My big fear was that someone would ask me what I would do if my daughter broke her leg.
I didn't know what I would do! It had never happened! My first response to most emergencies is prayer - prayer that leads to quick healing or that leads to appropriate care that supports the healing. But I didn't have much confidence in my responses to the "What if" questions.
One day, a friend and neighbor asked what I would do if my daughter dislocated her leg. And you know what? I had the answer. My daughter had dislocated her leg once. But before I could answer, the neighbor described a sad situation involving a friend's child. She had dislocated her leg and was taken to the emergency room. The leg was manipulated incorrectly and had to be dislocated twice again before finally being properly adjusted. It was a sad and frightening situation for all concerned.
So when my neighbor asked me what I would do as a Christian Scientist, she sincerely wanted to know if there was another way to approach such situations. I told her how I had prayed, and how that within minutes my daughter heard a pop as her leg adjusted to its proper position without any physical manipulation at all.
I learned not to fear the questions. One can always say "I don't know, but here is what I did when..." in the case of hypotheticals. But don't be surprised to find that often the questions come from a sincere heart wanting to simply find another way.
And if you know of another way, don't be afraid to share. Peter encouraged us to speak up. He wrote, "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you..." (I Peter 3:15)
When I lectured across the US, I got questions all over the map regarding prayer and care. Many were what ifs. Most were sincere. Occasionally not so much. In the case of barbed questions, sometimes others were listening that needed to see how one could respond with grace.
But if there was a question I particularly feared being asked, it was usually because I hadn't thought it through myself. I was afraid of under-responding, overtalking the point, or declaring something I hadn't proven myself. So I made a list of those questions and gave them a little thought each day, thinking through different ways to answer the same thing.
This handled the fear. Sincerity and love handled the actual questioners.
Mary Baker Eddy once said, "The reformer must be a hero at all points, and he must have conquered himself before he can conquer others. Sincerity is more successful than genius or talent." (Message to The Mother Church for 1900, p.9) She also said, "Truth comes from a deep sincerity that must always characterize heroic hearts; it is the better side of man's nature developing itself." (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p.1)
Look for the sincere and heroic heart willing to grapple with new perspectives in your questioner and you will find it calls forth the best response in you. And if you are having trouble finding that sincerity in them, share a little of yours. Your fearless Christian example may be just the answer that is needed.
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