Stopping contagious fear and disease

Each of us has a God-given ability to know and feel our true nature as the pure, peaceful, and whole children of God.

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Each morning I wake up and check the weather app on my phone to see what kind of day it’s going to be outside. Weather forecasts are based on the best of meteorological science. Nonetheless, as most of us have likely experienced, they’re not always accurate!

This recently got me thinking about a forecast of a different type – forecasting the spread of disease. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor and the discoverer of Christian Science, wrote, “Predicting danger does not dignify life, whereas forecasting liberty and joy does; for these are strong promoters of health and happiness” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 240).

Over many years, Mrs. Eddy healed people of all kinds of illnesses, including those considered contagious and life-threatening. Her work was inspired by the Bible’s record of spiritual healing, especially the healing practice of Jesus. I like to think of Jesus as an expert in stopping the contagious effects of fear. Christian Science shows Jesus’ oft-repeated, simple words, “Be not afraid,” to be the keynote to healing.

I’ll give you an example. When I was in high school, I came down with a serious case of strep throat. My dad took me to see a doctor, who prescribed penicillin and bed rest. Two painful weeks later, I made my way back to school. The next year, when I came down with the very same illness, I took a different approach. Instead of seeking medical treatment, I called a Christian Science practitioner for help.

All I remember from the call was an overwhelming feeling of being loved by God and being utterly safe. After I hung up, I could literally feel fear melting away from my thought, and all the painful symptoms of strep throat melting away at the same time.

That was it. I was completely healed and welcomed back at school the next day.

“There is no fear in love,” one of Jesus’ earliest followers wrote, “but perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18, New King James Version). This “perfect love” is God’s love, and we’re never outside it, because God is infinite, all-inclusive Love itself. Nothing unlike this limitless Love, including illness, has true power or legitimacy. Even a glimpse of this spiritual reality lifts fear and impels healing.

Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who was a contemporary of Mrs. Eddy, said that God is “a great ocean of love, and we live and move in Him as the fishes in the sea.”

Isn’t that a great image? More than an image, it hints at the deeper reality that God, infinite Love, is the environment we truly live in. This healing Love is disease-free, and it’s right here, empowering us to know and feel our true nature as the pure and whole children of God.

Adapted from the Feb. 11, 2020, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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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.