When I was a teenager, I began suffering from seasonal allergies at the end of each summer. Often when my family and friends were enjoying activities outdoors, I was either trying to keep up and feeling miserable, or cooped up indoors, not feeling much better.
Once when I was with my family and some good friends at a lake, I spent the day inside sneezing and blowing my nose. One of my friends, out of genuine concern, asked why I didn’t take some medicine to control the problem.
I had been raised in Christian Science, and my family had consistently relied on its spiritual approach to healing. I myself had witnessed and experienced countless instances of restoration to health by praying to understand and experience God’s love. But after I’d been praying halfheartedly about the allergies without any results, the thought that something as simple as taking a pill might bring me relief from this suffering was an attractive one.
My parents agreed I could make my own decision about what approach to take, and I decided to take an over-the-counter medicine. I was thrilled when it appeared to work. But I soon discovered it was unreliable. Not only was it ineffective at times, it also made me very tired. When I should have been outside enjoying the freedom I’d looked forward to, all I wanted to do was sleep. And the relief didn’t last all that long, especially after sleeping away part of it.
However, for the next few years I’d take the medicine on and off for some temporary relief on days when the allergy symptoms were at their worst.
Then, a few years after graduating from college, I decided to take a class to broaden and deepen my understanding of God and Christian Science, called Primary class instruction. Although I still hadn’t found permanent relief from the allergies, because of the other healings I’d experienced in Christian Science I felt committed enough to spiritual healing that I felt ready to take this two-week course.
Among the ideas I learned in class was that God, Spirit, is entirely good and created the universe, so everything in His universe is spiritual and harmonious. He didn’t create anything that is material and discordant, so nothing that doesn’t belong to that spiritual universe – that can disturb or disrupt – can truly be part of us as the creation, or expression, of the divine Mind, God.
I saw that I could apply this understanding to the things to which I seemed to be allergic. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy writes: “The only intelligence or substance of a thought, a seed, or a flower is God, the creator of it. Mind is the Soul of all. Mind is Life, Truth, and Love which governs all” (p. 508). She also writes: “What an abuse of natural beauty to say that a rose, the smile of God, can produce suffering! The joy of its presence, its beauty and fragrance, should uplift the thought, and dissuade any sense of fear or fever. It is profane to fancy that the perfume of clover and the breath of new-mown hay can cause glandular inflammation, sneezing, and nasal pangs” (p. 175).
I love nature and have always found spiritual inspiration from hikes in the woods or quiet moments by a pond. I could very clearly see that flowers, trees, and other plants are reminders of God’s beauty and grace, which naturally “should uplift the thought,” not pull me into a state of misery.
Praying with these ideas, I found that the fear of seasonal allergies was soon gone, and I was completely free from any further symptoms. This occurred around 20 years ago, and from then on I’ve never again suffered from allergies. To me this has been proof of God’s love for His creation, in which all His ideas coexist harmoniously with one another.
Adapted from a testimony published in the June 22, 2015, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.