Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"the babe of healing..."

"I am waiting
in a silent prayer..."

A friend's recent post on Facebook reminded me of an early December night, many years ago.  It was a time when all I wanted was a baby to love, to hold, and to cherish.

I'd called a friend and mentor during one of my darkest moments. I poured out my heart's sorrow. I could actually feel the compassion that filled the pregnant silence. It was as palpable as a hand reaching through the darkness. Soon, my weeping stilled, and my breathing evened.

Then, when he knew I was ready to listen, he asked me if I was ready to give birth to the most precious babe on earth -- the babe of Christian healing. I knew he was referencing a passage by Mary Baker Eddy from an article titled, "The Cry of Christmas-tide," published in her collected Miscellaneous Writings 1883 - 1896:

"Unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given.

"In different ages the divine idea assumes
different forms, according to humanity’s needs.
In this age it assumes, more intelligently
than ever before, the form of Christian healing.
This is the babe we are to cherish."
He reminded me that, more than ever before, this was the babe I needed to cherish -- not just for myself, but for the world.

Then, he gently suggested that I return to a series of twenty-four questions and answers that make up the entire curriculum for Eddy's course on Christian Science healing. Questions that are found in the chapter "Recapitulation," from her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Beginning on page 465 and concluding on page 497 we are given a path for seeking -- and finding -- healing. Twenty-four questions on thirty-two pages.

He told me that each December, he did this himself. He took one question per day and studied her answer. Then he pondered how he might answer that same question, based on what he had experienced as a healer throughout the year.

He assured me that these next precious days of gestation would bring forth this "babe," and I would be ready to cherish it with my whole life's purpose. These questions would prepare my heart. They were the promise of a new birth.

So, I did. And I still do. Each December 1st, I begin with the first question: "What is God?" I deeply consider Eddy's simple, cogent, complete, and profound answer.  Then I ask myself, "Based on what you have learned this year, what is God to you?" 

You see, I long to know God, myself.  

I am profoundly grateful for Mary Baker Eddy's waymarks as she chronicled her own journey towards a deeper understanding of what it means to "know the Lord." 

But I don't want to simply read her travel diary, and look at her photos -- I want to go where she has gone.  I long to feel that landscape under my feet.  To breathe that holy air.  And by revisiting those questions -- and then searching my heart for answers that ring with a true tone -- I align myself with the I AM THAT I AM.  For me, it is one of the most holy traditions of the season.

Last night, I couldn't wait to begin this year's season of expectancy, gestation, and birth. In fact, I was so eager that I rose just after midnight and took up that first question. The brevity and clarity in her answer took my breath away:

Question. — What is God?

Answer. — God is incorporeal, 
divine, supreme, infinite Mind,
Spirit, Soul, Principle,
Life, Truth, Love.
And as I pondered my own journey --  with that question as a spiritual waymark -- my heart opened to new views. What a revelation! Everything that I've discovered about God's allness, power, and grace this year has deepened my trust in the spiritual reality of all things.  It has informed my understanding of healing.  Over and over again, it has been my spiritual anchor in moments self-doubt and uncertainty. I wrote down my most current answers to that first question, and filled page-after-page, long into the night.

Tomorrow I will take up the second question. Then the third. And each day I will feel this babe grow stronger in me -- again.

For me, this Christmas exercise -- first practiced over 25 years ago -- was (and is) life-transforming. It has continued to renew and refresh my understanding of how to realize the healing presence of God. In fact, I find myself repeating it throughout the year.  And although I've been blessed with inestimable joy in parenting each of our children, it is this "babe of Christian healing," that has filled my heart with purpose, and brought unfathomable peace when my womb felt empty.

From experience, I know that on December 25th I will be looking into the face of this beloved babe. I will see this healing Christ in the unwavering spiritual innocence of universal humanity. This is the babe that I will hold close, and never let go of.  This is the babe that will never let go of me.

And each day as I ponder these questions I will be waiting, as Amy Grant sings in "Breath of Heaven," in a silent prayer for the birth this babe in my own heart.

For me, this is the great gift -- healing.  It is what we all seek.  To know that we are whole, well, complete in the All-in-allness of God's great love.   Or, as Mary Baker Eddy promises in "The Cry of Christmas-tide:"

"This is the babe we are to cherish.

This is the babe
that twines its loving arms
about the neck of omnipotence,
and calls forth infinite care
from His loving heart."
offered with Love,



  1. Wonderful. I am studying those each day in prep for association! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

  2. Your post is outstanding - very deep! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Kate, thank you for sharing this. What a Christmas gift you have given.