No way, no how, no pain

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Pain, whether chronic, acute, or simply present, is never pleasant. But it can spur us on to searching for and finding a cure – even if we've been told there is none. Standing up to pain is not as ridiculous as it sounds. And it can be done as we learn to turn thought away from the alarming sensations to the very presence and calmness of divine Love, God.

Many have found the first five words of the Bible helpful in dealing with pain: "In the beginning God created ...." These five words make clear that God – good – is the Creator, and not evil, pain, disease, lack, or anything else ungodlike. This means that only God's character and His love for His creation – each of us – is relevant. His presence and power are available to all as they learn to call upon Him for help. Because God includes only good, He creates only good. So the words "in the beginning God created" are words we can prayerfully stand on when pain oppresses us. Those five words tell us about the whole of creation, and pain is no part of it.

Basing our prayer on those words turns our thought to say "No way" to pain. But this isn't just something we say because we hope it will come true. Rather, saying "no way" to pain has a biblical basis; it includes God's goodness and the solid realization that no one, in reality, is subject to matter and its claims. Standing up to pain, prayerfully, mentally, and even verbally, if needed, puts us on the solid ground of spiritual right thinking. Then we can also know that there is "no how" – no means by which we can be put into or held in pain. Since it doesn't come from an all-loving, powerful God, it has no real foundation.

We can also say "no pain" to the sensations of the body. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, teaches how to do this. She wrote authoritatively: "Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government. Have no fear that matter can ache, swell, and be inflamed as the result of a law of any kind, when it is self-evident that matter can have no pain nor inflammation" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 393). Learning to have no fear that matter can affect us reveals God's creation as whole and perfect – spiritual.

So how do we apply these thoughts in a practical way? Well, suppose that someone is in pain and discomfort and wants to be healed through prayer. Studying and praying with the thought that God is the only Creator, and recognizing that the creation God made is perfect, makes tangible the truth that we actually are perfect also.

We can turn our thoughts to God to see and to feel His presence. This helps us see that what God created doesn't include a material element: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness" (Gen.1:1-4).

A woman who prayed along these lines had been struggling with pain for some time. Then one day she realized that God didn't create without form. He didn't make a void. Rather, He created with form, with spiritual substance. The so-called darkness of pain and discomfort was not something He brought about, and so it could be destroyed. This understanding helped the woman recognize that God and His good presence is all there is. Only His goodness and light have power. She was healed because she understood that in the presence of God there is "no way, no how, no pain."

There wasn't any pain "in the beginning," and there wasn't any with her, either. Nor is there anyone beyond God's help now. Each of us can say, "no way, no how, no pain" – and expect to experience the touch of God's healing power.

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