Sermons in crosswords
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Five-letter word for "brought under control" - that was a clue in a crossword puzzle. Its answer - saved - got my wheels turning. I'd just never thought of it that way before. But in order to be saved from disaster or danger or financial ruin or emotional collapse or disease, what we really need is to bring everything that's out of control back under control - back to normality.
Quieting human thought through divine influence is really what saves. When the mind is consumed with thoughts of fear, worry, disappointment, resentment, malice, envy, sensuality, greed, pride - and on and on - it's out of control. But "the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever" (Isa. 32:17). When we yield our thinking to God's control, we have a basis for seeing the answers to our problems.
Even problems like illness. Searching for the answer to the question "How did Jesus heal the sick?" the founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered that his power to save came from his understanding of God. She saw that this power is spiritual, active, and available today. It is deep, inherent awareness that we are the perfect children of God, the one Spirit. This is the consciousness of the truth of being. Mrs. Eddy found that spiritual consciousness still has power to deliver humanity from evil in this age - that is, from the mistaken view that life is separate from God.
God is the one divine Mind. In fact, this one Mind, when appealed to through what the Bible calls "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man," shows us that we do not have any other mind. That we are spiritual. That our only Mind is God.
"The effect of this [Christian] Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind," wrote Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pg. 162). When the human mind yields to the harmony of the divine Mind, healing results in our lives. Healing, you could say, is yielding. Understanding the spiritual fact that God's power saves. Seeing proof of the unshackling action of the truth that Jesus proclaimed: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
One time I was dealing with chronic back pain. And my daughter's ankles were painful from her gymnastics classes. I prayed for us both.
I had been thinking about some of the ideas expressed in this article, and I wrote down the following declaration of truth in the effort to spiritualize my consciousness: "I am the perfect, painless child of God. I am God's, Spirit's, own likeness, a spiritual idea, whole and complete, immortal, indestructible, and eternally comforted by His love. This is true of my daughter, too, for God is her real Father-Mother. She has a spiritual identity as the sturdy, strong, harmoniously regulated and formed, perfectly functioning, painless, child of God. I insist on the changeless fact that the message of God's goodness is here, transforming the human mind and allowing me and my daughter to 'yield to the harmony of the divine Mind,' and therefore to be witnesses to Christian healing." I recalled a passage from Zephaniah: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save" (3:17).
The back pain disappeared and has never returned. My daughter was also healed. I could share many other examples of how my family has witnessed and felt the saving power of God in our lives; in addition to physical healings, we have seen problems at school, in our careers, and with our finances brought under God's gracious and benevolent control.
It is reassuring to know that the healing Comforter that Jesus promised his followers is indeed with us. And that that this Comforter is none other than the reliable law of God - more reliable than gravity, in fact, for it transcends all physical dimension. It governs each circumstance with love, ends chance, and prevents disruption.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;... the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalms 18:2