Imagine village life in England a few years after the Second World War. Food rationing is still in force. Everything is in short supply. A family lives in a simple cottage. The arrival of a grand lady in a chauffeur-driven limousine causes a great stir on Sunday morning. She has come to pick up a three-year-old girl and take her to Sunday School at a Christian Science church. The child's mother is in awe of the lady and says, "Take good care of my little girl. She's the most precious thing in the car."
Lying on the car seat are the Holy Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. They will come to be the most important books imaginable in that girl's life, as they already are for the lady. The books, representing the healing power of God's Word, will prove to deserve her respect. They will help her understand and experience God's loving care for her.
You have probably guessed that I was the child. Since then I have come to appreciate how that lady helped me see that the two books were so important.
The healing power of God's Word shines through the Bible. From earliest times people have sought to understand the nature of God. And as this search has brought them closer to Him, physical and mental healings have taken place. Safety and health have been theirs. In fact, all manner of blessings have come to men and women through God's Word.
The quest for spiritual understanding and enlightenment continues today. Increasingly people are eager for truth, receptive to the Word. Science and Health unlocks the Bible by revealing how God's laws of good can be demonstrated and practiced in our lives. It shows how God's law is as relevant and applicable now as it was in Bible times. God is eternal and God is Spirit; His laws are timeless and spiritual. The healings that weave their way through the Scriptures were divinely natural and came about through the power of God. This power is ever present, always available.
Healing happens when the truth of God forms the basis of our thinking. Consciousness is transformed spiritually, in the same manner as a burst of light illumines a darkened room. It doesn't matter how long the room has been in darkness; the light has an immediate, unopposable effect. This is analogous to the healing effect of truth on human thought and condition. Christ Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
The Preface to Science and Health says, "The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation" (p. xi). This divine Principle is God and has been in operation throughout all time, as the Bible sets on record.
In the study of Christian Science, the spiritual understanding found in the Bible continues to unfold in Science and Health, known as the textbook of Christian Science. These two books are central to spiritual healing because they awaken the thinker. They expand thought beyond limited, material concepts of creation and open up views of God as all good, as Love itself. This destroys depression, fear, and anxiety and confers true peace and harmony.
God's Word speaks directly to consciousness. It illumines thought. This is how it heals. Ever since Christian Science was first discovered in 1866, it has been healing those who have turned to it for an understanding of the truth.
The Bible and Science and Health have been with me ever since the lady took me to Sunday School in her car. And they always will be. I know that the messages they contain come straight from God. I feel that they-that is, the truths they reveal-were the most important things in that car.