I don't think my home was ever as beautiful. Peace had descended. All was calm. Everyone in the house was tucked in bed. With fragrant candles burning and a warm fire crackling, I cuddled up in an armchair in front of our Christmas tree and drank in the scene.
I was grateful for the peace and calm, but I wasn't feeling comfortable or settled. Far from it. I had been asked to pray for a sick child who had been diagnosed with a serious spinal infection. I had been searching all evening, but I hadn't yet felt that sweet assurance that comes when one knows that all is well.
Christmas and all its preparations had always meant a great deal to me. I loved to recreate a storybook Christmas full of magic and sweetness and delight of sight and sound. But as I prayed, I could feel something shifting. My priorities were changing. Alone in front of the tree, the material trappings of the holiday began to recede from focus as I considered the deeper meaning of Christmas, remembering something that Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy had once written about its true significance.
"An eternal Christmas would make matter an alien save as phenomenon, and matter would reverentially withdraw itself before Mind. The despotism of material sense or the flesh would flee before such reality, to make room for substance, and the shadow of frivolity and the inaccuracy of material sense would disappear. In Christian Science, Christmas stands for the real, the absolute and eternal, — for the things of Spirit, not of matter."
While surrounded by all the material beauty one could ask for, I realized there was only one thing that could justly and properly commemorate this Christmas - for this child to be quickly and completely healed. I was willing to let go of a material sense of Christmas to make room for the healing Christ.
I wasn't bargaining with God. I was yielding to something most essential to Christian healing - an unselfed love that is willing to sacrifice the material and temporary, to make room for what is real and spiritual and permanent.
Now my prayer became very focused. I saw divine Love as the creator of this child and that Love didn't - wouldn't, couldn't - add a destructible material element to His perfect creation. My prayer went beyond words to actually feeling the presence of this all-powerful Love surrounding me in my living room. It wasn't in the things around me; but this holy presence, completely spiritual, assured me that all was well.
The child was healed. He went from a state of complete paralysis that evening to climbing a ladder to help his father put up Christmas lights the next.
Mrs. Eddy explained, "In different ages the divine idea assumes different forms, according to humanity's needs. In this age it assumes, more intelligently than ever before, the form of Christian healing. This is the babe we are to cherish. This is the babe that twines its loving arms about the neck of omnipotence, and calls forth infinite care from His loving heart." MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS, p.370
This post first appeared December 24, 2011 on this site. I guess I am in the mood for Christmas. I am always in the mood for a quick and complete healing of someone who is suffering. In any case, I feel moved to bring this post front and center for you today.
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no