A legacy of healing and hope
In recognition of Women’s History Month, observed throughout March in the United States, here’s an article exploring the great gift that Mary Baker Eddy gave to humanity through her discovery of Christian Science: a powerful foundation for hope and healing, even in dark hours.
Healing and hope. How needed they are right now. And how fitting that the 2022 theme established by the National Women’s History Alliance is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.”
When I think of women who have brought healing and hope into my experience, I can’t help but think of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this news organization. The ideas that Mrs. Eddy expounds upon in her primary work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” have opened up the healing messages of the Bible in a way that grounds hope on something beyond wishful thinking. Science and Health explains that the foundation for reliable, effective, healing prayer is an understanding of the nature of God and of everyone’s relation to the Divine.
This understanding acts as a law in human experience enabling anyone to find help and healing. My family has relied on this systematic approach to prayer for several generations, so I have seen its effectiveness firsthand.
Prior to her discovery of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy had pursued various kinds of healing therapies because of her chronic ill health. None brought permanent relief. Mrs. Eddy was a devout Christian, and when she was given little hope of recovery from life-threatening injuries sustained in an accident, she turned to an account of one of Jesus’ healings – and found herself suddenly well. She later wrote, “That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 24).
Healing in Christian Science occurs as we glimpse the spiritual reality that is right at hand. Mrs. Eddy realized that this was how Jesus healed; he saw the spiritual perfection of God’s creation that is always present. He began his ministry by declaring, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17), and later elaborated, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). This indicates that spiritual reality is discerned within thought. God, divine Spirit, communicates to each one of us the truth about creation – that it is spiritual, perfect, and purely good. This divine communication is the ever-present Christ, Truth, that lifts us out of a material view of life with all its despair and reveals harmonious life in God.
Christian Science is not about ignoring troubles, but rather facing them down by understanding the spiritual truth that corrects them. Gaining dominion over evil starts by gaining dominion over our thinking. Healing takes place as we yield a matter-based sense of things to a consciousness of the divine reality.
Let me give you a quick example. One evening I found myself overwhelmed by a sudden onslaught of cold symptoms. I realized that I had a choice to make: accept what the physical senses were telling me about my nature, or recognize the spiritual truth that I had been created in God’s flawless image. It occurred to me that a cold was only a false belief, a lie about God’s creation. I realized I didn’t need to accept the lie. And with that, all the symptoms disappeared and I was instantly well.
I’ve also seen the effectiveness of praying for those half a world away. In one case, a group of us prayed for an acquaintance who had been captured and threatened by government forces in a war-torn country. As I prayed, I recognized that there were no boundaries to God’s goodness, which exists in the hearts and minds of everyone – including this man and those who held him, even though it didn’t seem that way in that moment. I trusted that prayer would bring this to light. And right when things seemed darkest and execution imminent, the orders were unexpectedly reversed, and the acquaintance was released. All of us rejoiced!
Whether the scale of the problem is large or small, and wherever we may be, the divine Principle that heals is the same. God loves and knows each of us as Spirit’s perfect expression.
The Bible refers to “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Mary Baker Eddy found this hope in a dark hour, and through her sharing Christian Science with the world, has enabled others to find it as well, even under the most trying circumstances. At every hour, Christ, Truth, is present to rise up in the heart of humanity with hope and healing. May you feel that Christly hope rising today!
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