Christmas. The very word may bring memories of carolers singing another round of "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing," of crackling fires, decorated homes, and the aroma of a roasting turkey.
As we went to bed one Christmas Eve, little did our family know that this holiday would be different. Our eldest daughter was soon to leave for Asia to live. Realizing that they might not soon have another Christmas together, our daughters planned to sleep curled up in blankets near the lighted Christmas tree.
My head had barely touched the pillow that night when I heard a plea for help. One of the girls was on the bathroom floor in great distress, barely able to stay conscious.
Together, we went in prayer to God. She seemed so fragile at that moment. I took comfort in what my study of Christian Science, the discovery of Mary Baker Eddy, had given me-the understanding that our daughter was God's child, that she was spiritual, that God was her Life. She was safe in His arms. Most of that night was spent telling her of God's great love for her. It was a time when we sensed an urgent need to feel the totality of God's power filling our home.
By 5 a.m. she had been sleeping peacefully for almost an hour. My husband and I put her in our large bed. We felt assured that a complete healing had occurred.
I left the room to begin the early morning preparations for Christmas dinner. The house was quiet now. I felt rested, having spent the entire night in prayer. We postponed the Christmas activities until late in the morning, and the rest of the household slept on. I was glad to be left alone to feel a wonderful peace descending on our home. It was unlike any previous Christmas. It was the way it should be, on Christmas and on every day.
Healing had heralded the dawn. The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, begins, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings. The wakeful shepherd beholds the first faint morning beams, ere cometh the full radiance of a risen day. So shone the pale star to the prophet-shepherds; yet it traversed the night, and came where, in cradled obscurity, lay the Bethlehem babe, the human herald of Christ, Truth, who would make plain to benighted understanding the way of salvation through Christ Jesus, till across a night of error should dawn the morning beams and shine the guiding star of being" (p. vii).
We had certainly felt the presence of the Christ that night. How blessed we were to know a God who is loving, all-good, all-powerful, ever present; a God who made each of us in His image and likeness, wholly spiritual. The divine Comforter, which Jesus said God would send to humanity, had filled our home with light. In this light, all fear for our daughter's life had vanished, replaced with assurance. God had sustained us in a moment of great need, as we prayed to feel His presence. Later in the morning, when our daughter woke from sleep, she was indeed well.
Jesus expressed God's love so completely that his name is permanently linked to the Christ, Truth. The love he expressed enabled him to heal. Still today, Christ comes to anyone's receptive thought, bringing healing to the sorrowing, the sick, the impoverished. In this true spirit of Christmas, our gift giving and feasting had their place, although they seemed very secondary. I continued to feel lasting joy. Without even an hour of sleep the night before, I still felt refreshed when the day was done. More important, I was deeply satisfied.
While our family had enjoyed exchanging gifts, the Christmas message took on a new permanency in my heart. Each day of the year we can see, in the words of another Christmas carol, "Where meek souls will receive him still, / The dear Christ enters in." Love is always with us to meet our every need.
Testimonies of healing appear in each issue of the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.