In history there are lots of decisive moments. Sometimes you can even date them, but it is most often decades or centuries later that the repercussions are truly felt and the right conclusions drawn. Paul's conversion around 35 AD, turning the tentmaker of Tarsus into the most powerful advocate of Christianity, is one of those moments. October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on the door of the All-Saints Church in Wittenberg. December 21, 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie discover the radioactive element radium. December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers manage their first flight with a motorized airplane. November 25, 1915 Albert Einstein presents in Berlin his "Theory of Relativity", Martin Luther King delivers his speech "I have a dream" on August 28, 1963.
One decisive moment is February 4, 1866. Those who read this and are more interested in spirituality than in religion, just read on. And approach February 4, 1866, as a phenomenon, a historic fact, not as an event only of importance to pious people. All humanity shares a joint heritage, and this moment is one of them. The local newspaper Lynn Reporter carried a short item with the information, that on February 1, 1866, Mary Baker Eddy had been severely injured in an accident - "resulting in inducing spasms and intense suffering" and was "in a very critical condition" (as quoted from the Lynn Reporter). She had been on her way to a meeting of the Good Templars, accompanied by friends. The day after the newspaper report, February 4, 1866, she asked for her Bible and was led to read one of Jesus' remarkable healings as reported in the gospels. She evidently could feel that God is as present now as He/She was in Biblical times, that Jesus Christ's life and work matter for all time, and she experienced dramatically improved health. She writes later:
"That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence." (in "One Cause and Effect". Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896. P. 24)
This experience marked the beginning of a new life. A new life for her - and a new life for the many who would benefit by walking through the open door which she opened. I am one of them.
In the decades to come the world of science, theology, and medicine had a mighty female voice, a new religion enriched the cultural landscape of the US and other countries, Christianity had found its lost element of healing, religion and logic were reconciled, women were no longer second class citizens, metaphysics made sense and God was more than just a word or an object of theological debate - something alive, close, palpable. Life, Truth, and Love.
Isabel Ferguson and Heather Vogel Frederick honor her in their book A world more bright: The life of Mary Baker Eddy, p. 216:
"Mary Baker Eddy,“Pastor Emeritus of her church and, through her writings, its forever leader, […] was also a healer, teacher, author, poet, journalist, lecturer, editor, publisher, pastor, wife, mother, grandmother, and philanthropist. [… S]he broke barriers of gender and age, founding a worldwide religion and church, a newspaper, a publishing company, and a college at a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote.
Born […] in a tiny New Hampshire town, she rose to international prominence, and the schoolgirl who wanted to write a book ended up writing 17 of them, including Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a perennial best-seller that has sold more than 10 million copies to date, been translated into 16 languages and English Braille, and inspired and healed countless readers.
Working right into her ninth decade, Mary Baker Eddy unselfishly and tirelessly sought to share the vision revealed to her of a “world more bright”, the spiritual reality that Jesus proved was a present possibility, bringing hope and healing. […]
Mary Baker Eddy found the answers to her search for truth in the Bible [… and] saw Science and Health, the book she called ‘my most important work’, as the key to unlocking its treasures, and encouraged readers to test the revelation her textbook contained for themselves.
‘The divine Principle of healing is proved in the personal experience of any sincere seeker of Truth,’ she affirms, inviting those who open its pages: ‘You can prove for yourself, dear reader, the Science of healing, and so ascertain if the author has given you the correct interpretation of Scripture.’
[… Her] invitation still stands.”
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.