WHEN I was in high school, a lot of my friends used drugs. I knew somehow that the use of drugs didn't have anything to do with Christianity, and I didn't join in at parties. But during my last year in high school I finally gave in to a friend's invitation to share some marijuana with her. The cigarettes had apparently been laced with some stronger drug, and we had an unpleasant time. I felt I had learned my lesson from this bad experience, but for years I found myself attracted to the smell of marijuana. I wasn't so attracted that I ever smoked, but sometimes the presence of the smell took all my attention.
Once, on a bus ride, I mentioned this to my traveling companion, a fellow Christian Scientist. ``Boy,'' I said, ``that stuff really smells good.'' This friend knew the standard I had set for myself as a Christian Scientist, so he turned to me and said simply, ``Man is never attracted to evil.''
What did he mean? And how did it help me?
First of all, he reminded me of who I really am. He was reminding me that I wasn't, in God's sight, a chemical, biological being whose desires or actions could be triggered by some other chemical substance. He was saying that my true identity is as the Bible describes everyone's true nature: ``The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.''1 Christ Jesus had come preaching that God is our loving Father and that all of us are His well-loved children. Jesus' healings show us that man is subject to a higher law than sickness or disease. His healing works show that God's purpose for man is always good, and that we have God-given dominion over the things of the world.
So, my friend was saying, ``That's who you are--the child of God.''
My friend was also telling me that this drug was evil. Well, it had been a nasty experience, but I had never really thought of the drug as evil. Now I really had to do some thinking. Was this drug something that brought me closer to God? No. It had only made me a fuzzy thinker. It certainly hadn't helped me to pray clearly at the time. It had made me feel very far from God and His love. I knew that God loves His creation as a parent loves a child. Anything that hid God's love for me was evil, because it kept me from feeling what was true. It hid reality from me. It kept my eyes closed to everything good that was around me.
The child of God certainly wouldn't want anything evil. And that was my friend's final point. God's loved child isn't, and can't be, attracted to anything that would prevent him from feeling God's love. There is no evil in the presence of Deity; so there can be no false attraction.
Once we have felt and seen God as our Father and helper, what could make us want to cut ourselves off for even a moment from feeling His presence? Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit.''2
By the time my friend's words had sunk in, and I had seen the truth of his message, I no longer wanted to smoke marijuana, and the smell of it was repugnant.
This was not a healing of actual drug addiction. But I have gained a freedom that is very important to me. For one thing, I feel free of my past experience with marijuana. I had felt that I had failed my own standards, which I knew were in harmony with divine law. Along with that guilt and sadness was the suspicion that I would do it again if the circumstances were right--for instance, if I were alone or really depressed. Now I knew I would not smoke. The desire was gone. As for the past experience, it became something I no longer feared as a power that could affect my life, because it was no part of my natural inclinations or of my real selfhood in God's sight.
Just as important, this healing has given me much hope for those faced with drug addiction. It has helped me to pray more effectively for the world.
1Romans 8:16. 2Science and Health, p. 102. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes . . . cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Psalms 19:8, 12, 13