Some of the most common misunderstandings people have are assumptions about the faith of others. I’m a Christian Scientist. Christian Science is often confused with Scientology although they have nothing in common. Christian Science is Bible based, founded in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy. Eddy, a life long student of the Bible, experienced a physical healing witnessed by family and friends when on her deathbed she turned to it for peace.
I had begun reading the Bible as a teenager. In college the search for more meaning in my life continued. A friend invited me to attend the college class in a Christian Science Sunday School which I enjoyed. As a religion, it made sense to me the same way the Bible did. Initially I thought I had life all figured out – medicine for my body (I was in pre-med classes) and Christian Science for my head. Driving to class one day, my car was struck at a high speed by another car. I was knocked unconscious. When I awoke, my head was lying on my chest and I couldn’t move.
I wondered if I could pray about this as I had been learning in Christian Science. And I realized that I should focus on God more than the problem. So I began to ponder a verse from the Bible. Suddenly my head went back to a normal position and my strength returned.
Several weeks later I received a call from an adjuster for my car insurance company. He said that he had never known of any one to walk away from an accident as severe as mine. He thought my body was in a state of shock and wanted me to have a complete physical before I signed any release of liability for the claim.
I went to my family physician. He tested me and had x-rays taken. At the end of the afternoon, he invited me into his office where my x-rays were displayed on backlit panels
He put his hands on my neck and asked me to perform a series of movements – which I did with complete freedom. Then he pointed out white ridges on x-rays of my upper spinal vertebrae. He said the ridges showed where the vertebrae had knit back together. Then he pointed to how the muscles along the vertebrae had also healed. He said, “The way this has healed, you will not feel the effects of this accident for the rest of your life.” Needless to say, I was stunned.
Although I deeply respected the pre-med program, I changed my major so that I could spend more time studying how I had been healed through prayer as taught in Christian Science.
After graduating with a degree in business administration, I either worked for or managed several nonprofit organizations over the next twenty years. I continued to rely on Christian Science for my healthcare needs as well as everyday concerns. At a certain point in my business management career, I was offered the opportunity to pursue a MBA program. I opened a file I had kept for several years of letters of thanks from people who had found healing after asking me to pray with them. Reading it filled me with humility, joy and gratitude.
So instead of pursuing the MBA, I decided to devote the next two years of my life to the public practice of Christian Science becoming professionally listed as a Christian Science Practitioner in 1997. This means I devote my full-time and am supported by my healing practice (not my church) just as others are in the healthcare field. And as it is a public practice, my patients are of many faith backgrounds or simply looking into another method of healing.
Linda Ross works with the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Connecticut