Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Infertility and the Power of Prayer

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Infertility and the Power of Prayer

Article excerpt

A Christian Science perspective.

I was a mother by choice. I knew my husband had been diagnosed as infertile when I married him. And up until the wedding ring was placed on my finger, I had always been OK with not ever having children. But shortly after the wedding, the day came when I wasn't fine with it anymore.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, explained, "Marriage is the legal and moral provision for generation among human kind" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 56).

Now, I have never read the word "generation" in the narrow "production of babies" sense that would cast men and women in the role of personal creators. To me, as it is used in this quotation, the spiritual sense of generation speaks to the production of good in individuals, in families, and in society, when a moral and legal promise is made, and a commitment fulfilled, to be a lifelong witness to spiritual growth in another person.

That diagnosis of infertility felt like an arbitrary glass ceiling and an injustice - a limitation on how much good we could witness in each other and the good we could generate in our marriage. So I started to protest this claim of infertility in prayer. I couldn't see how a productive, creative Mind could be reflected in an unproductive, powerless, stunted creation.

I will admit that those early prayers were often tinged a bit with "I want a baby." And that self-will had to go. Trading the idea of a thwarted creation for a willful self-perpetuating creation wasn't the upgrade in spiritual understanding that was needed to bring about healing.

In addition to the Bible, I sometimes find insight in the Gospel of Thomas. For example, one of Jesus' statements familiar to many Bible readers, "there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known," (Matthew 10:26) is recorded in the Gospel of Thomas as, "Know what is before thy face, and what is hidden from thee shall be revealed unto thee; for there is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest. …

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