Health that isn’t vulnerable

Too often our health can seem susceptible to circumstance or chance. But the idea that true health is sustained by God, divine Spirit, brings help and healing.

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Every day is a learning experience. From newspapers, magazines, books, and the internet to radio, television, and the people in our lives, we can be educated in a variety of ways. There are all kinds of information to assimilate.

At times, any of these sources may try to convey a feeling that our health is inevitably at risk, vulnerable. For instance, recently I read an article asserting our susceptibility to various material influences, such as age and other circumstances, which could degrade our health.

This brings us to a crossroads: We can go down the path of thinking that life is fundamentally material, with its fears that our health is always vulnerable to material threats. Or we can consider another path, one in which we take seriously the idea that life is spiritually formed, and is governed by laws that are not subject to material circumstances.

The writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, shed light on this spiritual view. In her key text, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she says: “For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence” (p. 492). This spiritual existence, or reality, is based in God, the supremely good divine Spirit.

This has real implications for us and our health. The Bible indicates that we are God’s offspring, or image. As such, our real nature is spiritual, good, and whole as well, and therefore not vulnerable to ill health. Perceiving something of this spiritual reality brings tangible help, as I experienced at a time I had lost my sense of balance, my equilibrium, for no apparent reason.

I realized I had a decision to make: I could choose to just go along with a matter-based view of life and the symptoms I was experiencing. Or, as a result of my study of Christian Science, I could give my whole heart to prayer, coupled with a spiritual view of reality, and trust it to bring healing.

So I prayed with this powerful idea in Science and Health: “There is but one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause” (p. 207).

This is how I reasoned spiritually based on this idea: God, as the only legitimate cause, is harmonious and good. Then, how could the spiritual offspring of the Divine ever experience anything but God’s harmony and goodness? How could I ever lose my sense of balance?

My prayers also affirmed that since Spirit is the only cause, a material body could not dictate my health, could not originate any kind of effect on God’s spiritual creation. Ultimately, our true health has its source in God, and therefore can never be lacking. God’s children are never vulnerable.

In less than an hour, the symptoms disappeared, and they have not returned.

A spiritual view of existence and our relation to God as His spiritual offspring can help us to overcome the fear of our health being at risk or susceptible to material factors and conditions. It’s true: We can each experience God’s healing power.

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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.