Wholeness will find you
Originally printed as an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel
"Do not try to be saved, but let redemption find you, as it certainly will."
For days I mulled over this sentence the poet Emily Dickinson wrote to a friend in the hospital. It rang true to me at an intuitive level, but being accustomed to a proactive language of salvation, I had to adjust to it. Don't try to be saved - delivered, healed, whole, acceptable to God? Let wholeness find you. But how do you do that?
The question came up again when I heard a radio talk show on health and fitness that weekend. The show was devoted to the "health of mind, body, and spirit," and the speakers advocated a range of holistic practices, including nutrition, vitamins, exercise, massage and healing touch, learning from dreams, prayer. Whatever approach or combination of approaches to physical and spiritual health someone chooses, I thought, it seems like we're all trying to be whole.
"Let redemption find you." It takes a thought-shift to consider that wholeness isn't something you win or lose just by your own power. That redemption is actually seeking you. Maybe the important question is, What can you do to be found?
A cross-country ski trip of years ago came to mind. Three of us were on the return leg of a winter trek in the northern California Sierra Nevadas. We'd skied the downhill portion on a quilt of fresh powder. Now we had five mostly flat miles to go, across frozen upper and lower Echo Lake. Kick and glide. Get into the rhythm. Packs pressing into our backs, the swishing of Gore-Tex parkas, eddies of snow racing ahead of us. At least the wind is from behind. Hey! Wind. Use the wind. We stretch out the rain fly of our tent between us, grip the corners, step forward ... the wind finds us. Suddenly we're sailing across the lake on our skis, laughing. All the power we need is right there, seeking a sail.
The power that heals is a little like the wind. Our part is to position ourselves to connect with that power. Prayer is like hoisting a sail, letting God act on our consciousness and save us. The spiritual teacher and founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote extensively about this saving action, identifying it as the Christ, the spiritual Truth that heals mind and body. She explained that Truth saves us by showing us what's eternally true - that we're whole and spiritual identities created by God. And Truth also exposes what isn't true - the belief that we're merely mortal, and that our bodies or minds have power to doom us. They don't, as Jesus proved by healing so many sick and broken people. This healing energy of Truth is as available as the wind was to carry us across the lake that day. We just have to hoist the "sail."
A simple, sail-raising prayer is to acknowledge that God's saving power is here. Even if that sounds like just words at first, it's a prayer worth repeating thoughtfully and persistently. Truth is always here, always able to destroy any belief in what isn't true. God is the totality of truth and goodness. Pain, sickness, brokenness, aren't part of this truth, aren't part of God's spiritual and good creation, which we belong to now and forever. Our Maker is whole, and wholeness is the truth about each of us always. Prayers of acknowledgment like this position us for the power of Truth to "find" us, and to heal and redeem us in whatever way is needed.
"I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee" (Jer. 30:11). You're never alone, trying to be whole. Truth is with you, repeating and repeating that you are spiritual and whole. Spread your sail wide, hold on, and let the winds of Truth carry you forward. Wholeness certainly will find you, and you will certainly find your wholeness.
Today people around the globe are participating in World Day of Prayer.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society