For those of you waiting for The Ninth Commandment, I am working on it…but it hasn't come together yet.
In the meantime, here is a short testimony. Some people ask, "Why would you rely on prayer rather than medicine, if it means that you have to suffer pain? Especially for something modern that medicine can put a quick end to: Why not just go to the doctor?"
The answer is: It depends on what your premises are. What do you think causes illness?
If illness comes from physical causes, then avoiding physical cures is foolish.
But…if illness is the result of a spiritual cause, than applying physical cures might calm the symptoms, but it won't solve the problem. It's like taking a painkiller but not splinting your broken leg.
Have you ever drempt that you were thirsty, or had to pee, or were cold? Then, in the dream, you rushed around trying to solve this problem, but no matter what you did, you never got anywhere–until you woke up and realized that the issue had to be solved on the waking level–nothing you could do in your dream would actually solve it?
It's like that.
So…an example: once upon a time, I had poison ivy all over my face and hands. My face swelled up, my body oozed and iched. And, since I am not a person who endures itching well, it spread and spread.
It was not pretty…or comfortable.
A brief aside, during this period, I went around with dark glasses. If I removed them, people looked freaked out. But my kids, three little boys, did not seem disturbed at all. I wondered about this and asked John why he thought that the children were not scared of me.
He said: "They see you with the eyes of love. And I see you with the eyes of a science fiction writer, and you look like Odo from Dark Space Nine, so I think it's cool."
But I digress.
So…I had to decide what to do. Did I take some kind of medication? Put on some kind of cream? Or endure it and rely on prayer?
I picked prayer…because I wanted to solve the real problem, not just sooth the symptoms. So I prayed and prayed and prayed.
It iched something fierce.
Days went by. Then weeks. Five weeks.
I prayed and prayed and prayed. It still iched.
Then, one night, I woke up all of a sudden and discovered that something was entirely different.
I had previously forgiven someone who had been responsible for causing me a gread deal of harm. But, when I thought about him, I still saw him as having ogre-like qualities. I just didn't mind anymore.
But that night–after five weeks of itching, when I woke up, I suddenly no longer saw this person in a negative light. I just saw what was good about him. I could remember the harm…but without any sting.
Instead, I saw all the good, wonderful qualities that had been there all the time but which previously had been eclipsed by the dark image.
Now this might not sound like a big deal, but I have talked to other people who have had similar experiences. They have told me that escaping the sting that comes from such experiences is impossible.
That it cannot be done.
That this shadow, this spector of past trauma, will be with us forever.
So, from that point of view, this change in my perspective was an amazing thing. One might say miraculous.
Soon after this healing of the spirit, the poison ivy disappeared from my face. A bit of it continued for a week or two on my arms and shoulders, but one day I just dismissed it as no longer legitimate (something that happens in prayer sometimes), and…it was gone the next time I bothered to think about it.
If I had stopped praying and used medicine, I could have gotten on with my life much more quickly. I would have felt less irritable much sooner, which might have been nice.
But I probably would still be facing that ogre today.
Because I would not have kept praying. I would not have put my life on hold for weeks and spent the time turning to God, searching for healing. And that was what was needed to be free of the real irritation that I had been carrying around with me for a long time.
And this is why I rely on Christian Science, even when there might be an "easy modern fix"…because what I want is true healing.
Not just for the itching to stop.
In the midst of this period, when I was so miserable, I was sitting in bed reading testimonies and the Bible and such, I looked over at my baby, and he had poison ivy all over the back of his neck. His skin was red and irritated.
I couldn't bear this–the idea that the baby would be so uncomfortable, the way I was. I turned to God with all my heart.
When I looked back, the poison ivy on the baby's neck was entirely gone. His skin was normal and smooth.
God is good.