their underlying spiritual significance through years of healing. And she showed the humility and love necessary over many years to work constantly at revising this book to make its message even clearer for everyone.
Any heart yearning to know more of God, to feel His love, to be free of pain, to be healed, can reach out to God as this teenager did and find healing. It is not age or sex or race or culture that makes us ready to seek God. The willing heart is what seeks and finds Him.