Sore throat healed, fresh perspective gained

If we’re feeling ill, it can be tempting to resign ourselves to waiting it out. But on the National Day of Prayer and every day, we can experience how starting from the premise of our God-given wholeness empowers prayer that brings about healing.

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One night I awoke with a very sore throat. It got worse throughout the night, and in the morning, the thoughts that came were along these lines: “Well, now I won’t have to go out today – I can just take it easy.” “I wonder if I should reach out now to get a sub for the Sunday School class I’m teaching later this week.”

It was that latter thought – after probably 20 minutes of this sort of drifting along – that really caught my attention. As a practicing Christian Scientist, I’m used to addressing discord – including sickness – through prayer. That thought was a huge wake-up call that I was starting from the wrong premise. Sure, I could pray...but if my starting point was that I was just along for the ride, what did that mean about the ever-presence of God, the divine Love that I would be turning to in my prayer? Had divine Love left me in the first place, allowing me to become sick?

Jesus’ teachings and example allow for no such separation of God and man (which includes everyone). Mary Baker Eddy explains in the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick” (pp. 476-477).

Jesus did not assess a sad situation, try to suss out its cause, and then pray that God would come and fix that situation. He faithfully looked to God and to what Mrs. Eddy would term the Science, the law, of God, to see what God saw: creation as spiritual, harmonious, and flawless, the expression of infinite Spirit and Love. This brought about healing.

One illustration of this is the healing of a blind man related in the Gospel of John (see chap. 9, verses 1-7). Rather than working out from a premise of inevitable blindness, or looking for a cause for the blindness, Jesus declared that God’s glory was going to be manifested. He literally spat on the very symbol of man’s supposed materiality, the dust of the ground, symbolically revealing the truth of this man’s intact nature. And indeed, the man was healed.

So, back to my rough morning. When I saw that I had been working from a faulty premise (and, admittedly, a slyly selfish one – “Ooh, goody, I won’t have to do stuff for a while because I’m sick”), I realized that there was a better option. Instead of going along with that and approaching the situation from that basis, I could practice being faithful to Jesus’ teachings, knowing that they are indeed applicable today.

I immediately rejoiced that God had never left me, and consequently there was no time that I was out of God’s care. So I didn’t need to inform God that I had fallen out of His care and needed Him to come pick me up.

Now, God in His mercy and love certainly isn’t waiting for us to word our prayer in some particular way before helping us. But it’s to our benefit to avail ourselves of the ever-present, perfect nature of God’s care, rather than merely hoping God will come around. The spiritual fact that God never ceases maintaining and caring for each one of us as His beloved child is a powerful basis for prayer that heals.

With such joy in my heart, I smiled for the first time that morning. I knew that God had never left me, and I knew that I was healed. I had woken up in a new way to the fact of God’s ever-presence, and this fresh view of God illuminated a fresh view of myself as His reflection, as well. I indeed felt perfectly free and normal, without a trace of discomfort, and remained that way.

To know God as Spirit is to know our true nature as God’s spiritual expression. Each of us has the right to begin from the standpoint of infinite Spirit’s presence and wholeness, and to experience the healing that this premise offers.

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