A 5-year-old and her healing

I had an interesting healing with my eldest daughter, Alma, last summer. It was a beautiful New England summer evening and we were roasting marshmallows outside. It was a really joyous experience for all of us. [Alma] was trying to perfect the art of the golden, roasted marshmallow, so the marshmallow was getting really hot.

At a certain point it caught fire. She was trying to put out the flaming marshmallow by waving the stick fast so that the flame went out. In doing so the marshmallow got stuck to her eye. The marshmallow was really scalding and was now stuck to that whole area. At the time we said, “Should we go to the ER? Should we go to Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association?” My wife and I are always ready to take whatever practical option seems best for our children at any time. But we are very confident in Christian Science care. So before we did anything else we did call a Christian Science practitioner. We knew right away that the physical evidence is not the final verdict. The physical evidence might be jarring, it might seem very powerful, but that is not what is true about our child’s identity. And that’s not the final verdict. We took her inside, and we were trying to clean up the marshmallow off her face.

Although it looked as though there was a severe burn and possible damage to her eye, my wife and I started asserting, right away, that this was not true about her. We just said, “We’re going to be really calm about this.” Because we were dealing with a sticky marshmallow that could pull at the wound, we cleaned around the edges. We knew our Christian Science practitioner was praying, and we knew we had Christian Science nursing care available. So we had a neighbor care for our other daughters, and we quickly took Alma to Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association.

It was tempting to think about the physical damage that might be occurring, but, as parents we were very calm, knowing that our daughter needed to see that calmness. And that was the first part of the healing for us, just canceling out the fear. There was no need for us to panic. We’ve been in difficult situations before, and we’ve had healings before when we knew we didn’t need to be afraid. And we knew that there was nothing good that could come from being afraid.

Our daughter picked up on that and was very calm, right from the very beginning when we got in the car. Despite what may have been challenging for her, she was so calm. We started singing hymns on the car ride—a lot of the hymns that were familiar to us and to Alma. Her favorite hymn at that time was “Shepherd, show me how to go,” from Mary Baker Eddy’s poem “Feed My Sheep.”

We felt going to the Benevolent Association was really part of the guidance we were being given. We knew the BA because the Christian Science nurses there had helped us in the birth of all three of our children. We really trusted the care that they would provide.

One of the other hymns that stood out on the drive was another poem by Mary Baker Eddy that was set to music: “Mother’s Evening Prayer.” The first stanza really helped us. It begins, “O gentle presence, peace and joy and power; / O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,”—and this is the part that stood out the most to us as we were singing it, “Thou Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight! / Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight.” Our child did seem to be on “upward wing,” just the way she was handling the situation despite the severity of the burns and our questions as to whether there was damage to her eye. She was handling it really, really well. Incredibly well.

One of the lines in this hymn talks about God’s arm encircling, and that was a simple concept for her to understand. One that we had talked about a lot before. She knew how to trust that God had her in His arms, so to speak, and that nothing could come between her and God. So she knew that, she knew to trust that. And she knew that her relationship with God couldn’t be broken. It really was the parents being led by the little child.

When we got to the Benevolent Association, a Christian Science nurse was right there to very gently and carefully clean and bandage the wounds and provided a spiritually supportive tone for our visit. The entire time Alma was just happy to be there. She enjoyed being in the room with the big reclining chair, and the two lollipops that she got on the way out. There was nothing but joy coming from Alma. It helped us know that this was a true healing.

The next week or so we came every day to get the wounds cleaned and bandaged properly by the Christian Science nurses. Even though we weren’t focused on the physical improvements, it was clear that the improvements were rapid. One of our concerns was that we were going to take a family vacation together in the summer where the kids were going to be in the ocean much of the time. What were we going to do with these bandages that were on Alma’s burns? But the physical evidence of the healing was so quick that soon she didn’t require any bandages. We saw this as incredible progress, and going into this vacation she didn’t even need a Band-Aid.

Would there be any scarring? Right from the beginning, we just knew that this was not going to be part of our daughter’s experience. You know, she’s so joyous and so intelligent and has so much inner beauty that there was nothing that could interfere with that. There was nothing that could come in and say you’re going to have scars all over your face. And she doesn’t. In fact, we made a required visit to a physician for a different reason, and the physician heard about the eye situation and said, “She doesn’t know which eye was burned.” And the physician couldn’t believe that this incident had taken place only a few months earlier.

For us this was a great demonstration of Christian Science healing and God’s care. We’re so grateful for it.

—M. C.

Originally appeared online in 2015 at chbenevolent.org
© 2015 Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association

 

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