My journey of faith and health as a Christian Scientist

This is my first occasional (once or twice a month) post for the new Hartford Faith and Values:

Some of the most common misunderstandings people have are assumptions about the faith of others. I’m a Christian Scientist. Christian Science is sometimes confused with Scientology and/or Tom Cruise, although they have nothing in common.

Christian Science is Bible based, founded in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy. Eddy, an influential American author, teacher, and religious leader, is noted for her groundbreaking ideas about spirituality and health, which she named Christian Science.

She articulated those ideas in her major work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, first published in 1875. Four years later she founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, which today has branch churches and societies around the world. In 1908 she launched The Christian Science Monitor, a leading international newspaper, the recipient, to date, of seven Pulitzer Prizes.

I had begun reading the Bible as a teenager. In college the search for more meaning in my life continued. A friend invited me to attend the college class in a Christian Science Sunday School – which I enjoyed. As a religion, it made sense to me the same way the Bible did. Initially I thought I had life all figured out, medicine for my body (I was in pre-med classes) and Christian Science for my head. Up to that point in my life, prayer was a way to experience peace.

But a call from an insurance adjuster was the beginning of quite a change in my view of prayer and its transformative effect on the body. Reviewing the damage done to my car shortly after being rear-ended, the adjuster said he had never known anyone to just walk away. He thought my body was in a state of shock and had not yet begun to feel the effects of the trauma that would have been caused by the sudden blow to my car and its collapse against the driver’s seat. He asked me to have a complete physical before I signed a release of liability for the claim.

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