I’ll begin the summary of this healing experience with some necessary background. For the reader less familiar with the Christian Science way of thought and life, I present first a little, and extremely short, summary of the life of an actively praying Christian Science family. Christian Science teaches us that the healing Christ power perfectly demonstrated by Jesus over 2000 years ago is, contrary to the world’s most popular and traditional belief, a present and practical power available to all men for all eternity, including today, as Jesus himself clearly declared when he said “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” The study of and the consistent practice of a practical understanding of Christian Science thought teaches an ability to consistently apply the power of Christ in the face of any human-life threat. It teaches us to develop a natural trust in the healing Christ power, and to trust that when properly understood, Christ- power is applicable to the solution and healing of every situation that could present itself to human experience. The realm of such situations is not limited, for the Christ power revealed gives to man the power of God’s omnipotent dominion over every possible difficulty. Christian Scientists learn to confidently face every negative circumstance armed with an assurance of the elimination, through correctly applied prayer, of all kinds of threats of any kind of negativity, be that negativity sin sickness, disease, accident, any type of appearance of evil, — even threats of death. That is a very brief and concise summary of a very broad topic, about which volumes have been written. Suffice it to say that to the Christian Scientist, God is always and without exception omnipotent, irrespective of any threatening negative appearance.
As to our domestic situation, we live rurally and have six dogs at our house, some of them being indoor dogs, and some of them outdoor dogs. Our three lab based dogs are currently making the transition from being partially indoor dogs to full time outdoor dogs. For several years we had been feeding and caging them indoors at night, and allowing them full reign of our large front pasture in the daytime hours. The pasture is fenced and connected to a small yard in front of the house. Recently we obtained some very large dog houses and decided that since we now had a good shelter for all of them, and because it is getting crowded in the house at night, it would be best for them all to move outdoors full time. At the time of the incident to be related, the labs had just spent their third night outdoors in their new doghouses.
Casey is a full blooded chocolate colored male Labrador Retriever, well into his ninth year of life, by human measurements. He has always been thought of as our “problem dog” on account of his somewhat nervous behavioral problems, which make him a bit more demanding of attention than the others. Casey has always been quite active and healthy. He loves to run. Swimming is also high on his list of favorite activities.
On this third night of our labs spending their full time outdoors when I went out to take care of their feeding, I found Casey out in the dark and unable to get up and walk without great difficulty. I led him by the collar gently toward the house, but he eventually gave up and could go no further. So, I picked him up, (he weighs about 85 pounds) and carried him gently into the living room and laid him on the carpet. He seemed frightened, as did I at first. He was not interested in moving at all from that spot.
I stayed with him, petting him and assuring him of our love for him, and found myself becoming quite frightened, and beginning to entertain fears that he was actually showing signs of dying. For quite some time he would not lift his head or look at my eyes when I was talking to him, and his eyes seemed to have a far away look. From the time I found him in this condition I had been making an effort to think of him in spiritual terms – to know that the dog we see presented to our human senses is not the perfect eternal dog of God’s creation. I had not been doing the best job of maintaining that clear thought, and found myself overtaken with emotion. In fact, I was so overtaken with emotion that I found it difficult to think clearly, to properly address the situation in prayer. I decided at that moment to call for the prayerful support of a fellow Christian Science practitioner.
To keep a long story short and simple, my friend and I prayed to understand the underlying spiritual picture behind what appeared as a partially paralyzed dog. I prayed to understand that what I, the human being was see as my ailing dog, is not the way that the dog is in the eyes of God, in the spiritual realm. And God’s perfect realm, the kingdom of heaven, is all that is actually valid. In our human and material realm, things are not always what they seem to be. In the kingdom of heaven, a mental realm which is always present and available to the attuned thought, all is well. When we observe negative circumstances, the astute Christian Scientist understands that the appearance of negativity is in opposition and contrast to this Truth of God’s omnipotence. Becoming spiritually aware of and familiar with the perfection of God’s creating through consecrated prayer reveals to us indications of the perfect spiritual reality.
Before going to bed, I put a blanket down in my office, and lovingly carried Casey there. He ate a hand full of dog food and took a few laps of water before he lay back down on his side. At several points during the night, still fearful, I got up and checked on him. He never moved an inch the entire night, and at one point I found myself leaning over him to be sure I heard his breath.
A few specific things went through my thought as I prayed for Casey. Particularly noteworthy was my own frame of mind throughout the first night. I had not let go of fear, and I found myself continually drawn to dreadful thoughts of his possible death. In the morning I went to check on him at daylight, and found that he still had not moved. He did thump his tail on the floor in response to my entering the room, so I knew he was all there mentally. I sat at my desk beside him and began to pray to see what I must understand differently. As I looked at my dog in a dreadfully fearful state of mind, I realized the confidence with which Christ Jesus had to have looked at his subjects when he healed them. He raised Lazarus from the dead, knowing that he had been dead for four days! What was I doing? Was I expressing the same confidence and faith as Jesus? No! To Jesus, this case would be child’s play. But though I am far from understanding life as jesus did, I knew that it was the deep trust and understanding of the omnipotence of the Christ which Jesus completely trusted and understood, which enabled Jesus to accomplish every healing act he ever demonstrated, culminating in his perfect demonstration of defeating even his own death! I realized that the way out of witnessing this dismal situation with my dog was to rise above it consciously as Jesus always did– to live above the false presentation of evil. I knew that my identity must be the I AM, which God so clearly stated to Moses, and that I must claim that as mine for the benefit of seeing Casey as God must know him.
That realization seemed to be a turning point to me. With renewed confidence, I asked Casey if he needed to “go outside and go potty”, words which are familiar to him. He responded eagerly by getting up on his own, limping to the door, going outside and down the steps, doing his business, and then climbing the steps again to come back to my office and rest. A few hours earlier I would have thought he was going to be moving on to dog heaven. It was an encouraging change, but I knew that the battle was not yet over. So, I began to pray about understanding action. Intuition brought to me the clarity in my prayer that assured me that God’s action is eternal, perfect, and always harmonious. Is this what I was witnessing? At least I was now witnessing action, and I took a moment to be grateful for that beginning recognition.
Throughout the day I clung steadfastly to these ideas about God’s perfect action. God’s perfect dog must move as God animates him, and must do so eternally. That is the dog I must know in my prayer, and see. I also focused on Love, in feeling and knowing a complete sense that both Casey and I dwell in an atmosphere of Love. I analyzed the words of a Hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal, Number 427. The words to this poem assured me of several truths with respect to walking, love, and coordinated action. Here is the first verse of that poem:
I walk with Love along the way, And O it is a holy day:
No more I suffer cruel fear, I feel God’s presence with me here;
The joy that none can take away, Is mine; I walk with love today.
So, I reasoned, that Casey walks with love along the way as well. Also helpful and comforting to me were the words of Psalms, 23, 27, 91, and 139. I specifically heard these words, not in a voice, but in their just coming to my thought, which said “There is no impediment to God’s motion”
Then I re-read a specific Chapter in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. That chapter is entitled “Animal Magnetism Unmasked” In short, this chapter explains how subtle hypnotic belief effects our every day experience, influencing us to believe in the power of evil things that come to our consciousness and lives, and can be defeated through consecrated prayer. So, I applied everything in this chapter to the situation of me and my beloved dog. I continued to work with understanding firmly that stability, balance, coordination, and harmonious action are eternal qualities of God, and must therefore be eternally manifest in the dog that God knows.
At several other points during the day I let Casey out do his business, and to sleep in the warm sun outside. I was still concerned for his well being, so I brought him back into the house at dark, and allowed him to sleep on the blanket in my office. His spirits were so much higher! He was all there mentally, but still physically stumbling. It was these characteristics of God’s eternal expression of perfect harmony that held onto when I went to bed. I felt as if a great burden of fear and a disbelief in goodness had been lifted from me as the result of my prayers over the preceding 36 hours.
Near morning, I got up to check on Casey to see if he needed to go out to do his business. He was already up and waiting behind the door! I gave him some time outside and then let him back in the office for the remainder of the night. At daylight I let him out again, and the stumbling was now almost completely gone. I watched from the window, and saw him back to his usual trot, with only the slightest hesitation in his step. I’m continuing to work on seeing his complete perfection in my prayer, knowing that God’s dog never knew a departure from perfection, and that neither did I, and that therefore Casey does not need to return to perfection. Only my human views, beliefs , and fears had brought on the presentation of an illusion of discord, which came to me falsely presented as the reality of material body. I’m watching Casey out my office window now, 48 hours later, moving in perfect harmonious action.
This testimony is a bit longer and is much more detailed than one you might expect to find in the Christian Science periodicals. I hope you have been inspired by it. Most of the formally published healing testimonials are very much shortened in the interest of space in a magazine. My own healing of a very fast recovery from a broken bone (which I received in a collision I had with a deer while I was riding on a motorcycle at highway speeds) was published in the May 2005 issue of the Christian Science Journal. Thousands of other healings have been published in the periodicals of the Christian Science Publishing Society since the late 19thcentury. If you are newly investigating Christian Science, you will find that its healing record differentiates it sharply from all other systems of religion or healing.
I cannot fully enough express the gratitude that I feel for Christ Jesus and his mission to the world, and to the modern day discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, who through the establishment of Christian Science 140 years ago returned to Christianity its lost element of practical and repeatable healing, once practiced for a full 300 years before it was eventually lost in the ritualism and politics of the world. Let us cling to this healing truth, and ensure that this time the “salt lose not its savour”.