A Christian Science perspective. 

Very late one evening, my phone rang. A mother called me as a Christian Science practitioner to pray for her young son. He had just begun to exhibit symptoms of a condition that parents at school had been alerted to earlier in the week. The mother was not only worried about his well-being but was also concerned that her other two children would now be vulnerable to the disease. It was considered to be highly contagious.

I immediately began praying for the child, as did the mother, using what we had learned through our study of Christian Science, and within a few moments the child was completely free of all the symptoms. He slept uninterrupted and woke up in the morning with no issues. The other two children never had any signs of the illness. The contagion in that family had been stopped.

With all of the concern about contagion that is on the news right now, I keep thinking back to this experience. When a big blanket of fear of contagion seems to surround a household, a community, or even our whole global family, it is comforting to know that there is an effective way to pray about contagion – that we can help by turning to God, who is divine, all-encompassing Love, for help.

Christ Jesus set the example for us when he healed contagious diseases. In healing 10 lepers (see Luke 17:11-19), he showed that leprosy was not the fixed condition it seemed to be nor was it of God. Jesus’ healings illustrated that the laws of God were living truth, which governed everyone and brought harmony. He told his followers that in following Christ they – we – could do the same work as Jesus accomplished (see John 14:12).

But how is this achieved? Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, found that an understanding of God, His nature, and how He created man was the key to healing spiritually. She compassionately healed countless individuals suffering from all kinds of diseases, through her understanding of the allness of God, who is Spirit, and knowing each individual she healed to be the expression of Spirit. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she explains, “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, – that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle” (p. 275).

In Christian Science “All-in-all” emphatically means just that – all substance, all space, all life – without room for an opposite. If a page is “all white,” then there is not one speck of color on it. If a glass of water is “all pure,” then it includes not one element of a pollutant. Since Genesis 1 tells us that God made everything and it was all “very good,” this rules out the presence of evil in His creation. From this spiritual basis, how can bad bacteria, virus, or germ have any existence in an atmosphere completely pure and manifesting Spirit’s allness? God is all Love and would never create an opposite of Himself that would bring harm to us as His spiritual offspring, His children.

We may not fully understand this now, but even beginning to glimpse the spiritual truth that we live in God, divine Love, begins to lift us out of the fear that we are vulnerable to something evil. It helps us find comfort and reassurance in the biblical promise, “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling” (Psalms 91:9, 10). And with this developing understanding comes healing.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.