A TENSION runs throughout life. We want sufficient order so that we aren't wholly disoriented by events. We want just enough disorder -- or variety -- so that we and our lives are spontaneous, not merely a dull repetition. Closely related, a lawyer comments that the Golden Rule -- ``Do unto others as you would have others do unto you'' -- is essential. Without it there would be disorder, conflict, loss of trust -- chaos. Such ideas might serve as an introduction to the new science called ``chaos,'' which looks at apparently random events and seeks to determine if there is an underlying order.
The feeling that there must be order to life hints at a deeper, spiritual truth. To one who has experienced something of spiritual healing, prayer for healing is not unpredictable. There is order, a divine Principle, behind the expectation of healing.
How can this divine Principle be known? This was certainly the question around which early Christianity revolved. Here was this man named Jesus, who repeatedly confronted disorder, disease, conflict, and brought order and healing. Such events were interpreted by many as diabolical or deceptive. They transgressed the expected order of things. Similar reactions have met the practice of Christian Science healing.
One day I was with a friend who often kidded me about Christian Science. My hand was injured in a work accident. I turned to prayer as I had been learning from my study of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. When I washed away the blood, what we saw surprised us both. The wound had closed completely, the bleeding had stopped, and a simple bandage was all I needed to go back to work.
Chaos wouldn't have been too strong a word to describe the original accident and alarm. But there was an underlying divine order, or law, that brought healing. Yet there is a demand in Christian Science to go beyond only the outward experience of physical healing, in order to discern the nature of God as divine Principle and of man as Principle's spiritual expression. Christ Jesus said it this way when seventy of his disciples testified enthusiastically about the healing works they had witnessed: ``Notwithstanding in this rejoice not...; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.''1
Even then Jesus was urging his students to look further. Mrs. Eddy saw early that the Science of Christ would require absolute honesty, persistence, courage, and -- perhaps most of all -- an underlying recognition that the discovery of God's law must eventually be what inspires one's own lifework.
Today students of this Science need to approximate something of the scientific commitment that Mrs. Eddy saw in the life and teachings of Jesus. At one point she explains: ``Jesus demonstrated the power of Christian Science to heal mortal minds and bodies. But this power was lost sight of, and must again be spiritually discerned, taught, and demonstrated according to Christ's command, with `signs following.' Its Science must be apprehended by as many as believe on Christ and spiritually understand Truth.''2
Out of the apparent chaos of human discord, there must develop an understanding of the divine Principle that gives order and purpose to life. This isn't a spectator sport; it's scientific research in which we all must eventually become engaged.
1Luke 10:20. 2Science and Health, p. 110.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the March 26 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.