Pain is not inevitable

A Christian Science perspective: A mother proves God's healing power.

How often when we're hurt or sick does pain seem unavoidable? We may try to manage it – to relieve it, lessen it, or distract ourselves from it. But we feel pretty much stuck with it for the time being. There is, however, another option.

Over the years, several scientific studies have explored the relationship of pain to a patient's mental state. One study in particular that caught my attention was done on patients with chronic back pain. Neuroscientists observed that patients experienced more pain in proportion to the level of concern for them expressed by loved ones in the room. This study, showing that mental conditions are a factor, indicates that pain does not have only a physical cause with an inevitable effect.

Christian Science goes a step further and says that pain is not caused by God and therefore has no legitimate law behind it. Understanding the nature of God as pure Love helps us see that no law of His could inflict suffering on His loved children, including you and me. I had an experience several years ago which brought this to light.

My 17-year-old daughter came to me one night and tearfully told me she had a painful earache. She asked me to pray for her.

Right away, I had a sweet assurance that through God's help my daughter could be and would be freed of the pain, just as God had met all the healthcare needs of our family in the past.

I shared that with my daughter, hugged her, and then pulled up a chair as she got into bed. I sat by her bed and prayed with my understanding of God and how He had made my daughter – His daughter – in His likeness, spiritual and perfect. I insisted that her suffering was not God's will and that the present power of His love precluded its authority, even its reality.

I voiced some of these ideas to my daughter and backed them up with readings from the Bible and from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. I sang hymns to her, too. But most important, I held my thought fast to the fact of God's present and all-powerful love, which denied any power or reality to matter. Finally, during a moment of silent prayer, the following words came distinctly and profoundly to my thought: There is no pain in Love, and we live in Love.

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