Health Care, Traditional and Alternative

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

A decade ago, the gap between traditional medicine and alternative health care was much wider. A significant lack of understanding about alternative practices often incited mistrust and skepticism. Today, mainstream medicine is beginning to embrace the possibilities of alternatives to traditional methods of treatment.

I was only about six when I first underwent what some people might consider alternative treatment. My father inadvertently shut a car door on my fingers. He didn't waste time chastising himself, but took both my hands in his, looked down with love at my crying face, and began to pray, telling me about my permanent perfection as God's child. I listened carefully, as I always did when my father told me something. As I listened, not only was I relieved of pain but was at once completely healed. Then I ran over to some other children to play with them.

What I learned that day-that as God's child I am permanently perfect-was brand-new to me. Up to that time, whenever I was sick or hurt, people around me paid most of their attention to what was wrong. This time it was different. We started with what was right about me-what was right about the way God knows me. Was that responsible of my father? Yes. He wasn't ignoring my need for relief; if he had been, he wouldn't have been praying for me.

God's perfection certainly isn't new to everyone. But it is to many people. What about God's creation? Could that really be perfect, too? Although most everything we see and hear and feel says not, Spirit is actually what is substantial because God is Spirit and is all-encompassing. The effect, or expression, of Spirit is what you and I are. The true you is perfect and discernible. It's not mixed with materiality, the opposite of spirituality. So it's as good as God is.

Isn't that astounding? It's wonderful, too. We actually are the spiritual expression of God, who is perfect good. There is so much to discover about your spiritual nature, so much to discover about God.

Healings such as the one of my injured fingers are encouraging and point to spiritual law, the law of God, the law of our perfection and harmony as God's expression. But physical healing is really a byproduct. It's unquestionably awesome, but it's secondary to discovering how we relate to God as His expression.

Prayer that commences with perfect God, not with pain, is really more than an alternative health care therapy. It's actually something that was practiced two thousand years ago. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," said Christ Jesus, as recorded in the Bible's book of Matthew (5:48). Jesus healed in opposition to physical law, notwithstanding mainstream health care methods of the time.

Once, when he was in Jerusalem, Jesus saw a number of people who were waiting for what in any era would be judged as alternative treatment. They sat next to a pool of water, hoping they could be healed if they were first into the water after it was "troubled" (see John 5: 1-9). Jesus came to that pool with the healing law of God. The Bible says, "And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?" A few moments later, the man stood for the first time in years and walked away healed.

"Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,-this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony," states Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who discovered Christian Science (p. 323). Christian prayer that heals is not actually alternative, but instead original, health care. And the kind of treatment that transforms thought as well as heals the body is surely worth broad consideration.

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