Each year The First Church of Christ, Scientist, has an Annual Meeting attended by members from around the world, in person and via video. This year, the meeting’s theme was “that we may be able,” which prompted today’s contributor to share this experience of healing.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Sometimes freedom – from illness, or antagonism, or grief, or something else – seems beyond our grasp, making us think, “There’s nothing I can do but let this thing play out.”

But what if there’s an alternative approach to this line of thinking – one that involves spiritual inspiration and reliably does bring freedom?

It’s a radical thought, but I’ve seen in my study and practice of Christian Science that it isn’t far-fetched. There’s a spiritual perspective that enables us to see that we are never truly helpless, and that health and harmony are always within reach.

Take this poetic message in the Bible, for instance: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:3, 4, emphasis added).

Here lies an encouraging and timeless promise. Even when things are going poorly, God is here for us. And not only do we have the ability to feel His care, but He empowers us to care for others in need, too.

God being God – the supremely powerful, infinitely loving divine Principle of all that is good and true – the comfort He brings is more than a “There, there, take a deep breath.” It’s the surest, purest comfort there is: healing.

But are we willing to receive that comfort? Are we receptive to divine inspiration, which brings new views of God as good and reveals our true nature as the spiritual expression of God’s wholeness and harmony? Are we humble enough to mentally yield to God’s healing love – and to reflect that love outwardly toward others?

To the degree that we can honestly answer “yes” to such questions, we’ll find that we are indeed able to help and be helped in healing, tangible ways.

One afternoon at work I was in such internal physical discomfort that I simply couldn’t remain at the office. At the time, my commute home was nearly 1 ½ hours by foot, subway, and train. The trip felt especially daunting that day, and as I journeyed I turned wholeheartedly to God, earnestly praying for comfort and peace.

Then this snippet of a longer sentence came to thought: “man’s God-given ability to demonstrate Mind’s sacred power.” It’s from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science (p. 182). “Mind” is capitalized because it refers to God, the divine Mind, and the phrase relates to an ability that’s innate in everyone.

This brought me so much hope! It propelled me out of a pained-mortal-alone-and-helpless-on-a-train view of myself. That’s not at all how God made any of us! Each of us as God’s child is inseparable from our divine source and naturally reflects the strength of divine Spirit. Nothing can take away our God-given ability to discern and experience this spiritual reality.

I no longer wondered how I would endure the rest of the commute. I felt able – able not just to cope but to thrive. Not through sheer force of human will, but because flourishing is God’s will for His entire creation.

By the time the train arrived at my destination, the pain was gone, and I felt rejuvenated, too. To top it off, I enthusiastically (and successfully) helped a fellow passenger lift her heavy suitcase up a flight of stairs at the station, whereas when I’d left the office, just carrying my small purse had seemed barely manageable.

It’s a modest example in the grand scheme of things. But to me it was a meaningful glimpse of the magnitude of the divine promise of being “able.”

Today and every day, in ways big and small, each of us can welcome into our hearts and strive to live our God-given ability to radiate health, purity, joy, and harmony.

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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.