Spring always reminds me that things aren’t necessarily how they appear. Throughout the winter months, the trees in my backyard have looked dead. But I haven’t been fooled! I’ve known all along that life was coursing through those wonderful trees even though I couldn’t see the evidence.
This speaks to an important point: to be willing to look beyond what the five physical senses tell us and instead acknowledge as true something we haven’t seen. There’s a spiritual lesson here about reality. It reminds me of a phrase from the Bible: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Putting this point into practice brought to my life a remarkable healing of seasonal allergies. Before this healing, each year I experienced weeks of congestion and a perpetually runny nose. It would have been nice to just hide inside, but in addition to doing a lot of tent camping, we had horses and were responsible for tending a five-acre pasture.
One spring day while on the way to the pasture, the symptoms began again. While I was looking around frantically for a tissue, my middle-schooler looked at me and said, “Mom, stop it! This has nothing to do with you!”
Wow! That sure was arresting! I understood that he was referring to what Christian Science presents as the truth of our being. I wasn’t being asked to use some supreme human endeavor to stop the physical symptoms. Rather, the demand was for me to rethink how I was identifying myself.
Thinking about it, I saw that as the spiritual creation of God (see Genesis 1:26, 27), who is infinite Love, we have dominion, purity, an inviolate nature and being. It didn’t jibe with what the material picture was telling me at that moment, but I knew it to be the spiritual reality. With this realization, my view of the pollen changed, too. I saw it could not cause me harm, because our true identity as God’s perfect likeness can never be damaged. In that moment I stopped seeing myself as a victim and pollen as a villain.
Now, you may not believe this at first blush, but it is what happened: The flow from my nose stopped! Honest. Right then and there! And in over 15 years since that day I have never again had that problem.
At the heart of this healing was a better understanding of who we are as God’s spiritual image, which corrected a mistaken sense of the identity of man as a mortal who could be sick. I was able to see myself in a new light. Yes, I had to look beyond what the physical senses were telling me, but I wasn’t changing the reality, or anything but my own understanding of the situation. God, good, was decisively seen as the only real cause, just as Christ Jesus showed us through his healing example.
The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, speaks of the action of thought that Jesus demonstrated, and which I experienced in some degree that day: “Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 313).
To set aside the physicality of the scene for a higher, more spiritual view is more than mere visualization, or seeing oneself as one would like to be. Rather, it is a decisive turning from the physical appearances to see what is really going on instead, based on our relationship to God as His reflection. There is not the thinnest wedge of separation between God and His spiritual expression, man – all of us. It is the action of the forever Christ, spiritual Truth, that enables us to recognize the spiritual reality that is already present, even before the human eyes have seen full evidence of it – and that brings healing.