Leaves of hope and healing

A Christian Science perspective: Turning to the Bible offers hope and healing.

There was an such an alarming infiltration of gypsy moth caterpillars this year that it was said to have been the worst in my region since 1981. By the first week in June the leaves on the apple tree in my front yard were completely devoured by these hungry predators. As summer began, I was very disappointed to see that the tree stood as bleak and bare as it had been in mid-winter, with only skeletal remains. It looked so abnormal and hopeless that it made me ask what could be done to restore hope and bring back a sense of normalcy – and not just for the tree but for other seemingly hopeless situations.

The founder of this publication and the discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes on page 406 of her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “The Bible contains the recipe for all healing.” Whatever the problems facing us, great comfort and healing can be found in the Scriptures.

Throughout my life, in various situations, I’ve certainly found this to be true. In one case, shortly after our son was born, I had an experience that looked pretty hopeless. One of my knees became swollen and inflexible, which made taking care of an infant and our home very challenging and difficult. Rather than giving in to the hopelessness, I decided to pray using what I had learned in Christian Science. Instead of focusing on what my body was unable to do, I chose to focus on God and what He could do.

Turning to the Bible, I read in Genesis 1:31, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” This meant that God, Spirit, had made all of His creation spiritual, flawless, and perfect. Each day I prayed to see myself as God sees me, and this gave me hope. I began to see that God had already made me good and perfect, and that this was the normal and natural state of my being. Soon the swelling went down, and I had a little more flexibility. Before long, the knee was completely healed and I had full mobility again.

Prayer begins to crack open the door of hope to let in the light of the truth of God’s creation, and this leads to restoration and healing. Looking up to God with hope leads us into an understanding of the Christ, God’s presence and power, which speaks to the hearts of all people moment by moment. The Christ message of hope brings to light an understanding that life is actually spiritual, right now. The proof that life itself is eternal, spiritual, and indestructible was proven by Christ Jesus, and brings solace to those currently facing difficulties and loss.

When I recently went outside, I happened to look up at the apple tree. I couldn’t help smiling when I noticed that small, tender green leaves were starting to grow all over the tree. I was so pleased to see that the tree was making a comeback. It reminded me of this verse from the Old Testament: “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten ...” (Joel 2:25). It became a symbol of hope for me that restoration can come to all of us in whatever ways we need.

Today, looking up to God in prayer gives me hope that this gospel message speaks to the hearts and the consciousness of people everywhere: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). May the comfort of Christ bring more hope for healing to all of humanity!

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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.