Ifirst “met” Myrtle Fillmore in 2002. I had been attending Unity of Phoenix on and off for about 10 years, and then one day I decided to stop using the revolving door. I made the leap into volunteering,
and as with most things I choose to do, I didn’t start
small: I volunteered to become a prayer chaplain. As my
minister, Rev. Lei Lanni Burt, taught, any commitment
you make to your own prayer life or to living a life of
service should be made advisedly, rigorously, soberly,
and with great devotion and authenticity—in other
words, with your whole body, mind, and spirit.
Even though I didn’t completely comprehend what I
was saying “yes” to, I knew being a prayer chaplain was
mine to do. My ignorance was indeed blissful because it
didn’t dawn on me until weeks into the training—while
at chaplain camp—that I would indeed be praying with
people out loud. Had that occurred to me earlier, I’m not
sure I would have stayed the course.
I’m also not sure I would have the precious
relationship I now have with Myrtle (who made her
transition in 1931), even though of course I can never
really know what she was like.
THE PUBLIC MYRTLE
As the story is told, Unity cofounder Myrtle Fillmore
was diagnosed with chronic tuberculosis as a girl and
given a poor prognosis. In 1886, when she was in her
40s, Myrtle attended a lecture that introduced her to the
idea that the mind has the capacity to heal—not just to
“heal thyself,” but also to heal life collectively. So more
than 130 years ago, she began planting revolutionary
seeds essentially encouraging and teaching others what
she was discovering for herself: We hold within ourselves
the potential for healing and wholeness.
A minister discovers Unity
cofounder Myrtle Fillmore was
adamant not only about healing herself,
but also about healing the world.
By Rev. Kelly Isola