"What a word is this!"

The little four-year-old's eyes were filled with tears. She looked up at her mother and whispered solemnly, "I have a 'strep throat.' Susie has one, and she said I would catch it. And I did!" The symptoms were clearly evident.

The mother called a Christian Science practitioner (one who devotes his or her life to spiritual healing) to pray for the child. The practitioner recognized the root of the problem immediately -- fear.m Undoubtedly the term "strep throat" had suggested some terrifying pictures to this little one.

The practitioner began at once to pray by silently affirming some spiritual facts about the perfection of God and His perfect, spiritual creation. She pondered the Bible truth: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.' n1 She knew that this is a divine law and was applicable in this case. She continued acknowledging the omnipresence of that perfect Love -- the Love that is God. She denied the belief that Love's child, God's spiritual image, could ever be tormented.

n1 John 4:18

Then the practitioner reaffirmed her own spiritual understanding of the nature of divine Love. She realized that a loving God does not afflict or torment His children; that a merciful God would never send or create disease; that divine Love was unopposable, irresistible, omnipotent. And finally, that the evidence of Love's presence must be expressed humanly through the casting out of fear and the resultant healing of disease.

Almost immediately the symptoms disappeared, and the girl was healed.

What had actually taken place? A healing of fear. The symptoms had been simply the outward manifestation of that fear. They were the effect of fear -- not the cause of it. And Christian Science shows this is always the case. Fear is an underlying cause of all disease -- regardless of the disease's name.

But fear of a name does not belong just to children. Down through the centuries names of diseases have struck terror into the hearts of countless people. Leprosy. Typhoid. Consumption. Cancer.

In our time -- with instant communication through TV and radio -- it is almost impossible to remain ignorant of the names and symptoms of popular illnesses. But it isn't impossible to stop fearing them. That is, if we accept the truth that God never made disease.

Writing of a leading "fear word" of her day, Mary Baker Eddy n2 asks the question: "What if the belief is consumption?" Then she answers it this way: "God is more to a man than his belief, and the less we acknowledge matter or its laws, the more immortality we possess." n3

n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science

n3 Science and Health with key to the Scriptures,m p. 425

It may seem difficult or even unrealistic to call a terrifying disease a "belief." But isn't this its essential nature? A belief in something besides God? A belief in something a loving God would never create?

AT one point the Bible describes those who witnessed the mighty healing works of Christ Jesus: "They were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out." n4

n4 Luke 4:36

In a short article entitled "Love," Mrs Eddy writes of the subject: "What a word! I am in awe before it. Over what worlds on worlds it hath range and is sovereign! the underived, the incomparable, the infinite All of good, the alonem God, is Love." n5

n5 Miscellaneous Writings,m pp. 249-250.

Each of us has the right to order the unclean spirit of fear out of our thinking; to feel the presence of divine Love in its stead; to stand in awe of Love's healing results; to humbly and gratefully acknowledge: "What a word is this!" DAILY BIBLE VERSE There was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? . . . And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he c ame out of him, and hurt him not. Luke 4:33-35

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