Pain - an unreal master?
Those who live by Scriptural precepts may remember that the Apocalypse contains a promise of deliverance from pain: ''God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.'' n1
n1 Revelation 21:4.
For a great deal of my life I lived with the kinds of pain that appear to be a natural part of the human condition: an aching tooth, a headache, pain accompanying injuries. Then one day something happened that turned my convictions around, so that I began to treat pain as an unlawful intruder to be evicted from thought and thereby from experience.
I had been invited to attend a Wednesday testimony meeting in a branch Church of Christ, Scientist. At this meeting people testified that the truth Christ Jesus had come to proclaim frees mankind from pain and suffering. They told how they prayed in order to feel the presence of God's love. I was intrigued, to say the least; it all sounded so logical. Upon inquiring further, I received a book to study in conjunction with the Bible. This book was Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
About two months later I had my first opportunity to apply my newly found understanding of how to combat pain through prayer. I had been skiing in the Austrian Alps, the old-fashioned way - that is, instead of using the lifts, which were terribly crowded, my sister, some friends, and I did a lot of climbing. Once while I was climbing a steep slope for many hours, carrying my skis on my shoulders, the shoulders began to hurt very much. When I stopped to look, I found that there was an open wound. My sister had the same difficulty, so we decided to carry the skis in our hands as we continued the climb.
It occurred to me right then to put Christian Science to the test. I knew I had to look away from the material condition and to lift thought to a higher standpoint - to the acknowledgment of a perfect God who made a perfect man. I declared, in harmony with this understanding, that I was really a spiritual being, made in God's image, and that matter had in truth no sensation. I also understood that because I am the image of Spirit, my true senses must be spiritual, therefore painless. As Mrs. Eddy writes, ''Spirit's senses are without pain, and they are forever at peace.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, pp. 214-215.
The pain subsided slightly but did not cease. Knowing that wounded flesh, being unintelligent, could not truly create a painful condition, I took a firm stand. I denied the presence and legitimacy of pain and affirmed my spiritual status as God's beloved child. Even after putting my skis back on my shoulders, the pain began to fade away until it suddenly ceased. To this day I vividly remember how humbly grateful I was for unmistakable proof of the healing power of right, God-derived ideas. We continued to do much more climbing, the wound closed quickly, and there was no return of the difficulty.
A key element that greatly promoted the healing process was courage to confront the aggressive sense of suffering head on, and diligence to persist in this confrontation. I was compelled to yield up the false, limited sense of myself as a mortal, created to suffer and die. As I lifted my thoughts to God, to my tenderly caring Father and Mother, I was blessed by a release from suffering. Moreover, I felt great freedom, and my skiing that day was better than it had been in years.
In the nearly thirty years since, I have had other opportunities to overcome pain by spiritual means alone. I have found my Redeemer through a better understanding and application of the teachings of Christ Jesus, who truly mastered all the phenomena of his earthly experience, including death, and who plainly bade his followers to do likewise. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32