Our ageless connection to God’s healing, ‘playing’ thoughts

If we’re feeling ill or tired, joyful activity may seem out of reach. But God is always sending the inspiration we need to live and love more fully and freely – just like God created us to.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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When my two sons were a preschooler and a toddler, my youngest came to me crying with a painful and inflamed ear. I put him in bed and comforted him until he fell asleep, as I did what I’ve always found effective when healing is needed: I prayed. His older brother soon came to the door and I asked him to pray, too.

He looked at his little brother with compassion for a moment and then yelled out, “Hey! Let’s go play!”

The little one immediately woke up and ran into the next room. When I joined them, they were laughing and jumping. The younger one’s ear was perfectly normal; the pain and redness had simply dissolved.

“How did you pray?” I asked my older son.

“Well,” he said thoughtfully, “I just prayed to God, and God gave me His playing thoughts.” (See Micah Korinek, “God’s ‘playing’ thoughts,” Christian Science Sentinel, June 1, 1998.)

This healing held a lesson about childlikeness that I continue to draw on again and again. Childlikeness is all about receptivity and innocence, which are so necessary for the spiritual growth that leads to healing. It is a spiritual quality that we all have as children of God. As the Bible says, “You are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness” (I Thessalonians 5:5, New Revised Standard Version).

Mary Baker Eddy, founder of this news organization and discoverer of Christian Science, writes on childlikeness: “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). Our willingness to claim our inherent innocence has much to do with discerning the “advanced idea” – the spiritual reality that we are made in God’s image – and leaving behind false concepts of ourselves as vulnerable mortals. And this shift in thought replaces pain and suffering with boundless joy, healing, and progress.

As my little sons glimpsed that day, we were made to “play” – to be joyfully active – and to love each other fully. We can never lose our connection to God, our pure and ever-fresh relation to divine Love itself, who is constantly communicating to us. Embracing our inherent innocence burns away the fear, doubt, and other distracting baggage that would try to dull and weigh down our lives. It clears the vision, helping us to see ourselves and others in our original, God-given, spiritual purity. This purity includes harmony, an inevitable consequence of divine Truth, another Bible-based name for God.

No erroneous element can enter a consciousness that is filled with Truth. Seeing ourselves and one another through divine Love’s eyes, we are more apt to cultivate our ability to live and love more actively and unselfishly. Our thought naturally shifts from a material view to spiritual understanding and conviction, with healing effect – from sickness to health, discord to harmony, sorrow to happiness.

We can even experience this shift in our relationships – rather than being critical or feeling bereft of companionship, we can explore with childlike joy what it means that we exist in God’s love now. And there is healing in this joyful, inspiring, and essential exploration.

We can never age out of our childlikeness. We are created as spiritual representatives of Love itself. We are each others’ reminders that Love is here, spiritual adventure is here, health is here, wonder is here. Regardless of how many times we have circled the sun, we always have the ability to listen for and hear God’s “playing thoughts” that rejuvenate and heal.

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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.”

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