IDEAS expressed in the written word can inform, enlighten, inspire, and motivate. The words of great men and women often stir others for generations, changing lives and touching hearts.
Over one hundred years ago, a woman wrote a book the words of which have radically changed the lives of many thousands of people. Her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, was written from the depths of her own human experience--a life that knew poverty, disease, homelessness, and friendlessness, yet triumphed in the persistent, indefatigable faith that, with God's help, she could overcome whatever obstacles she might encounter. Mary Baker Eddy's unflinching faith in God enabled her to found the Christian Science Church and to write a book that uses words so clearly and concisely that its ideas actually bring healing to those who read it and ponder its message.
My own family has experienced many healings as Science and Health has enabled us to grasp more of the inspired message of the Bible. Cancer, broken bones, serious cuts, burns, concussion, stroke, heart disease, and many other physical problems have been healed in my family by turning to the Bible and this remarkable book, Science and Health. But, perhaps even more importantly, Science and Health has brought enormous comfort to our family as its healing words have revealed the tremendous depth and power of God's love.
I remember one particular time when the words in the Bible and Science and Health had special meaning for me. I was a new mother, and while I loved my little daughter very much, I was often overcome with exhaustion during the day, coupled with an inability to sleep at night. My reason for being unable to sleep sounds a little strange to me now, but at the time it was overwhelmingly real and frightening. I was afraid to go to sleep because I feared that I would never wake up--that I would die in my sleep. You can imagine how difficult this time was for me--all the while trying to care for my infant daughter.
I did find great comfort in reading the Bible. There was one passage from the book of Proverbs in the Bible that had special meaning for me: ''When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet'' (3:24). How I yearned for the sweetness of fearless rest! And then I found these words in Science and Health: ''Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth'' (p. 14).
I knew that ''spiritual understanding'' referred to my ability to know and understand God as Spirit and to acknowledge my relationship to Him as His child. This is what Christ Jesus illustrated so beautifully through his lifework of healing. I realized that my sleep would be sweet as I recognized more of God's loving and caring presence in my experience and affirmed my inseparability from the Life that is God. I began to see that I had God-given dominion over the gripping fear and the weariness, and that I could exercise this authority.
The complete healing occurred when I was visiting some relatives. One night the terrible fear seemed especially devastating. A family member read to me from Science and Health. I don't remember now exactly what she read, but I do remember feeling the power of those words. I felt God's love for me so completely that I fell into a natural sleep, and when I awakened I knew that I was healed. My sleep had been sweet! I never again had any trouble sleeping.
The words contained in Science and Health have made the Bible our family's dear companion and friend. Those words have enabled us to recognize the tremendous significance of the life of Christ Jesus. And Science and Health has so beautifully revealed God as Love that our family has experienced much healing. Words that heal--what could be more valuable in a twenty-first century world?