Books Can Save Lives

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

There are two books in my home library that have saved lives. Not once, but many times. They offer help in whatever circumstances we might face, including those that are life-threatening. These books are the Holy Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy.

Why rely on two books to guide you, rather than on your wits? I would say because both of these books explain who God is and what He does for His spiritual creation, which includes you and me.

The Bible contains the Word of God and relates many experiences of spiritually-minded people who proved this Word to be reliable in times of need - and thus to be worthy of praise. Science and Health includes a Key to the Scriptures that unlocks the door to an understanding of God and of the healing truth that is available to us at all times, whether our human needs are great or small.

Biblical accounts show how people have followed God's direction and have saved their lives as a result. Daniel's obedience to the concept of one God brought him through the experience of being in a lions' den - certainly a life-threatening situation (see Dan., Chap. 6). The disobedience of the greedy and unwise prodigal son, recounted in a parable of Christ Jesus, brought him face to face with possible starvation until he became humble and ready to be obedient (see Luke, Chap. 15). Jesus relied on the Word of God to heal sickness and sin - even to restore people from death. He could do this because he understood man's relation to God. He said of himself, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). The understanding that we, too, are one with God, and the healing that accompanies it, are ours.

Science and Health is the work of a dedicated Bible student who discovered in the Scriptures the Science of spiritual healing as it was practiced by Jesus. This book teaches anyone to grasp the fundamentals of Christian healing and to put them into practice. The essential statement of Christian Science is that God made man - inclusive of all men, women, and children - in His spiritual image, good and perfect throughout eternity. Science and Health has gained recognition from various scholars, doctors, and religious leaders. It is the definitive work on Christian Science. It is available at many public libraries and bookstores, and at Christian Science Reading Rooms located throughout the world.

The Bible, together with Science and Health, saved my life when I had symptoms of stroke. They were by my side 24 hours a day as I sought in their pages the spiritual inspiration that heals. The 23rd and 91st Psalms brought me comfort and hope. The truth of God that I discerned destroyed my fears of being incapacitated or of dying. "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling," one psalm promised me; it provided the assurance of God's protection that I sought (91:9, 10). Science and Health instructed me that God made me and sees me as His perfect and loved spiritual reflection, exempt from sickness. It encouraged me to "rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good," assuring me that "God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man" (Pg. 393). I was healed of all effects of stroke, through prayer alone, in a matter of weeks.

The Bible and Science and Health quite naturally belong together; they are the pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Selections from them form each Sunday sermon. In addition, selections from them on a given topic are read at midweek services each Wednesday, services in which healings shared by those in the congregation provide proof that studying these books is practical.

Whether or not you call yourself a Christian Scientist, words Mrs. Eddy wrote to church members can help you: "Your dual and impersonal pastor, the Bible, and 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,' is with you; and the Life these give, the Truth they illustrate, the Love they demonstrate, is the great Shepherd that feedeth my flock, and leadeth them 'beside the still waters' " ("Miscellaneous Writings," Pg. 322).

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