This is the testimony that my grandmother Lillian Denninger shared with me many years ago about how she became interested in Christian Science. Her experience altered the course of our family's history and profoundly affected my personal journey. Around the year 1929, a rapid growth in her throat prevented her from eating or swallowing. The doctors said that they could not reach it and gave up. Without relief, my grandmother was slowly starving to death. Understandably, my grandfather was frantic but could offer no help. A neighbor heard of the desperate situation and asked my grandfather if he would accept Christian Science prayer, stating that it could heal her. My grandfather did not know what it was, but at that point he would have accepted anything that offered a glimmer of hope.
Later that evening, the man came to their home. Here is Grandma's account of what followed: "He came and stood in my bedroom doorway. My room was dark. He just stood there. It seemed mysterious. After some time he came to my bedside and talked to me for a few minutes about God loving me. I really didn't catch what he said. He didn't even examine me. Again, he was quiet; he was praying, I guess. Then he left. I thought the whole thing was strange but curious. I then fell asleep. In the morning, I woke up and discovered that I was healed! I was ravishingly hungry. Bill [Grandpa] was so excited that he couldn't contain himself. He cooked me everything I asked for until I was full. Then, I wanted to know what it was that healed me and how this healing happened."
The following Sunday, Grandpa took their three children out of the Lutheran Sunday school and enrolled them in the Christian Science Sunday School. When Grandma was ready, she had Christian Science class instruction with Miss Gwalter, C.S.B., and became a practitioner listed in the Christian Science Journal.
Looking back at my childhood, I would say that Grandma was my best friend. I have fond memories of running next door to sit in her kitchen, watch her cook, and listen to her tell stories about her life. I think it was her mother-love that I found so appealing. Although Grandma's life was full of difficulties, she possessed a kind of inner knowing that gave her the answers she needed.
George Denninger ©