As a young professional I worked for a very small architectural firm in Washington DC . And, as Thanksgiving week approached I was offered a ride to Boston and Providence, R.I. with the office manager and her family which included three loud teenage boys. [Note: this was before I had my own gaggle of three boys]. Gratefully and eager to visit some college pals in those cities, I accepted…
However, as the travel-day approached I found I had no hearing in one ear. Funny and out of the blue, it meant that I could sleep with a pillow on the good ear and not even hear the loud boys in the back of the van. I sort of enjoyed the quiet time it offered. I lived with the condition and didn’t give it much thought — and certainly, no prayer!
My girlfriend, Jane, in her Boston apartment became aware of my hearing loss. She belabored me with dire possibilities and suggested I needed to get it looked into by a doctor and possibly ‘lanced’. That frightened me a bit.
Instead I did what I always did when faced with a fearful situation: I turned away from the fear, and towards God, Divine Love. I started to think prayerfully instead of fearfully. I found I had time while poking around Boston to get to a Christian Science Reading Room to read the Daily Bible Lesson. It was full of great inspiration. This study helped me get a-hold of the fear, and move toward healing.
Commence your treatment always by allaying the fear of disease or danger. Silently reassure the patient. Watch the result of that simple rule of Christian Science, and you will find that it alleviates the symptoms of every disease. If you succeed in removing the fear, your patient is healed. Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 299
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. King James Bible, 2 Timothy 1:7
I moved on to my other friend’s home in Providence, R.I. Sheila and her husband had rented a lovely small house in a beautiful historic neighborhood. This was to be their first Thanksgiving Dinner as a married couple, prepared for both sets of parents, and assorted family members. There was a full table to set in the tiny dining room for perhaps 14 people. I started to enjoy all the preparations she was undertaking: making pies, borrowing dishes from a professor of hers at RISD, food shopping and cooking. Helping her took me out of self, and into a more ‘giving’ state of thought.
Still, when Thanksgiving came around, I still could not hear and it seemed to be getting worse. In fact, during dinner I could not hear out of either ear. Imagine what a lump I felt like as everyone else was enjoying the time together. I couldn’t hear a word of conversation. I was overwhelmed with frustration! I felt very alone.
Finally, after dinner (and before pies) I decided to take a walk. The neighborhood was full of interesting homes and I soon saw a lovely park nearby. The sun was out and it was great to have some time to think. I found a large boulder to sit on… and to comfort myself and calm my fears, I started to sing softly the many hymns I’d learned in the Christian Science Sunday School. One of them, written by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Sciences begins…
“Shepherd show me how to go,
O’er the hillside steep,
How to gather, how to sow,
How to feed thy sheep…
I will listen for thy voice,
Lest my footsteps stray,
I will follow and rejoice
All the rugged way.”
As I sang to myself, and to God actually, it dawned on me that I hadn’t even been trying to listen to God. I had been so busy trying to listen either to fear and predictions, or the clatter of dinner conversation, that I hadn’t paused to listen to God; to be inspired; to rejoice!
I continued to sing for probably about twenty minutes. Sitting there in the sun on the big rock, I had no expectations, no wandering thoughts. I just felt love. I felt God’s goodness. I felt gratitude for all my friends’ help in bringing me here to this moment. I even felt gratitude for the three teenagers in the van-ride and the vitality, humor, and good natured fun they expressed on the trip. And as I rose to head back to the house, I realized I could hear perfectly all the minute little sounds of the day, the birds, the cars passing by, dogs being walked and my own voice. I rejoiced!
I was happy to return to Sheila’s home and enjoy fully the rest of the day. And, I was just in time for dessert. As we passed out the slices of pie-goodness, I was free and able to converse easily with everyone. And, as I relished the healing quietly to myself– it seemed so normal and harmonious, that no one even mentioned the improved condition. I was so grateful!
Truth is affirmative, and confers harmony. All metaphysical logic is inspired by this simple rule of Truth that governs all reality. Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 298
Sight, hearing, — all the senses of man, — are eternal. They cannot be lost. Their reality and immortality are in Spirit and understanding, not in matter. Hence their permanence. Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 482
And nothing is sweeter than that!
Remember to listen for God this Thanksgiving…