ONE day, as I was driving home from an errand, a large dog ambled right out in front of my car. There was no time to stop or a way to go around him, but even as I stepped hard on the brake, holding the wheel steady, I was aware of a great inner conviction that there would be no collision. I did not know how it would be averted, but I knew that it would be. As I braked, my tires squealed, the dog's head jerked up, and he made a wild leap to the left at the same moment that the front of my car skidded just enough to the right to miss him. My car came out of its skid, and I watched in my rearview mirror as the dog, now alert and watchful, crossed to the other side of the highway and into a field. I continued home, grateful that there had been no accident when one had appeared to be inevitable. As I thought about the conviction I had felt, I realized that it stemmed from a much deeper source than simply a human wish not to have an accident or to injure the dog. I had clearly felt God's control of His universe and was sure this would override the startling scenario before my eyes.
The healings performed by Christ Jesus and his disciples illustrate the power of divine law to alter physical evidence and to reestablish harmony. For instance, when Jesus once came into Peter's house, Peter's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever. The account in Matthew says, ``And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.''1 There was no period of recuperation; the woman demonstrated her recovery by immediately serving Jesus.
Devout people in all ages have turned in prayer to God with the result that material ``laws'' have been superseded and lives have been harmonized. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was herself healed of a severe injury resulting from a fall. This impelled her to search the Bible to find a scientific basis for her healing. As she writes in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration.''2
In answer to the question ``What is God?'' Science and Health states, ``God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.''3 This definition is crucial to us in challenging the supposed physical laws that underlie suffering.
Truly to understand, even in small degree, this definition of God is to experience reformation of thought and feeling. To begin to discern the reality of God's nature and presence is to gain a fresh sense of well-being and of the absolute control of divine Principle, Love. This feeling of well-being, and the improved physical circumstances that accompany it, are evidence of the Christ, of the universal divine healing influence, always with us. It is the power of Christ that re-forms our concept of ourselves and of our surroundings; that enables us to glimpse more of the perfect spiritual reality of God and man and to see that reality manifested in practical ways.
In a sermon titled The People's Idea of God Mrs. Eddy writes: ``The great element of reform is not born of human wisdom; it draws not its life from human organizations; rather is it the crumbling away of material elements from reason, the translation of law back to its original language, -- Mind, and the final unity between man and God.''4
The ``crumbling away of material elements'' does not take away anything substantial or meaningful. Rather, it allows us to see in greater degree the essential nature of God and the harmony that characterizes His spiritual universe.
The joy I felt while watching the dog calmly resume his quest on the other side of the highway, and in knowing that my car had remained in its lane, arose from the fact that I had expected the power of the Christ to correct my sense of the situation even as it presented itself, and that my expectations had been fulfilled.
I have learned that my perception of God's spiritual universe becomes more constant as I pray to accept the supremacy of God and the availability of His power in the small as well as the large events of my days.
1Matthew 8:15 2Science and Health,p. 109. 3Ibid., p. 465. 4Peo., p. 1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. Isaiah 33:22