My initial encounter with Christian Science was merely to get some time out of my prison cell. I was serving a life-sentence for second-degree homicide for a crime I had not committed, although I had engaged in criminal activity from the early age of seven. Several of my family members, numbering a total of 16, were also involved in criminal behavior, raised in a home with no father.
As I listened to the viewpoints of Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, I scoffed at the notion of healing, associating it with the television ministry’s claims to instantaneous relief from bodily ailments. It was only after I reviewed my personal experiences that I discovered that I was actually living a Christian Science lifestyle myself. I was greatly influenced by my grandmother, who was frequently called upon to treat the afflicted in the black community. At that time, blacks were not allowed in the hospitals and found themselves with no other resource than to rely on spiritual means for healing. Without even realizing it, I was following in my grandmother’s footsteps in prison, helping those whom I encountered, as medical attention to prisoners was scant at the time.
I found myself administering to those who had injuries from sporting activities to stab wounds in violent altercations to mental health challenges of those who had lost their way, striving for a finish line with no end in sight. Suicide by hanging and wrist slashings were common occurrences among those who had given in to the darkness of hopelessness and discouragement.
It wasn’t long before I attracted the attention of prison guards, who also came to me in their distress. After 47 years of incarceration, my sentence was reduced and I was released on parole. Within only a week of my release I found that there was a Christian Science Church within walking distance from my home. I began attending all the services the church had to offer, including Sunday services and a Wednesday testimony meeting, where members would share personal accounts of healing through the application of the laws of God known as Christian Science treatment. The outpouring of love that I received upon my first visit was overwhelming.
For the first time in my life I was able to see a God that was active in my day-to-day affairs, as opposed to one that was beyond my reach, only to be known and understood in the hereafter. A God that had provided for my every need all of my life even though I was blind to His presence. I came to see that this loving, divine Presence had been with me at every critical juncture of my life, providing guidance, comfort and protection. Throughout my life I had been told, from the most callous of criminals to the sincerest members of law enforcement that I encountered, that I had a spiritual sense about me. Now I came to see that that spiritual sense was my God-given identity as the child of God which was untouched by environment, racial viewpoints, heredity, social norms.
Since that first day when I walked through the doors of my neighborhood Christian Science church I have been constantly embraced and supported by the members of that church. Words alone cannot express the gratitude for the teachings I have acquired in Christian Science and its transformative effect on my life. I now am an active member of this church, striving each day to bear witness to all the good that God has to give.
– by Daniel Alexander