You don't have to accept suffering!

AMAN had been suffering for some time with pain and stiffness in his knees and back. The trouble had been diagnosed as arthritis. One evening a Christian Scientist who was a friend of his wife's telephoned. In the course of conversation she asked him how he was getting on, and hearing of his troubles she said gently: ``You know, you don't have to accept this situation. You believe that God forgives sin. He heals disease and suffering too.'' The confidence she showed in her own assertions caused him to agree to a further talk. At that time he was introduced to the understanding of God as Spirit, and man as God's spiritual image and likeness. Up to that time this man had been quite satisfied with his own church, but now he began to think more seriously about the possibility of spiritual healing. He was given a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and he started to read it. Familiar Bible passages began to take on more meaning for him as he read, but he couldn't see how he could possibly give up the pain killing drugs he was taking and rely fully on God's healing power. Then one morning he found that he just didn't want to take the drugs any- more. He was put in touch with a Christian Science practitioner and asked for treatment through prayer. At first it seemed to him presumptuous to expect anyone to be able to heal or be healed in the way taught by Christ Jesus. Then this passage in Luke was pointed out to him: ``Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.'' 1 He could see that this promise of Jesus, ``Nothing shall by any means hurt you,'' was his authority for refusing to accept suffering. This proved to be a turning point in his experience, and from then on he began to look in his reading for statements about power, and claim them as relating to himself. The understanding of spiritual power imparted by the Christ, by the universal divine influence, continued to help him day by day, and from then on his progress was rapid. Soon he was able to begin driving again. By then he had resumed all his normal activities, including full participation in running his business. A sense of limitation and uselessness was replaced by freedom and joy and a growing understanding of spiritual reality. How did this healing come about? Mrs. Eddy explains: ``Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth. It changes the secretions, expels humors, dissolves tumors, relaxes rigid muscles, restores carious bones to soundness. The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind.'' 2 Divine Mind, or God, can never be immobilized for a moment, so man as the image of Mind can't be immobilized either. Man isn't a mortal, moving at his own volition or brought to a standstill by forces outside the control of Mind. Man is immortal; he has individual spiritual consciousness, reflecting the one di-vine consciousness. This understanding, though it may seem abstract and impractical to materialistic thinking, has a very practical effect on human lives, producing greater mobility of thought and enlivening intellectual activities as well as restoring motionless limbs to usefulness. Usually movement is regarded as entirely physical. Yet effective physical ac-tivity requires intelligent direction, coordination, mobility, swiftness, smoothness, and power. These are all mental qualities, externalized in free and painless activity. When divine Mind is understood to govern thought, the body moves freely. This is why it isn't ever necessary to accept either immobility or suffering as irreversible. 1 Luke 10:19. 2 Science and Health, p. 162.

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