IN the Gospel of Mark, a pitiful man diseased with the scourge called leprosy meekly implored Christ Jesus to heal him. ``If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,'' he said. The Master was deeply moved by the man's request. Maybe he was touched by his humility. In defiance of the priestly code that prohibited anyone from even touching a leper, Jesus rested his hand on the man as a father might to reassure a child and gently said, ``I will; be thou clean.''1 And the man was immediately healed. His joy must have been unutterable.
But can sufferers today have any rational hope of a similar joy? The last thing they or their families need is a false hope.
Genuine spiritual healing is occurring today as in the Master's day. It is based on a growing understanding of God, of the divine Principle that Jesus practiced. I myself experienced healing of an eye that had been seriously damaged in an accident. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation.''2
The world may say it has never seen divine Principle -- which is true. But Principle is real as surely as such qualities as love and tenderness, which we can certainly feel even if they're not materially tangible. Our spiritual sense, cultivated through prayer and an ever-growing purity, enables us to discern divine Principle and realize the presence of the living God.
Christly healing is not magical. If it were, sick people might only need a willingness to be touched by a wand. But Christian Science suggests that a different willingness is needed -- a willingness to accept the truth of God and man.
The truth, found in the Bible, is that God is the one, perfect, infinite Being and that man is His beloved creation. The man of God's creating -- our true being -- eternally reflects His flawless attributes. Man is untouched by sin or sickness. He is inseparable from God as His beloved manifestation and includes no evil.
This spiritual truth shows us just how much we're capable of and what we must ultimately prove in our lives. Little by little, we must give up sensuous, worldly notions about life. We must be loving, kind, earnest, and honest, because such qualities express something of our real identity as the child of God. We must reject arrogance, anger, dishonesty, and so forth, even if we have believed for years that such traits are a natural part of our character.
These aren't merely theoretical demands, because it is not enough only to say we are perfect offspring of divine Love. This spiritual truth must be made practical in our everyday lives. If we are feeling resentment toward a family member or contempt for another race or are being dishonest in filling out our income tax forms, we need to give up those sins on the altar of divine Love's allness. For in God and His spiritual likeness there is no sin.
To some this may seem a radical position. Human theories, convinced of the reality of what the material eye sees and material ear hears, cannot comprehend it. Many in Jesus' day didn't comprehend. Sadly, they left him -- left his personal presence and left these sublime truths and left the healing grace that followed the heartfelt acceptance of them.
But receptivity to the spiritual truth of God and man is something we can cultivate today. To admit that this is true can lead us to spiritual healing.
1Mark 1:40, 41. 2Science and Health, p. xi.
You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Cleanse thou me from secret faults....Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.