Countries around the world dedicate a day each year to celebrating liberty. France recently paraded her flag and sent fireworks into the sky for Bastille Day. As a citizen of the United States, I've seen another Independence Day come and go.
As July approached this summer, I was drawn to many of the things a truly revolutionary thinker and spiritual healer wrote about freedom. In her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, founder of this newspaper, devoted several pages to the discussion of true and enduring freedom from all forms of enslavement. In this discussion are found these provocative statements: "The enslavement of man is not legitimate"; "Mortals will some day assert their freedom in the name of Almighty God"; "Love is the liberator" (see pp. 224-228).
While joining friends for dinner and watching fireworks, an urgent call came from our daughter. Her toddler son suddenly had become very feverish and unwell. After requesting I pray right away to heal him, she held the phone to his ear so he could listen to what I had to say. At once, the spiritual truths I'd read and pondered over the previous days welled up and became solid and powerful ammunition against this assault on his peace and happiness.
My heart was bursting with love for this child, and for his Maker, and for the freeing truth about him and his Father-Mother God. Speaking to him about how much God loves us, cares for us, really cherishes us, was as natural as feeding him the cereal and fruit I give him when he comes to visit. And I sensed it was going down just as easily. St. Paul stated in the Bible: "I was free born," and "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (Acts 22:28; II Cor. 3:17).
I knew this God-given liberty was part of this child's spiritual make-up and was a permanent feature of everyone's identity as God's creation.
After singing a favorite hymn to him, I asked his mother to call back shortly. I found a quiet place to pray in our hostess's study, and picked up the "Christian Science Hymnal." I opened to a hymn with this phrase: "Laws that never shall be broken" (No. 282).
I asked God, "What are these laws that never shall be broken?" The answers came like the cascading fireworks I would see later that evening: "I am the Lord that healeth thee"; "Mind regulates the condition of the stomach, bowels, and food, the temperature of children and of men, and matter does not." And a statement that is read aloud in every Christian Science church service and Sunday School session: "... man is not material; he is spiritual" (Ex. 15:26; "Science and Health," pp. 413 and 468).
While treating my grandson through prayer, I was functioning much as an attorney might when making a case for a defendant. I was listening to God for the spiritual facts, affirming them to be the truth, appreciating them, and watching the truths themselves culminate in a verdict of health and harmony.
When the treatment was complete and I was sure the Truth had been thoroughly administered, I called the family back. My daughter was calm and reported that her son was out of bed and greatly improved.
I continued praying until 45 minutes later when I answered the phone to an enthusiastic, "Grandmummy!" and heard some very distinct "phone kisses"! He was perfectly free of sickness.
Not just the speed of this freedom, but the sureness of it, has remained with me weeks after the brightness and beauty of the fireworks and fanfare have faded. The calm and liberating Christ, Truth, sparkles in my heart, and I feel a lasting conviction of a divine liberty of the kind this simple night showed me, for all.