I ONCE served on a jury for a lengthy civil trial. During orientation we had been instructed to refrain from forming an opinion until all evidence had been presented. Still, I often found myself thinking after the plaintiffs' attorney finished with a witness, ``It's so obvious. That's got to be the way it is.'' Then the defense attorney would rise. Sometimes with a single question he would throw a startlingly new light on everything that had just been said. I was repeatedly astonished. After carefully weighing the evidence, the jurors agreed that subtle deception and a couple of inconsistencies rendered the plaintiffs' claims unconvincing. What impressed me the most was this: despite how ironclad the testimony in favor of the plaintiffs originally sounded, we ultimately discredited the whole story. It simply required a perspective beyond our own to bring to light certain facts that resulted in a more accurate view.
During the course of the trial, I woke one morning in great pain. I shifted constantly in the jury box that day, unable to find relief. When we're suffering, it seems we're victims of physicality, prisoners of the body. But a higher perspective, an inspired Scriptural perspective, reveals facts of man's spiritual selfhood that contradict and destroy apparently ironclad claims of physicality.
For example, a woman who had suffered from hemorrhages for twelve years and had spent all her resources on physicians was instantly healed when Christ Jesus brought to light the wholeness of her spiritual selfhood, the health with which God had endowed her.1 The book of Acts tells of a lame man who was asking alms at the gate of the temple. Peter and John, drawing upon the higher, spiritual perspective learned from Jesus, challenged altogether the claims of disadvantage and disability. The man leaped and walked for the first time in his life.2
As convincing as disease and pain feel, a glimpse of man's spiritual birthright throws an entirely new light on the situation. It exposes the inconsistencies and deception of physical sense testimony. Unquestioning submission to physicality's claims can be replaced by faith in God's eternal government. Divine Love neither confines man to a crippled body nor dooms him to pain and death. An understanding of this opens the way to healing.
So instead of accepting pain as inevitable and legitimate, I humbly looked for my defense to Christian Science and the truth it teaches. I realized that God, Spirit, created man spiritually and that man is subject therefore not to physicality's tyrannical deception but to divine Love's unconfining control. I prayed in opposition to the pain, which was a contradiction of God's goodness. As a result, there was substantial improvement.
The next day I was able to sit still. As I continued in prayer, I realized it was not enough to seek well-being for myself. The trial was wearing. A juror confided to me that she had cried all the way home one evening. And so, while I didn't pray one by one for the other jurors, I did embrace the jury as a whole in my recognition that all of God's offspring are given health, peace, joy, strength, and so forth. I knew that God does not punish us for unselfish service. Soon I was entirely free of pain.
Through Scriptural study, prayer, and proof, Mary Baker Eddy3 learned that the claims of pain and disease are not as indisputable as they appear to be. She writes, ``When the body is supposed to say, `I am sick,' never plead guilty.''4 Through turning to God in prayer, we can glimpse the truths that expose the deceptive nature of pain, illness, and injury. Their claims just don't hold up when countered with a clear perception of the fact of man's spiritual innocence.
Divine Love is consistently good. It is always life-giving, always health-giving. Omnipotent Spirit has established man's well-being. Pain has no authority, then, to overpower man or undermine his health. Because our true being is the image of Love, we can experience healing and prove that we are worthy of freedom and regeneration. In this Scripturally grounded view of God and man, we find unfailing defense of our health.
1See Mark 5:25-34. 2See Acts 3:2-8. 3The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 391.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17