Defense against seasonal illness

A Christian Science perspective.

At the slightest sniffle or sign of my not feeling well when I was a little girl, my dad would ask me, "Under the weather?" This question always perplexed me; I simply didn't understand what it meant. After my dad joined my mother in the study of Christian Science, this phrase evaporated from our home. This came about naturally from what my dad was beginning to understand: God's creation is under God's loving care and not susceptible to changes in weather conditions.

It is, however, a strongly held belief that all of us are, in fact, under the weather, that is, under the influence of atmospheric changes, and that shifts in climate can affect our health and happiness.

In a very succinct phrase, the Bible puts the beliefs of seasonal misery out of business. Speaking of God, the Psalmist writes, "Thou hast made summer and winter" (74:17). I have loved considering the correction this short and powerful declaration makes whenever I hear advertisements for seasonal remedies as well as when I've prayed for myself and others seeking healing from these kinds of afflictions.

God is the source and maintainer of all good. The first chapter of Genesis states, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." In the verse from Psalms, the ideas of summer and winter are attributed to God as Creator, and therefore they are good. The effect of them is good. They are pleasant manifestations of His nature, filled with infinite variety and beauty.

I've reasoned that shifting seasons is a little like shifting a view or perspective. Take, for instance, a beautiful piece of sculpture. You can stand in front of it and observe its lines and lovely articulation, and then, move around to the sides and back, and see it from other angles, still enjoying the same piece. The different views do not change the sense of awe and appreciation of the inspired work.

Seasons change because the amount of light increases or decreases depending on Earth's position in its orbit around the sun. Besides seasonal change, we can observe shifts in the angle of the sun, the length of day and night, the position of constellations, and so on. We are able to maintain, through spiritual understanding, that good is not diminished in these alterations, and that each season is a unique manifestation of the same continuous good that has its origin in God, supreme good. Mary Baker Eddy, in her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," named God Father and Mother of the universe: "Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man" (p. 256).

This Father-Mother's nature is the true and spiritual sense of nature, expressed, and this nature does not include harm, irritation, upset, gloom. It does not include a withdrawal of the warmth of Love nor of the fresh breezes of Spirit. God as Love knows and expresses only love.

My dad, for as long as I could remember, had extreme symptoms during a particular time of year, no matter where we lived. It was heartening to watch his release from this misery as he began to feel and express more love in his life through his study and practice of Christian Science. By getting to know more of God's loving control, he was less vulnerable to temper, less reactionary, more even-tempered. As he became more aware of God's nature as infinitely kind and consistent, ever-present, and the only power and influence on all creation, feelings of turmoil that seemed to result as one season changed to another disappeared.

The influence of the Christ, God's purveyor of His love and the promise of His healing, comforting presence, reveals God as the only power. When we accept that the atmosphere of God is all around, is gentle, is beautiful in all its iterations, we will feel well kept and safe, secure in God's climate, season in, season out.

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