Christian Science Testimony

         The truth that man is spiritual, not material, came to me through my experience in Christian Science. For three or four years I had been an invalid, having had several operations. In the last operation it had seemed necessary to remove from my left ear the eardrum and ear bones, and as we are supposed to hear by means of these parts, I was deaf in that ear. In the spring of 1916 I broke down, and the physician who was consulted pronounced my case a tubercular disease. As soon as school closed I went to a sanatorium, hoping to find the health and strength which I needed so much for my work, but instead of getting better I grew worse all the time. My eyes, which had been weak (glasses having been worn for ten years), gave out rapidly, and I began to fear for my sight. I had stood the strain long, but could not do so any longer, and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

         I was in this condition when I came to the end of my financial resources and had to go back into the world, though the physician told me that if I should try to work I could not live over six months. When I returned to the city where I had lived, a friend offered me the hospitality of her home, but knowing that she was interested in Christian Science I refused. Believing that I was sick I did not want someone to tell me that I was not; for my idea of Christian Science was that its adherents simply thought sickness imaginary. Still I was not satisfied with the old doctrine which said that God sent sickness and we should pray God to take it away from us. Though I was not willing to acknowledge it, I needed love, and also somewhere to rest without worrying, so at last I accepted my friend's invitation, but only after having received her promise that she would not talk about Christian Science to me. The moment I reached her home she had to help me to bed, as I was too feeble to stand and had a burning fever. Before leaving me she handed me the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, telling me to read if I could not sleep.

         How grateful I am for the wisdom which closed her lips and left it to truth to prove itself. Being alone I began to think, and to wonder if Christian Science had wrought the change in her which I had noticed. After a while I came to the conclusion that nothing else could have done it, and having reached this point in my thought I decided that there was some truth in this teaching of which I did not know, and I was going to find out what it was. I forgot my ailments for the moment in my search for this truth, really not giving a thought to the fact that Christian Science was supposed to heal physical troubles.

         I opened the textbook and began to read, but my eyes were so weak that I could read only one sentence at a time. Having finished a sentence I would lay the book down and think it over, trying to come to a conclusion as to whether or not I could accept it as true. I would think of what I had read and discuss it from all sides, for I wanted to know the Truth but was not willing to accept it simply because others had done so. Every time, however, I came to the conclusion that what I had read was the truth. After having read for twenty minutes I was so filled with the healing thought of this truth, so certain of the presence of a loving Father-Mother God, that there was no room left for any discord.

         I got up from the bed and it seemed as if all inharmonious conditions were laid aside as one lays aside a soiled garment. I realized right away that the eyes which a few minutes before had refused to let me read in comfort, were seeing far beyond my human sense of eyesight, and I laid off my glasses at that moment and have never used them again. My nerves, which had tried to play havoc with my happiness and reasoning power, heard the command, "Peace, be still," and obeyed. The tubercular trouble with all the rest had gone into the nothingness where it belonged. All this I realized at once, but somehow I did not think of my ears right then, only I knew there was no aching. But that night when trying to find out whether or not my watch had stopped I inadvertently held it to the left instead of to the right ear. I had never heard distinctly with my left ear, and how great was my surprise when for the first time in my life I heard the tick of my watch with that ear, with which I was never supposed to hear again. The eardrum is gone, the hole left by taking out the ear bone is still there, but God does not need these material conditions to make His child perfect. Being a teacher I needed a certificate of health after the doctor had pronounced my case tubercular disease, and within two weeks after the experience just related I had two certificates from the best known physicians of the state, saying that I was in perfect health.

         This was the beginning of my experience in Christian Science. It is now a year and a half since I found God, and every day has brought a repetition of the blessings realized in those few moments. I am thankful for the physical healing, but the peace and joy which have come into my life, and which are there every day, make me so grateful, so happy, that I cannot express it. I am grateful to Mrs. Eddy, who was pure enough to show us the way, to prove to us that Christ Jesus is not merely a beautiful example for us to adore without following, but that his teachings are practical and that what he has done is possible for us to do. I am grateful to know that nothing matters except the knowledge of Truth, except the love of God which is reflected in all human beings.

Anna S. van Leewwen
Washington, D.C.


"Testimonies from the Field"
The Christian Science Journal, March, 1918

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