Recently I talked with a new acquaintance about spiritual healing. She had seen a network television show in which the father of one character had chosen to rely on Christian Science for healing of a serious disease. Her comment was, "That was a really brave choice."
This perception was actually a surprise to me, a Christian Scientist. I've never felt relying on God for healing took any special bravery. God is omnipotent, after all. He loves all His children, including me. I never saw turning to Him in any difficult circumstance as a risk.
Being brave is the opposite of being afraid. And the Bible tells what destroys fear: love. We read in First John, "Perfect love casteth out fear" (4:18). Love and fear cannot occupy the same space. Since God is Love, and is infinite, what space is reserved for fear? Gaining a deeper understanding of God as Love inevitably banishes fear from our thoughts and allows us to turn to God with confidence.
I discussed some of these concepts with this new friend, and shared some of my own experiences, to help her see how natural it is to rely on prayer. When my son was a toddler, he was stung by a bee. With his voice at its highest decibel in the background, I called another Christian Scientist, who agreed to pray for my son. He stopped crying almost immediately, and within ten minutes he was completely healed -- so much so that there was not even any visible evidence of a sting on his finger.
That healing built up my confidence considerably. Like any loving parent, I would have found any continuing suffering unacceptable. Christian Science treatment had proved itself to me to be the most effective remedy. So it's no surprise that I relied consistently on Christian Science as the years progressed.
More recently, it became apparent that this son was unable to hear me as well as before. I would talk to him in a normal voice as he sat beside me, and he would make no response; I would have to speak much louder to get his attention. I have to admit I was frightened -- this seemed more serious than the bee sting. But instead of reacting in fear to the evidence of hearing loss, every time I noticed it I reminded myself of God's love for this child. God is the perfect, all-loving Mother and Father of all creation. I studied a description of the spiritual qualities of Mother, found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science. The spiritual definition reads, "God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love" (p. 592).
I realized that my son's only true Mother is God. God's Mother-love unfailingly protects each and every one of us from harm. There is no condition, handicap, illness, or fear that can intrude on this perfect relationship. I realized my boy was unconditionally loved and protected. Of course I had the responsibility to care for him. But that was to be fulfilled by loving him and loving God, and not by fearing.
With a new assurance, I stopped speaking loudly to get his attention. Whenever I had to talk to him and he didn't hear me, I would say (without changing my tone of voice), "I know you can hear your Mother." I didn't mean me -- I meant God. I was acknowledging the presence of God right there. Then I would repeat what I had originally said. All of this reasoning and acknowledging was a way for me to pray. And how grateful I was that in each instance of declaring this spiritual truth, he would respond normally. I continued to pray for several days, and gradually my son's hearing was restored completely.
Is relying on God for healing brave? Not necessarily. It is because Christian Science treatment has provided me consistent results that I rely exclusively on prayer. Because of its track record, I rely on the Science of Christian healing that was at the core of the healing work of Christ Jesus, and that was made plain by the discovery that God's law is one of goodness.
Christian healing is possible for anyone, regardless of denomination or creed. We are all equally loved of God, and His power is available for all to choose.