Unwrapping the healing gift of stillness

Even when circumstances are turbulent or overwhelming, the Christ-spirit is here to wake us up to the peace and harmony God expresses in everyone. And as a woman experienced when recurring pain came to a head one Christmastime, this spiritual stillness opens the door to healing.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

My favorite moments of recent Christmases have occurred in the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Day. In the silent stillness, accompanied only by the twinkling lights from the Christmas tree, it’s easy to feel the power of the Christ-spirit that is at the heart of the sacredness of the season.

But what about at other times, like when we have a huge to-do list, there are too many bills that need paying, we’re in the middle of a contentious family gathering, or we’re dealing with any number of challenges from life during a pandemic?

Even at these moments, Christ, the divine influence in human consciousness, is present to bring the spiritual stillness that rescues us. The Bible articulates this stillness in terms of knowing God. It says in Psalms, “Be still, and know that I am God” (46:10).

So, how do we “know God”? “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains that “Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent” (p. 89). This occurs as we let the Christ still our mental churning. Then we can find a deep-settled calm and peace, even in the midst of a lot of things going on. The more the human, mortal view of life gets quiet, the more the beauty and joy of life in Spirit, God, is seen.

It’s clear in the New Testament that God and Jesus, Father and Son, were in constant communication, silently. The poise Jesus had came from his awareness of and inseparability from God’s healing presence and power.

Such mental stillness is a natural occurrence for us as children of God. As we cultivate an awareness of God’s divine presence as ever with us, we feel spiritual stillness. Acknowledging God’s goodness and peace working in our lives, we can take action from the standpoint of stillness – rather than feeling pulled by worries or demands.

No matter how turbulent things might be, there is a stillness within that connects us with this divine presence. As we become conscious of God’s allness, we come to understand that the calm we seek isn’t a distant refuge; it is actually the reality of being within – infinite and universal.

All our doing and planning and fixing and solving would have us thinking we need to rely on an ever-active human mind. But, as Mrs. Eddy explained, “The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 93).

Stillness as the model for action is a revolutionary idea. And it brings healing. Years ago, just before Christmas, I was struck with such intense pain in my neck and shoulders that I was forced to stop everything and lie completely still. I’d been having bouts of tension and what seemed to be pinched nerves for a number of years, yet this was unlike anything I’d experienced before. In previous times, I’d prayed and found temporary relief. But on this day, I hungered for permanent freedom and deeper peace.

It can take some effort to mentally stand still, to find “stationary power,” when we feel personally in charge of so many things. Yet we are each capable of this, and God as divine Love shepherds us every step of the way. To relinquish perfectionism, control, worry, and concern is to follow this shepherding with grace and humility. Retrospection and Introspection says about God as divine Mind, “Mind demonstrates omnipresence and omnipotence, but Mind revolves on a spiritual axis, and its power is displayed and its presence felt in eternal stillness and immovable Love” (pp. 88-89).

As I accepted this eternal stillness, the intensity of burden and stress melted away. And so did the tightness and pain. That was the last time my neck and shoulders seized up.

As Christ fills consciousness, it leads us into silent conversation with God. The essence of spiritual stillness is felt during this communing, not only in good times but also in harder times. Whenever we honor this spiritual oneness with God, through Christ, as Jesus came to show us, we find ongoing stillness in our hearts. This is the healing gift that is not dependent on outward circumstances, but can be felt within, from one moment to the next.

Adapted from an editorial published in the December 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

Some more great ideas! To read an article on how God’s pure love empowers us to recognize and heal racism titled “Healing ‘humanity’s sore heart,’” please click through to www.JSH-Online.com. There is no paywall for this content.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

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.

QR Code to Unwrapping the healing gift of stillness
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today