RECENTLY, while I was in a bookstore, I heard someone give a book talk. I was particularly interested in the book that was being discussed because it's one that has helped me so much. It may sound surprising that a book could do so much to help me feel the power of God and to understand Him and His law better. But when the book is one that outlines God's law by opening up the Bible, that's exactly what happens. The book that did this for me is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science.
During the discussion a question about this book caught my interest. Someone asked: ''What makes Christian Science healing different?'' This is a question that's asked not only during book talks but also by professionals, politicians, neighbors, and many others who make up the community. Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to begin with Christ Jesus.
Christ Jesus' approach to healing was radically different-and systematically effective! He was able to heal the sick, the lame, the deaf, and raise the dead. It's fairly safe to say that Christ Jesus' method of healing was unique. What we sometimes fail to recognize is that it is available to anyone who wants to follow him and learn from his life and teachings. Jesus taught healing to his disciples, and they proved what they learned by healing others. This must mean that his method is not only teachable but learnable!
This is what Mrs. Eddy discovered from her study of the Bible-that Christ Jesus' method of healing is available today, right here, right now. It's possible to learn from Jesus' teachings today.
Jesus relied solely on God for help. And prayer was his approach to God. Prayer doesn't mean just begging or hoping for things to work out, but rather prayer is one's thought and life combined. That is, when one's thought is turned to God, one's life is, too. This unity of thought and life, of hearing and doing the Word of God, brings healing. Hearing and doing of God's Word, however, must be based on a growing spiritual understanding of God and of our relation to Him.
This total dependence on and obedience to God separates Christ Jesus' healing method from all others. And this is what Science and Health teaches us to do. Depending on God, however, isn't something that's just a good idea. It brings practical healing to our lives.
Mrs. Eddy points out in Science and Health: ''After a lengthy examination of my discovery and its demonstration in healing the sick, this fact became evident to me,-that Mind governs the body, not partially but wholly. I submitted my metaphysical system of treating disease to the broadest practical tests. Since then this system has gradually gained ground, and has proved itself, whenever scientifically employed, to be the most effective curative agent in medical practice'' (pp. 111-112).
The fact that divine Mind, God, governs the body is brought out in the Bible, as when Paul in his letter to the Romans urges, ''Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God'' (12:2).
Being transformed by the renewing of our mind occurs when we put off materially based thinking and put on spiritually based reasoning-that is, we put on spiritual understanding. What does this do for us? It changes our experience for the better. It makes our thought and our life march onward toward a deeper understanding of God and of His willingness and ability to heal us. Embracing spiritual concepts, rules, and laws in our thought ensures that they are expressed in our experience, too.
Christian Science healing is different because it's based on the healing method of Christ Jesus, on sole reliance on God, divine Mind, for healing. And you can prove this is true for yourself, just as I have. You can learn that the Word of God is provable today.