I saw the review by Amy Mercer of the book “History of Wolves” by Emily Fridlund, and wanted to respond.
As a small girl, my husband’s sister was healed of scarlet fever. She had been under the care of a medical doctor but in spite of his best efforts she was not expected to live.
The situation became particularly acute one evening, and the family turned at this point to a Christian Science practitioner for help through prayer. She was healed overnight.
This precious sister lived a long happy and healthy life after this healing, raising her own family in Christian Science. She became a Christian Science practitioner herself and for over 40 years helped many others find healing through understanding the power and presence of an all-loving God.
I thought of my husband’s family’s experience and my own upbringing in this spiritually centered way of living and healing as I read Emily Fridlund’s novel “History of Wolves.”
It’s an impressive literary achievement simply for its artful writing. Ms. Fridlund enters sensitively into the heart of the teenaged babysitter through whose eyes the narrative unfolds.
But the fictional Christian Scientist family around whom the plot revolves feels, well, fictional and more stereotyped.
It misses so much.
Most notable is the absence of any real love, of arms wrapped around a child, as parents would naturally do in response to a child’s innocence or fear and of genuine concern for meeting that child’s need.
Christian Science is not lived in the abstract. The love it teaches is felt in the individual’s heart and knit into the fabric of one’s daily life, based on Christ Jesus’ treatment of humanity. It is not based on “faith” alone, or wishful thinking, or a passive fatalism.
Jesus saw children as exemplary of the kingdom of heaven and the model of how to love, and so do we. We’re often humbled by what children have to teach us about loving more fully and freely, and we have no doubt this kind of love brings healing and (in the words of the church’s founder) “light[s] the dark places of earth.”
Martha R. Moffett
Christian Science Practitioner