A guest post written by Ann Botts from Redlands, California
A dear friend recently asked me to read Cutting For Stone by Abraham Yoghese. She said that it would not be a book that I would select, but for her, would I read it? As it was about the life and experiences of a doctor, she was right. I would never have chosen that book.
But, I reasoned, she is a retired nurse and a former Catholic nun who has given her life to nursing and caring for others. She had spent her life watching people in pain and suffering. In her retirement years, she still offers loving help, counseling, and encouragement in our community. She gives hope to all and that is what I love most about her. A lot of her time is spent helping people communicate with their doctors. So, of course, I knew why the book would interest her.
Here’s an example of her compassion. We had stopped in to buy yarn at a knitting shop and found the owner in tears. When we asked if we could help, the woman told us that her doctor had just called and told her that she had a very serious cancer, to drop everything, and come to his office with her family. “I am dying!” the woman exclaimed. Immediately, my friend put her arms around her, and said that she must dry up her tears because there is always hope. I was silently praying and found myself saying with authority, “You must know, right now, that you are God’s precious child and He will lead you to the right decisions. He can and will be caring for you!” Her eyes locked on mine and I knew she had heard me. When we left, she tightly hugged us both and thanked us for helping her through those fear-filled moments.
In the car, my friend and I decided that we were quite a pair – a medically trained nurse and a Christian Scientist – trying to help as best we could.
So back to the book, that I had given up on so many times. This dear friend continued to say to me – keep going, keep reading. So to humor my friend I did – skimming some of the pages, I confess. With any book or movie that I read or watch, I try to practice Christian Science to see where thought needs to be changed and up-lifted. But I found this hard to do with this particular book. I tried to see it as a story of passion, forgiveness, and progress. Here was a story of a famous doctor incredibly dedicated to his work, and many sought him out, as he was brilliant in his surgery. At the end of the story, it is revealed that this genius of a doctor becomes extremely ill before he goes in to perform his surgeries. All of a sudden, I saw that this man was humbled by this affliction. He had to overcome feeling ill each and every time he performed the duty before him. Talk about overcoming fear! It was at this point in the story that I realized that my friend was asking me a question. A question for all Christian Scientists to answer – if that doctor had called me and asked me to give him a Christian Science treatment so he could perform his duty, would I?
I concluded that I would. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures in the chapter on Prayer, “Love is impartial and universal its adaptation and bestowals.” Love itself is powerful and impartial and this doctor is ever reflecting all of God’s goodness, wellness, love, and caring. All qualities to be cherished wherever we find them!
Note by Ann Botts: I have had the opportunity throughout my life to share Christian Science with those in the medical field – to share my healings. I have given Science and Health to prayerfully-minded doctors and they have expressed their appreciation. It has been a way of “giving a cup of cold water and never fearing the consequence.” I have many friends in the medical field and I love them for all their efforts to help mankind. No one knows more of the limitations of human efforts than doctors and nurses. And the medical field has been giving more and more credit to the healing effect of prayer, for which I am grateful. When I discuss spiritual healing and/or Christian Science, I have never had a doctor or nurse turn away and not listen.
Article first published October 9, 2012