Love and compassion in caring for health needs

A Christian Science perspective: On their deepest level, love and compassion impel healing and harmony.

There was an article in my local newspaper a few years ago announcing the opening of a new hospital in the neighboring town. To meet patients’ growing demand for more holistic care, the hospital would provide care that treated the whole patient – striving to meet both spiritual and physical needs.

Intrigued, I decided to go talk with the director of the spiritual care department and learn more about it. He shared with me his view of the most helpful approach with patients – not just focusing on their physical condition, but listening compassionately, working to understand underlying challenges such as grief, stress, or depression. We talked about the importance of bringing a spirit of love and compassion into the patient’s room.

Our conversation reminded me of this line I’ve come to love in a book by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this publication: “If we would open their prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 366). This seminal work explains and provides practical proof of the efficacy of spiritual healing as Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated.

Many accounts of Jesus’ healing works include the fact that he had compassion for those he healed (see, for instance, Matthew 20:34). Science and Health explains that the love he expressed involved seeing beyond the physical picture to the underlying spiritual nature of man, who was created whole and good by God. Jesus proved that the prayer that sees this true, spiritual nature of man results in complete healing. He fulfilled the promise of the book of Psalms that it is God “who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction” (103:3, 4, New King James Version).

Love that has its source in the infinite God is powerful. Divine Love can heal not only the heart, but also the whole of man.

To read accounts of how healing is occurring today through the realization of the power of divine Love, see JSH-Online.

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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.