A quick, clear-cut healing is the best advertisement for and validation of the claims we make for Christian Science. A Wednesday (Evening) Meeting with several testimonies of recent healings would provide a spiritual oasis for the "honest seeker", the new-comer (rara avis that he is), and the regular attendee in need of some comfort and inspiration. The atmosphere and outreach of such a meeting would extend far beyond the walls of the church.
There are, however, some invasive mutations of testimonies and remarks which are at best counterproductive, at worst off-putting and evervating. Some of these are:
o Second or third-hand testimonies. Except in rare instances one should only relate personal healings.
o Years or decades-old healings. They may be wonderful, but if they occurred years ago a new-comer might wonder why there aren't healings now.
o Testimonies which include macabre details and puzzling stories of delightful stays in a hospital. Churches don't have air-sickness bags for the queasy, and MBE forbids the relating of lurid details.
o Shaggy dog stories, meandering monologues, and misstatements and misrepresentations of Christian Science.
o Testimonies where pinpointing the healing message is harder than finding Waldo.
o Gratitude for finding lost keys and happy endings to other of life's little vicissitudes. It devalues Christian Science to imply this is what it does or the best it has done for one.
o Reading from the periodicals or Monitor or anything else.
Obviously, long, quiet periods are unsettling vacuums, but filling them nervously with verbal packing puffs or other detritus hardly scales the pinnacle of gratitude. Simply cutting the testimony period to fit the cloth of testifiers seems a better temporary solution, and then expect more and more responsive meetings in the future.
The key to all of this is, finally, more vigorous and effective healing work, quantitatively and qualitatively, on the part of every genuine Christian Scientist. But isn't that what Christian Science is about, and why should we ever be content with an iota or jot less?