“Christ And Christmas” Healing
At this time of year, I am reminded of a healing that I had when I was fairly young, one year in early December. The collective belief in contagion held my school in its grip, and I was kept home with a high fever. I lay miserably in bed at night, and when morning came my mother moved me to lie full length on the living room sofa wrapped in a down comforter, my head elevated with pillows. On the table beside the sofa she kept a glass full of ginger ale and ice cubes for me to sip from. I was unable to eat from the onset, and only got a little relief from the cool liquid.
My dad was our family metaphysician, and during the evenings he gave Christian Science treatment, but when mornings came he had to go to work. At this time, my parents had procured a book which they prized greatly. It was a copy of “Christ And Christmas”, a slender volume devoted entirely to one poem written by Mary Baker Eddy. Each pair of facing pages contained a brief verse or two on one side, opposite a fine art painting illustrating the text. This treasure was kept behind locked glass doors that covered the upper bookcase portion of my dad’s secretary desk.
My delirium was such that I could not read effectively from our textbooks, the Bible and Science and Health, but my mother wanted me to do something to try to help myself. So she washed my hands, unlocked the bookcase, and gave me the precious folio to look at. My temperature was so high that I was fairly dissociated from what is called consensus reality. As I slowly spent time with succeeding pages, I seemed to actually be in the paintings. I stood beneath the night sky and looked through the looming dark clouds at the bright star. I mingled with the assembled relatives around the Christmas tree. I was the child sitting in a wooden chair reading, with my dear grandfather nearby.
There are only fifteen verses by Mrs. Eddy, followed by a sixteenth from the words of Christ Jesus. I spent about an hour slowly experiencing them, one after another. When I reached the end, I returned from that other place to our family living room. I realized with amazement that I was completely well. There was no time span of recovery. The fever had evaporated. It was just gone. My swollen throat was normal, my joints and limbs no longer ached, and I was hungry. This was a transformative experience that I have remembered vividly all my life, though many decades have passed since then according to human reckoning.
I am profoundly grateful for all the materials our beloved Leader has written for us our textbook, the prose works, the church manual, the seven hymns authored by her, her articles in early journals, the collectanea archived by the Carpenters. Among these, the poem “Christ And Christmas” holds a special place in my heart, inspiring us as it does to experience “Life, without birth and without end, Emitting light!”