Blind Child Healed
Joyce Ann Petit Reminiscence
Joyce Ann Petit recalled a story told to her by a woman whose blindness had been healed by Mary Baker Eddy.
(February 2, 1976) A few evenings ago I was recalling to a friend, and member of the Mother Church, a precious incident I had had in 1966 in meeting a woman, 94 years old, who had been healed by Our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, when she was a small child and had been blind from birth. My friend thought you might like to have this in your files – perhaps you already do, I do not know – But I will relate it as best I can:
In 1966, I was working on Saturdays as assistant arts + crafts teacher for the Boston Div. of the Salvation Army, near Copley Square. One day a lovely, slim and gently dignified older lady came to our class to show others some of her exquisite embroidery which she did, and to help others to learn. I perhaps may comment here that when I first met her I really was impressed by a special refinement and nobility of her bearing and attitude – and a deep gentleness about her as if one time she had been touched by a holy experience.
That afternoon, as I recall, I was doing some typing in a nearby office and she came in to borrow a pen I think it was. We got to talking a bit – and then she asked me if I were a “Salvation army lass” and I replied ‘no, I was a student of Christian Science. She was quiet, and then asked me if sometime I would like to hear about her own encounter with Mrs. Eddy – I immediately replied with much eagerness that I would! and she said that she would come back when I’d finished my work and tell me about it – and also she said she didn’t often relate it to others, because she had known it was something to be cherished and lived, and not talked “about” – So – she related best as I can remember this way:
[Her father was African American and her mother was Indian]** – and they lived in the poor Section of Boston. Evidently to earn money the mother used her talent for needlework and dressmaking – and each day she would take her little Blind daughter to the nearby Baptist Church – where several other seamstresses did sewing for wealthier ladies.
One day Mrs. Eddy came to their church – perhaps bringing some sewing or talking with them about Christian Science – But she spied the little blind black girl sitting in the corner, where her mother would put her until the day’s work was done.
Mrs. Bowles said that Mrs. Eddy came and sat beside her and talked gently with her – and then asked her if she knew the two prayers God had given to all of us – and she repeated with Mrs. Bowles the Lord’s prayer and David’s 23rd Psalm. She asked her to learn them and Love them –
The next day Mrs. Eddy came back, and again sat with the little girl – and had her repeat to her the two prayers – Mrs. Bowles said she just felt enveloped in God’s great Love – and to a degree this sense of His everpresent Love has never left her.
As she and her mother walked home that evening – she began to see – for the first time in her Life.
She never saw Mrs. Eddy again – but she later discovered who she was, and when she learned to read, she became a devoted student of the Bible and Mrs Eddy’s Science and Health. She also became an excellent seamstress, and at 94 years, when I met her, was still doing exquisite work. She told me, too, that when one of her sons had had tuberculosis, in his thirties, she had healed him through Christian Science prayer.
**(Original wording) She had been born of a Negroe father and Indian mother