Recently there have been quite a few news articles about the trials and disappointments of those waiting for organ transplants. Pondering the plight of these individuals, I could not help thinking of a book that has brought comfort and healing to many whose condition has been diagnosed as hopeless or incurable.
In this book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science writes poignantly: ''I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind.
''The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of their own beliefs and from the educational systems of the Pharaohs, who to-day, as of yore, hold the children of Israel in bondage.'' n1
n1 Science and Health, p. 226.
Science and Health is the result of Mrs. Eddy's lifework to fulfill this supremely humanitarian goal. That she succeeded in finding the key that unlocks the chains of sin and sickness can be judged by the thousands of well-verified healings that have been effected in Christian Science over the last one hundred years. Virtually every type of disease has been healed, and often after a case was given up as hopeless by medicine.
How did - and do - these healings come about? In the same way Christian healing has always come about - through the Mind of Christ. The apostle enjoins us to let that Mind be in us ''which was also in Christ Jesus.'' n2 Doesn't this mean to have that spiritual consciousness which God, the divine Mind, bestows? Spiritual consciousness is the Christ-power that saves and redeems.
n2 Philippians 2:5.
Christian Science becomes mankind's benefactor by helping the individual spiritualize, or purify, his thinking so that it more nearly reflects the Mind of Christ. This Science explains that disease is not fundamentally physical but mental, and therefore curable by a change of thought. ''Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,'' n3 Christ Jesus told mankind. We find heaven through a change of thought.
n3 Matthew 4:17.
But a Christian change of thought - repentance - isn't merely ''thinking'' ourselves well through willpower, mental suggestion, or blind faith. The change of thought that heals as Jesus did is a shift from matter-based thinking to spiritual awakening. It involves a radical change of heart - of our deepest faiths and beliefs. It means breaking faith with matter and material medicine and nurturing a new-born trust that Spirit is the best physician and medicine.
To be healed by the Mind of Christ, then, we need receptivity to the spiritual ideas that the divine Mind sends. We need to be open to new visions of reality, to whole new perceptions of being. We must also be willing to refute what the material senses are saying so that we can hear what God is saying. And God's message is that disease is illegitimate, no part of His creation. God made man in His image; and the image of infinite Spirit is not diseased or sinful, but holy, spiritual, the son of God.
Isn't this what Jesus' career teaches us? If disease is legitimate, why did Jesus go about healing it? Wasn't he showing us that disease is mental, the result of false, material consciousness? It is our belief in matter and its laws that enslaves. And this is exactly why repentance, together with having the Mind of Christ, heals. To the degree we give up false beliefs about God, man, health, body, supply, relationships, or whatever, and accept the spiritual idea of being , to that degree the kingdom of heaven appears on earth and in us.
Waiting for a new heart? Improved health? Peace of mind? Happier relationships? A better job? You don't have to accept a hopeless prognosis. Christian Science says: The saving Christ is here. Let that spiritual consciousness be in you that was in Christ Jesus, and you can find healing. This is the change of heart that truly makes us a new person. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17