By Stevie Keyes
I am a lifelong Christian Scientist. But my faith journey truly began when, one day, someone mentioned a healing in the chapter of “Fruitage,” which is the last 100 pages of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy. It is dedicated to describing the healings people had simply from reading “Science and Health.”
One passage got my wide-eyed attention right away: “I read the book four times in succession, and every time I found more and more to aid in the understanding.” (Science and Health, 687:5)
I thought: “They straight-up read the book cover to cover four times?!”
This gave me a new view of perhaps why Christian Science “wasn’t working” for me. The faith shown in reading “Science and Health” four times before having a healing, made my previous efforts look like a joke.
Another testimony in Fruitage described full healing after having “… read the book eleven times straight ahead and many times skipping about.” (Science and Health, 618:14–15)
What an incredible move of faith after having just been introduced to the book! And I had thought reading a whole six sections of the “Weekly Bible Lesson” was a lot of work!
These stories of success through great dedication helped change my understanding of what the “science” in Christian Science means. Science hadn’t seemed repeatable for me. But I realized that Christian Science is scientific in that its effects follow order and logic. A geometry student does not get frustrated that calculus “does not work,” but rather realizes that to demonstrate calculus, they need to work to understand it. Calculus and Christian Science both prove themselves, but before the demonstration of the principles, it takes faith in the process of learning.
So I found that if I wanted the blessings of Christian Science for myself and those around me, I needed to work.
The next hurdle for me was to find time to spend studying and engaging as a student of Christian Science. I already felt so busy, that I couldn’t see how to make time for that – and I argued to myself, “What if I spend the time studying and, in the end, feel I wasted my time?”
These thoughts, as well as being caught up in the “calculus” of Christian Science rather than being willing to build up my understanding lesson by lesson, severely slowed my progress in Christian Science. I did not have enough faith to move me into action.
The next few years, I wasn’t sure whether I believed or not. And I did not harness the faith to set aside the time to test it.
Nearing the end of my junior year of high school, I began to either mess up, or deeply fear I would mess up, all the great progress in academics, friendships, and athletics I had made in high school. Realizing how unstable and insubstantial all my work was to my happiness, I resolved to prove to myself once and for all if Christian Science truly could bring about the peace so many said it could.
Mary Baker Eddy says, “… if we desire holiness above all else, we shall sacrifice everything for it. We must be willing to do this, that we may walk securely in the only practical road to holiness.” (Science and Health, 11:22–27)
I began to put time into my spiritual study whenever I could, replacing the odd moments I would spend watching videos or on social media with reading the Weekly Bible Lesson or articles on JSH-online. This improved use of my time resulted in lasting happiness and focus while working on my academics – two things I had previously had great trouble with. I also eventually found myself loving to study Christian Science more than any other activity, because of the truth it reveals.
Since that choice was made, I have had and continue to have plenty of challenges and “mess up” often. But the knowledge of the final destination and the counting of the blessings and healings I have had thus far comfort me and give me underlying hope in spite of temporary fears or seeming lack.
I hope that my journey might inspire others to take the leap of faith of dedication and to experience the joy and peace I have found in Christian Science.
“There is no excellence without labor; and the time to work, is now. Only by persistent, unremitting, straightforward toil; by turning neither to the right nor to the left, seeking no other pursuit or pleasure than that which cometh from God, can you win and wear the crown of the faithful.” (Miscellaneous Writings, 340:5)