The naturalness of spiritual healing

THE wonderful thing about spiritual healing is its normalcy. It doesn't happen with a bang or a flash of light, nor is it a matter of blind faith. It is the quiet yielding of human views to the facts of divine law as we turn in prayer to God.

Spiritual healing is not something incredible, performed only by Christ Jesus and his close disciples. It can be - and is - part of the experience of any spiritually-minded individual who loves God.

Healing through the power of God is not confined to Jesus' time. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ''It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.'' n1 Mrs. Eddy proved this by many healings. She wrote down what she understood to be the divine laws of healing in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, so that anyone studying it would know how to turn to God for help. Some of the chapter titles - ''Prayer,'' ''Footsteps of Truth,'' ''Christian Science Practice,'' and ''Fruitage'' - indicate the dedication of her book to this aim.

n1 Science and Health, p. 494.

Today the might and presence of God can be seen in the experience of those who turn in sincere prayer to Him.

Take the case of a friend of mine. A teen-ager who loves to go snowmobiling, he was driving through snow-covered marshes near his home. Unfortunately, he was going too fast, lost control, and crashed.

Although he was in great pain and could scarcely move, he knew that God could help him. As soon as possible a Christian Science practitioner was called for help through prayer. (Practitioners devote full time to this healing work.) The practitioner shared with my friend this Bible passage with its wonderful promise: ''Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities , nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.'' n2 They realized that in spite of the evidence of accident, man is never really separated from God but is His beloved child, always protected.

n2 Romans 8:35, 37-39.

That night the boy slept well and woke hungry! Although he could walk more easily, there was still some stiffness, bruising, and internal pain. The practitioner reminded him of this passage from Science and Health: ''The facts of divine Science should be admitted, - although the evidence as to these facts is not supported by evil, by matter, or by material sense, - because the evidence that God and man coexist is fully sustained by spiritual sense. Man is, and forever has been, God's reflection. God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence.'' n3

n3 Science and Health, p. 471.

One of the important insights Christian Science gives is that man, as God's reflection - as His very image - is always at the standpoint of perfection. Though this isn't apparent to human perception, it's a spiritual fact, the reality established by God. And as we discern this fact, acknowledging it with conviction in prayer, the evidence of sickness or accident can be reversed - superseded by this law of God.

The following day it was apparent that adjustments were taking place internally. Two days later my friend was totally free, eager to go out and shovel a new fall of snow. Here was a clear proof of natural, spiritual healing.

The laws of divine healing can be understood and practiced. However, we need to cultivate humility, love of humanity, and faith, as Jesus taught. The Master shared with his disciples three essentials for healing when he spoke of the need for faith, prayer, and fasting. n4 (Fasting, in this case, seems to indicate a refusal to accept the appearance of disease as reality.) Jesus spent many years preparing for his healing ministry, and spent solitary nights in prayer during the period in which he accomplished his healing works.

n4 See Matthew 17:14-21.

Today, those engaged in the healing ministry of Christian Science aspire to and strive for the same dedication and love, so that the natural works of spiritual healing will continue to bless mankind. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17

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