FROM childhood, I longed to understand. I wanted to know what was real and what was unreal. Everything seemed incomprehensible. Although our family was affluent, my parents were not happily married, there was much sickness in the home, we did not attend any church, and I didn't even know if there was a God.
Until I was twelve, our backyard ran parallel to the rear of a Christian Science church - it was just a church to me then. Before we moved to our summer home, my sister and I would climb a tall locust tree at the edge of the property on warm Sunday mornings and listen to the singing. This stirred my yearnings - vague though they were - for something higher, more sure, more enlightening than anything I yet knew.
Not until after my marriage and motherhood did I finally become a serious student of Christian Science. In my spiritual search as a teen-ager and young adult, various churches had brought me inspiration, but it didn't last. I couldn't see the logic of believing that God was good and loving but that He also sent - or at least permitted - disease, disaster, and death. I felt that my God would have to be acceptable to my intellect and also able to inspire my feelings, thoughts, words, and acts. I found Him in Christian Science.
I had always thought that if Christ Jesus' healings really happened, they must have been the result of his understanding of law - a law that still exists but is no longer widely believed in or understood. And to my great joy I found that this is the position Christian Science takes. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: '' There is a law of God applicable to healing, and it is a spiritual law instead of material.''n1 And she says elsewhere: ''Understanding spiritual law and knowing that there is no material law, Jesus said: 'These signs shall follow them that believe, . . .they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.' It were well had Christendom believed and obeyed this sacred saying.''n2
n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriprures, p. 463. n2 Ibid.,p. 328.
Spiritual law is based on the fact of God's nature. According to Christian Science and in consonance with Jesus' teachings, God is Spirit - incorporeal, infinite good. If God, Spirit, is real - and how can He be otherwise? - matter as substance, life, and intelligence must, in the final analysis, be a misconception, even unreal. And this means that the disease and suffering inherent in materiality are without genuine foundation.
Wasn't it on this basis that Jesus, obeying spiritual law - God's law of harmony and perfection - healed the sick, walked on the waves, raised the dead, and stepped out of his own tomb? As his followers, we can in small ways begin to do our own proving. But this demands dedication and spiritual striving, prayer and humble obedience.
Over several decades I have relied on Christian Science for comfort, inspiration, healing, and protection. There have been physical healings; the conquering of mental depression; the freeing of talent; the harmonizing of strained relationships; and progressive, specific evidence of God's abundant provision.
Christian Science gives us a point of reference, a measuring rod, a way of separating the unreal from the real. Following Jesus' teachings, it shows us how to think and live according to the law of God's goodness; it shows us the importance of expressing the purity and love exemplified by Jesus and thus conforming to divine law.
The prayer Jesus gave to his disciples, called the Lord's Prayer, addresses God and includes this statement: ''Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.'' n3 Mrs. Eddy, giving the spiritual sense of this passage, writes, ''Enable us to know, - as in heaven, so on earth, - God is omnipotent, supreme.'' n4
n3 Matthew 6:10. n4 Science and Health, p,17
God's goodness and power are true forever. Through prayer and purification we come, by degrees, to understand this great fact; and as we do, our thoughts and lives are spiritualized, established on higher, more secure premises. We're better able to distinguish clearly between the unreal (the material) and the real (the spiritual), and thereby find healing.
What a blessing! DAILY BIBLE VERSE The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. Psalms 19:7,8