One day years ago, I telephoned a Christian Science practitioner and asked for her prayerful help in combating severe coughing and breathing difficulties. At the time, I wasn’t convinced that I really understood Christian Science, but I knew it explains that God made each of us spiritual and good, and that what isn’t of God does not ultimately have legitimate power. The practitioner gave me Christian Science treatment and also suggested passages to study from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science. But I was still ill.
After a few days, my assistant at work insisted that I go see a doctor because she was sure I had pneumonia. As an Army officer, I went to the Army doctor, who confirmed I indeed had pneumonia, and he prescribed antibiotics for me to take. I picked up the prescription, went home, and called the practitioner, planning to release her from providing Christian Science treatment for me.
Instead, as we talked, I felt a desire not to give up on Christian Science treatment. It was Friday, so we agreed to pray together over the weekend, and I took no medication. By Sunday night, I knew I needed more help. When I called the practitioner to let her know, I asked her what I was doing wrong. Why hadn’t I been healed?
She thought for a moment, then replied that if I had spent half the time prayerfully defending myself against the claims of pneumonia that I had spent trying to convince her how sick I was, I would be healed.
That woke me up! When I asked for clarification, she referred me to an allegorical trial in Science and Health (see pp. 430-442), where a man is “charged” with having a disease. The trial illustrates how material evidence can seem to “argue” vigorously against one’s health, but Christian Science, showing the truth and permanence of our God-given health and spiritual nature, can free us from the unjust sentence of sickness.
I realized I needed to stop thinking about and verbalizing how sick I believed I was and instead mentally take a stand against sickness. That night, I read those pages in Science and Health over and over to understand the points being made, and then I approached the situation from a new perspective. I realized that the condition, diagnosis, and comments from others were all arguing that I was in bad shape. Now I had decided I would not agree. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the caring concern or felt I had been misdiagnosed, but rather that this assessment wasn’t in line with what God knew to be true about me.
And so, as in the trial in Science and Health, I accepted Christian Science as my defense attorney, setting forth spiritual truths to defend my true identity. I stood up with a loud (mental) voice, sided with the defense rather than the prosecution, and countered all arguments with the truth that I was spiritual, not material; that our true, spiritual identity is not subject to disease because sickness is not of God, who is ever-present and all-powerful good. I declared that the only jurisdiction I would submit to was Truth, Life, and Love.
This “trial” went on in my mind for perhaps thirty minutes before I fell asleep that Sunday night. When the alarm went off on Monday morning, I was totally healed. The cough and sweating were gone, and my normal breathing was restored. I was totally well (and I’ve never had pneumonia again). When my assistant found out that I had not taken the medication, but had been cured by Christian Science, she was incredulous.
Through dedicated, heartfelt prayer as taught in Christian Science, each of us can learn and demonstrate the healing power of God.
Adapted from a testimony published in the March 2021 issue of The Christian Science Journal.