`NOW we're exposed,'' I thought grimly. Two little boys in the neighborhood had been diagnosed as having a contagious childhood disease, and their mothers had kindly warned me to watch for symptoms in my own children. As I stood in my living room, face to face with the sister of one of the children who was ill, my reaction surprised me more than her unannounced visit, for I had learned through Christian Science that contagion is not the inevitable thing it appears to be. When Christ Jesus confronted leprosy, one of the most dreaded diseases of the time, he did not react with fear, but love, and he healed it with divine authority. Christian Science, in harmony with his words and works, points out that Christian healing is no more out of date today than are his timeless moral teachings. Jesus not only demonstrated man's exemption from disease and danger, but he told his followers, ``Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.''1 His command to cleanse the lepers implies that his followers can do it if they understand that the law of God which purifies and elevates thought and action also heals disease. This law is always available and can be relied on by anyone who yearns to obey the Christly command. It's based on the absolute supremacy of the one God, who is total good, and the perfection of man as His spiritual image.
Obedience to the Ten Commandments enables us to prove this spiritual reality. The Commandments are our lifeline to purity and protection from disease. God does not provide laws that harm. On the contrary, His laws -- when obeyed -- reveal our true nature as His image.
Since God is all-powerful, an understanding of this unending source of man's dominion can reverse the tendency to fear or obey any other supposed power. It is self-evident that everlasting power is in operation at all times, and this power is brought to bear on individual lives in proportion to our efforts to understand and obey the divine law of harmony. The writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, include this statement: ``At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion.''2
This statement was proved to me at the time of the incident referred to earlier. As my little friend and I stood there, she smiled at me so sweetly that my heart reached out to her in a surge of love and joy. It was then that I realized that my prayers claiming protection for my own family through God's law were not enough. Here was an opportunity to realize that the whole neighborhood was embraced in the quiet safety of God's love.
Suddenly I thought, ``This family is not exposed to disease and danger; the reverse is true -- the whole neighborhood is exposed to the powerful truth of God and His healing love!'' At that moment the fear left me, and my young friend happily went home. The next day both mothers came to tell me that their children, who had been so ill, had suddenly recovered. The mothers had confirmed with their doctors that the disease was no longer present. Our children did not become ill, and there was no more mention of disease or contagion in the neighborhood.
Of course, I do not mean to imply that our family never experienced contagious so-called childhood disease. But those occasions were few, the discomfort minimal, and the healings were quick. Each time, in the spirit of the Golden Rule and in accord with the law, we informed the proper authorities and observed a quarantine until the healings were complete. This incident showed me, however, that when we face the challenge of contagious disease, we can cling obediently to God's power. There is no divine law that requires fearful, resigned consent to disease. In fact, as Mrs. Eddy declares, ``Common consent is contagious, and it makes disease catching.''3
The healing power of God is universal. No one is outside its infinite presence. Realizing this power, affirming it prayerfully, and living in loving obedience to its demands, we can prove our dominion over disease and contagion. Fear and condemnation of others cannot do for mankind what Christlike love, individually expressed, can accomplish. The omnipotence of God, good, rules out sin and disease, contamination and helplessness, and not only reverses the spread of disease but ultimately conquers it.
1Matthew 10:8. 2The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 116. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 228. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I am the Lord that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26