An understanding of God helps alleviate suffering
A Christian Science perspective: While in college and considering herself an atheist, this writer had a healing through prayer that changed her life.
A long time ago, before I knew anything about Christian Science, I had such a bad case of the flu that my temperature was higher than the thermometer recorded. People were understandably very concerned. I was in the dorm in college and had a few friends come by to pray for me. Two of them were Christian Scientists whose prayers were more than earnest petitions for my recovery. To my surprise, I had a miraculous, sudden, and complete healing. Let me tell you, that got my attention!
I had been an atheist up until this point, having never encountered a concept of God that resonated with me. But these Christian Scientists talked about God as Love – that literally Love itself is God. I believed in love, and wanted it just as much as the next person, but I had never considered that as my God before. This radical change of view is what resulted in my healing.
Christian Scientists spend their energy growing in their understanding of God, mostly because that is the most important and everlasting relationship we’ll ever have, but also because prayers based on that understanding have powerful results in helping alleviate humanity’s suffering. In the experience related above, my dorm friends’ prayer of understanding was fully and promptly answered.
Since then, I have rejoiced in getting to know God. I have learned through the Bible and Christian Science to understand God as Life itself; Truth itself; Mind itself; Soul, Spirit, and Principle itself. I have always believed in these things, even when I identified myself as an atheist. All these synonyms for God are particularly helpful in understanding God and what God does.
For example, God as Truth clarifies and reveals reality, gives us a strong foundation, and corrects any kind of error. God as Life itself demonstrates God to be as close as your next breath, as well as more infinite than the boundaries called birth and death. God as Mind is the alert, all-wise, intelligent Creator of the universe, and it often helps to see issues from the perspective of the one omniscient divine Mind, rather than from that of opposing human opinions.
Reasoning like this is a powerful aspect of Christian Science prayer. Unlike so many prayers that start with a problem and then ask God to intercede, prayer in Christian Science starts with an understanding of God, and reasons from that perfect Cause to a perfect effect, which often aligns the human situation as a direct consequence.
I have seen over and over again how God as Love dispels the fear that induces fever. I have become aware that a God that is omnipotent Love never would prescribe illness, nor ordain germs and contagion with an ability to afflict. Through this reasoning, I have proved God to be powerful both in protecting one from getting sick, as well as effective in healing sickness.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, wrote in her bestselling book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “The transmission of disease ... would be impossible if this great fact of being were learned, – namely, that nothing inharmonious can enter being, for Life is God” (p. 228).
She also states: “Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 210).
I do not think “flu season” is natural, to be expected, or to be endured; instead, it is to be redeemed and eliminated because it is not in keeping with divine Love. Health, joy, vibrancy, and bliss, these are our birthright.