One day, my dad called me after a snowstorm to tell me that several trees had come down with the heavy snow. Some of them were lying on the roof of his garage, while others were across the access road to his home, preventing him from getting out or getting help.
At the time I had for several years been having great difficulty with my back. I was unable to straighten up when I walked or do any heavy lifting without pain. But I knew my dad needed help, so I told him that I would come and do whatever I could.
I remembered an article I’d come across just a few months before about a man who, despite being seriously ill, selflessly undertook to help others. In doing so, he himself found healing. To me, his whole experience seemed to point to the healing power of unselfed love. Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy speaks to this in her textbook on Christian healing, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” when she says: “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power” (p. 192).
I thought of unselfed love as a total giving of oneself with no thought of reward or consequence. It was a gift that I wanted to give to my dad. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do to help or how I would do it, but I trusted a promise of Christ Jesus that I’d come to love: that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
The five-hour drive to my dad’s place was difficult with my back, and I arrived very stiff and sore. That night, as I lay in bed, I thought of all the work awaiting us the next morning. I wholeheartedly prayed to know that God was my source of strength and that I could do all things through Him.
When I awoke the next morning, I bounced out of bed. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt so energetic, and there was absolutely no pain. I felt strong and ready to do whatever Dad needed me to do. I got dressed and informed him I was ready.
We cut trees and hauled limbs to the burn piles for two to three days, and then continued to burn for another day to clean up. Only once did I have some discomfort, and even then I understood that as Christian Science teaches, this wasn’t how God had made me. I was not created to suffer. My silent prayer immediately affirmed the supremacy of God, who is entirely good and the only true power, and I found I was able to continue the work once again pain-free.
At the end of each day Dad would just look at me. He knew how bad my back had been all those years, and he had real difficulty reconciling the work I was doing with my past condition. I kept reassuring him that I had no pain, and I finished the work with complete freedom of movement.
In the years since, Dad and I have had many discussions about my back healing, which has been permanent. He insists that it was a miracle, but I’ve come to realize that it was a natural result of seeing more clearly how God created us spiritually, with spiritual qualities that cannot be lost. God didn’t create us materially, with a limited warranty. God is infinite Love, who cares for us. That love in turn helps us care for others.
The idea of the healing power of unselfed love continues to speak to me. Before this experience, whenever I walked or stood, I leaned to one side with what appeared to be poor posture. I have stood straight and without pain ever since the healing. I am convinced that this healing through prayer alone is evidence of the always accessible healing power of Christ. I learned more of the innate harmony and freedom that we are all able to express as children of God, who loves us all.
Adapted from a testimony in the April 13, 2015, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.