PEOPLE who have been healed through prayer sometimes say that the healing was like coming out of darkness into light. They felt the redeeming power of spiritual truth, and it changed their lives. They were transformed in a tangible way -- made ``a new creature,'' as the Bible puts it. Christian healing is always an awakening. When we're facing a challenge, the need is to find our way to God, to discover again what it means to be His child. We need new light, new understanding.
Sickness and suffering are very much like darkness. They would cloud our vision, have us believe we are somehow cut off from God or perhaps not worthy of His care. Sickness would presume that man is merely a physical being, spinning along like a top out of control, down some dim passageway from birth to death.
Yet there is spiritual intuition in all of us that says there must be something more than materialism and mortality. And so we pray. That seems to be an instinctive response to trials and hardship and suffering. When we realize the inadequacy of human will or material solutions, we are compelled to seek a higher power. We turn to God.
The Science of Christ gives direction to this turning. It brings our lives under the divine control of God's law by revealing to our spiritual sense the scientific truth of man's unbroken relationship to God.
Christian Science teaches that God is the one cause, the source of pure goodness and wholeness. What He has caused in man can reflect only His own nature, can only be good and whole and pure. And this is who we all actually are -- the man of God's creating. Real manhood and womanhood are not defined by mortal physique, corporeal structure, or human gender. Expressing the completeness and individuality of spiritual man, the actual identity of each of us is the reflection of God, who is All-in-all.
As we respond to the revelation of God's allness -- the omnipotence and omnipresence of divine Spirit -- we gain the strength we need to face the most difficult of circumstances with faith and a conviction that we are, in truth, included in God as His perfect spiritual expression.And in fact this truth enables us to see through -- and beyond -- sickness or debility to the spiritual reality that always exists in spite of, and actually in place of, the appearance of something that would seem so much less than good.
Such spiritual vision isn't a self-induced trance or a facile attempt to ignore the hard challenges of life. Rather, it is the way to heal them -- to throw light on what would seem the darkest of places in human consciousness and to feel the influence of the Christ eliminating ignorance, overcoming fears, and redeeming from sin.
The healing ministry of Christ Jesus illustrated a remarkable gathering of spiritual ideas into focus. Instantaneous healing was his standard. He demonstrated a natural, profound understanding of his own relationship to God and proved that all mankind actually shared the same spiritual sonship with the Father -- ``our Father.'' In the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, the writer relates Jesus' work directly to earlier Scriptural prophecy: ``That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,...the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.''1
Jesus' healing work clearly established that the only way to real freedom is the way that truth leads -- spiritual truth, not human conjecture. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, draws this startling conclusion: ``The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence.''2
Spiritual light is truly a healing light. Whenever we are humble enough to follow Christ and yield up old ways of thinking for the new understanding of man's life in God, we face the dawn of our own being. The healing, then, is inevitable. Just as the sun rising over the horizon can't be turned back, neither can our own spiritual development be halted in mid-course if we are steadfast in striving to know and to do God's will.
Christ Jesus said it in a way that clearly points out our own individual responsibility to maintain a singleness of vision and spiritual purpose. Yet at the same time his words carry the most wonderful promise of healing. Jesus declared, ``If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.''3 And how great is that light.
1Matthew 4:14, 16. 2Science and Health,p. 504. 3Matthew 6:22.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the July 25 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel. - NO BIBLE VERSE TODAY -