We lived near the end of a dead-end road, and I loved leading my horse into the woods on a trail that looped back toward our land. When we emerged from the woods into a neighbor’s big field, I’d take off his halter and send him galloping the half-mile back to his herd, his mane flying in the wind. I could only imagine how good it felt to him to run free like that – something horses were made to do.
Who doesn’t long for freedom, whether from an oppressive government, limiting fears, unhealthy relationships, debilitating mental or physical conditions, or grief? We may long not only to find freedom ourselves but also to help others break free from these and other problems.
How to do it is the million-dollar question. Reasoning based on input from the physical senses will always run up against a fence eventually, being limited in its very nature. King David in the Bible hinted at an answer when he prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalms 51:12). And St. Paul found transformative freedom after learning to know himself spiritually through Christ. He said, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
Doesn’t this imply that freedom from mortality itself is a law of Spirit, God? Christian Science explains how to experience this law of Spirit in our lives by understanding God as infinite Spirit, infinite good, and ourselves as expressing God’s nature – as spiritual and whole, not material and flawed.
I experienced something of this a few years ago when I was greatly in need of healing. I had taken a bad fall from my horse, and there was such pain in my back and rib cage that for a week I spent my nights sleeping in a chair. Yet I was very hopeful, even expectant, of healing because of all the previous healings I’d had and witnessed through Christian Science, and because I knew this painful condition was not authorized by God, divine Love.
I prayed every day to understand better what it means to be the spiritual image of God (see Genesis 1:26, 27). Not just to accept or declare it, but to really understand it deep down. I knew I was on the right track because I was gaining fresh insights into the truth that Christ Jesus promised would make us free if we followed his teachings (see John 8:31, 32). I did receive some relief, which was encouraging, but the pain worsened one day when I threw a Frisbee for our dog.
Then one morning I came across a talk by a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship posted on YouTube. The speaker talked about exchanging a mortal concept of who we are for our true, spiritual identity as the eternal likeness of God. Drawing on related texts from the Bible, he made it clear that troubles stem from holding on to or feeling bound by false, matter-based concepts of identity instead of recognizing our God-given, spiritual nature and heritage. As Spirit’s loved offspring, we possess all of God’s qualities and nothing else.
I drank in the message of that lecture, and by the end of it I felt as though I had awakened from a dream. What the physical senses said about the state of my being was no longer legitimate to me. I walked into the kitchen feeling so free! It was as if a sunburst of spiritual light had changed my whole perspective. I knew that fundamentally I was the spiritual child of God, free from mortality with all its discords and limitations.
With that, the pain in my rib cage completely left. It wasn’t long before the remaining discomfort in my back was gone as well.
In the textbook of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 90). Whether this admission or recognition comes as a flash of inspiration, the result of perseverance in prayer, or some combination of both, we can be assured that the truth will indeed make us free.
Because each one of us is made to glorify God, infinite Spirit, it is so natural for us to live a life of holy freedom and joy.
Interested in hearing a public talk by a member of the international Christian Science Board of Lectureship that explores how the laws of God, good, can liberate us? Check out these online talks or find an in-person talk near you.