Touched by the simplicity of Christ

Even just a moment of genuine yearning to feel closer to God, good, can have profound effects.

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I was having a pity party! For days my throat had been painful, and now I could no longer speak. As I lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself, my husband encouraged me to change my focus. I knew he meant this gentle rebuke as a loving call to action. For me, this meant prayer.

I rose, went to a chair, and mentally turned to divine Love, God, seeking Love’s comforting presence. Then, very gently, a realization of that presence of God, good, and of God’s power, enveloped me. It felt as if light were flooding in. With it came a clear recognition that God’s children are not limited by physicality. Our true being is forever spiritual, innocent, perfect. And in that holy moment I glimpsed how completely natural and normal it was to experience the health, comfort, and peace that God gives.

In the next instant there was a warmth in my throat and the pain vanished – permanently. I was practically leaping with joy, and my husband rejoiced with me.

The feeling of being enfolded in the warmth of divine light really stuck with me. Thinking back on that experience, I’ve realized that the light was Christ, the divine idea of God, dawning in my consciousness. With this spiritual illumination came a moment of spiritual understanding. It wasn’t the words that came to me that healed, but the idea I glimpsed: that harmony and health were the spiritual reality, even at that moment.

The Bible refers to “the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Corinthians 11:3). Sometimes we may feel we have to be “smarter” to formulate a complicated prayer to take on a painful condition and overcome it. But a simple, honest receptivity to divine Truth is what is needed.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote: “Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 323-324). And Christ Jesus himself taught that becoming “as little children” enables us to enter into the kingdom of heaven (see Matthew 18:3).

This doesn’t mean becoming foolish or childish, but being receptive, willing, humble, trusting. This opens our hearts to the Christ, Truth, that heals. That’s where I’d been that day after my husband’s nudge – humbly listening for divine inspiration, willing to yield to God, ready for progress, receptive to healing.

This is the simplicity that is in Christ. A heartfelt desire to feel God’s loving embrace dissolves self-pity, pride, or stubborn resistance. Christ is God’s message to us, revealing God as all-encompassing, ever-present Life and Love, who unfailingly preserves and protects His children.

The light of this divine Life and Love, conveyed through the simplicity of the Christ, actively heals, uplifts, and renews. It dissolves the darkness of fear and frustration.

This profound statement in Mrs. Eddy’s “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” from one who adopted Christian Science, says it best: “We have been keeping our eyes turned toward the sky, scanning the heavens with a far-off gaze in search of light, expecting to see the truth blaze forth like some great comet, or in some extraordinary manner; and when, instead of coming in great pomp and splendor, it appears in the simpleness of demonstration, we are staggered at it, and refuse to accept it; our intellectual pride is shocked, and we are sure that there has been some mistake” (p. 469).

We are all capable of rising up from this state of mind and discerning divine Truth – being touched by the light of Christ – and experiencing the changes in both mind and body that come with it. This light comes to all, and every receptive heart can discover the Christ light that defeats darkness. This is the greatest of blessings!

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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.

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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.

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