Some of the most inspiring moments in a lifetime are those in which we find answered prayer right in the middle of ''life's throng and press,'' as the poet John Greenleaf Whittier puts it. In his poem ''Our Master,'' Whittier wrote of Christ Jesus:
The healing of His seamless
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life's throng
And we are whole again.
Right in the midst of the stress and pressure in our often crowded world, healing takes place in that moment that we recognize Christ's presence.
It has always been so. In Bible times, a woman exhausted by twelve years' effort to find healing from physicians, sought to touch just the edge of Jesus' garment without being noticed. Luke's Gospel tells us she is instantly healed. Even in the midst of the crowd, her need for help does not go unnoticed. At Jesus' urging she confesses what she had done and tells that she is healed. Our Master responds: ''Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace'' (8:48).
In today's world, many of us have known similar moments when, despite a crowded setting, we have been struck by a feeling of peace--by an inner stillness and love that Christ's presence brings. These are healing moments.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Jesus' promised Comforter, the scientific laws of spiritual healing that she named Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual,--neither in nor of matter,--and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well'' (p. 14).
I remember ''a single moment'' of healing that took place recently in my own experience. I was with a large group at an event and got up to leave the hall. Suddenly very powerful shooting pains struck me from my heel to my ribs. I thought I might faint, and began to hobble toward a couch to lie down. I was stopped, however, by a friend who was a joyful new student of Christian Science. A friend of his, who was in great pain had called him to ask for help through prayer. At that moment my friend saw me, and urged me to talk to his friend on the telephone. He said to me, ''I know how busy you are, but my friend is in great pain. Won't you take just a moment to talk to him?'' Well, I was busy, trying to get to a couch before I possibly passed out. I, too, was fearful and in pain.
But this stranger's call for help, and the love I felt at my friend's request, just took over. I went to the telephone, introduced myself, and began to talk briefly about Christian Science. I found myself telling him of some of my own healings in Christian Science. I felt great love, joy, and gratitude in recalling these healings. After I gave the phone back to my friend, I turned once more towards the couch. But then I realized that the pain in my foot and body had entirely vanished. It never returned.
I sat down in a glow of joy, remembering Mrs. Eddy's words ''Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual . . . .'' I realized that I had turned from the pain when I turned with lovingkindness to help someone else in need. That love had helped him, while also healing me instantly, and unexpectedly, in the middle of nearly two hundred people surrounding me.
The complete, loving turning of our thought to God alone, to divine good, our eternal Father-Mother, is a healing moment. God truly meets our needs, always, wherever we are. The healing message of God's spiritual power is available to all. In reaching out in trust to God, we find freedom from both fear and pain. This dominion, sometimes in just a moment of divine consciousness, proclaims that the spiritual healing of Jesus' time is with us all, here and now, as revealed in Christian Science.