The hem of the garment
ONE day when I was at work I had a heavy nosebleed that continued unabated for quite some time. My colleagues were all very concerned and showered me with well-meant directives on how best to deal with the situation. Instead of accepting any of these I telephoned a Christian Science practitioner and asked for her help through prayer. She reminded me of the Bible story in which Christ Jesus healed a woman who suffered from hemorrhages. Luke tells us: ``And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.... And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.''1
After this conversation I felt a new sense of control, and as I went back to my desk the physical symptoms began to ease, and then they disappeared. I was able to complete my day's work and went home very grateful for this healing. There was no return of the difficulty, and I began to realize that as well as being healed I had gained a new sense of the continuing relevance of Bible stories, of their healing impact.
True, in my case Jesus hadn't been present in person, and I couldn't literally reach out to touch the hem of his garment. But I could and did reach out mentally to feel the healing power of the Christ, of the universal divine influence which Jesus represented, and this had very much the same result. I realized more than I had before that the healing Christ is always at hand to help everyone who turns to it with faith and expectancy.
This faith isn't a blind belief in an unexplained power. It isn't faith in matter. It isn't faith in oneself, in somebody else, or in a promising past record that one hopes will automatically perpetuate itself. It's faith springing from an understanding that God is the one supreme God, and that His Christ is equal to any situation. Such faith transforms human experience and operates as a powerful force for good, saving us from doubt and defeatism with all the ills they bring. Faith is a God-derived quality, growing naturally from a perception of the relationship between God and man.
Jesus was demonstrating for all of us the divine healing Principle which is God. And he confidently expected that his followers would be able to continue to demonstrate this Principle for themselves and others. To touch the hem of the garment is a mental contact, not a physical one. It's a reaching out of thought and not of fingers. And since the power of the Christ is universally present for all time, anyone anywhere can do this and experience reassurance and healing. Man as God created him isn't a material organism, dependent on matter and material conditions for his health and well-being. He isn't a frightened mortal, liable to be overwhelmed by circumstances that seem beyond his control. Man is spiritual, because his creator, God, is infinite Spirit. Man is perpetually guided by his creator, expressing the harmony and freedom of the divine nature. Perceiving this spiritual truth, we're able to gain a measure of dominion over material conditions.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says: ``Christ Jesus' sense of matter was the opposite of that which mortals entertain: his nativity was a spiritual and immortal sense of the ideal world.'' She continues further along on the same page: ``If you will admit, with me, that matter is neither substance, intelligence, nor Life, you may have all that is left of it; and you will have touched the hem of the garment of Jesus' idea of matter. Christ was `the way;' since Life and Truth were the way that gave us, through a human person, a spiritual revelation of man's possible earthly development.''2
Glimpsing the insubstantial nature of matter is the first step to freeing thought from unthinking subservience to matter. And this in turn leads on to exercising the power of prayer in the healing of physical conditions.
1Luke 8:43, 44, 48. 2Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 74-75. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I Corinthians 14:15