Finding immunity from sickness

After contracting a contagious skin condition, a woman found that welcoming God’s perfect love into one’s heart lifts fear, protects, and heals.

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I know someone who used to schedule his sick days in advance because he expected to catch some type of illness every year about the same time. Then he learned about Christian Science, and his experience completely changed. He soon noticed that he didn’t need to take sick days with regularity anymore. And on the rare occasions that he did fall ill, he returned to work in good shape much more quickly than in the past. What made the difference?

Christian Science brings out what Jesus taught of the intersection between one’s relation to the Divine and practical daily experience, bringing health and healing. Jesus’ understanding of the nature of God and God’s children as good and pure empowered him to not only safely come into contact with those suffering from highly contagious conditions, but actually heal them. And he taught that each of us could follow in the path he pointed out, too.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science and a consecrated follower of Jesus’ teachings, explained that contagion is fundamentally mental in nature rather than physical, and is engendered by fear. “Many a hopeless case of disease,” she wrote, “is induced by a single post mortem examination, – not from infection nor from contact with material virus, but from the fear of the disease and from the image brought before the mind; it is a mental state, which is afterwards outlined on the body” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 196).

This is key. Prayer that leads to a better understanding of the divine Love that governs us brings out the tangible expression of that Love in daily experience. Mrs. Eddy illustrated this, healing highly contagious cases of diphtheria, tuberculosis, and membranous croup, and experiencing complete immunity in her contacts with these cases.

A number of years ago while working in a care home, I contracted a contagious skin condition that had rapidly spread among the patients and caregivers. We, along with most other care homes across the region, were required by the public health authority to quarantine those affected and follow a strict regimen of medical treatment. I requested and received permission to forgo the medication in order to practice Christian Science prayer for healing, with my agreement that I would remain quarantined until the healing was complete.

My prayer didn’t ask God to come heal the condition. Rather, in prayer, I sought to deepen my understanding of what it meant that God is Love and is “of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Christian Science erases from the minds of invalids their mistaken belief that they live in or because of matter, or that a so-called material organism controls the health or existence of mankind, and induces rest in God, divine Love, as caring for all the conditions requisite for the well-being of man” (“Rudimental Divine Science,” p. 12).

My prayers affirmed that God is the ever-present divine Principle, Love, and that God’s creation, including each of us, is made in God’s spiritual likeness, fully reflecting His attributes. This includes health and immunity from evil in any form, which is utterly devoid of legitimate power in the face of God’s supremacy.

These ideas helped me to realize that health is not controlled by a material organism, and to trust in Love’s care for me and for all. I found that letting perfect Love, or God, into our hearts truly does lift fear (see I John 4:18).

Following a brief period of prayer lasting but one day, I was healed quickly and permanently. I was authorized to return to work and care for others with the same condition, and I did so with complete immunity. And within a shorter than expected time, everyone in the home was also free of the condition.

Each of us can turn to the Divine and experience the healing power of divine Love. Prayer that brings to the fore of thought God’s true nature as the source and maintainer of good, and our true nature as reflecting or including all the elements of divine good, destroys fear. And it brings to light the healing and protecting power of divine Love, and the good that flows ceaselessly from God to us.

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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.