THERE was a time when our family didn't have money for the next day's needs. There was, however, one common factor that drew us together. We discovered then that there was nothing that we really wanted more than love, trust, hope, and feeling close to God. We decided to read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy1 from front to back. And we read with one main question: What is really required of us? Some very large changes came to our lives. Now, I can't say we were blessed with a huge influx of money. In fact, we had to sell some of our belongings in order to follow the direction we felt our prayers were leading us. We came to learn a whole lot about what we truly trusted in. And we came to feel that of all the necessities of life, learning where to place our trust was right at the top of the list.
Trust is basic to Christian healing. And Christian healing is basic to our lives. Christian healing doesn't just place us back on a material treadmill of physical existence. More than simply repairing a body or a life, it takes us beyond materiality and begins to unfold in us life in God. This is life that isn't at the mercy of the seemingly constant push and pull of human will and want and power. Perhaps most important, such living is embraced by strong trust in good.
Several times in the first couple of dozen pages, Science and Health focuses on what we trust and on what trust means. At one point Mrs. Eddy observes: ``One kind of faith trusts one's welfare to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to work out one's `own salvation, with fear and trembling.' `Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!' expresses the helplessness of a blind faith; whereas the injunction, `Believe...and thou shalt be saved!' demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.''2
Mrs. Eddy was alluding to one of Christ Jesus' healings. A father who must have loved his ill son very much was afraid. Jesus' disciples had been unable to help, and now the man was turning to Jesus. In a few moments the son was free of the ``foul spirit'' that had plagued him since he was a child. Afterward the disciples asked Jesus why they had been unable to heal the patient. Jesus' answer was brief: ``This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.''3 It's clear that something more than a ``quick fix'' was what Jesus was pointing out.
Indeed, wasn't it this message that Jesus brought to light throughout his life? His healing works were the outcome of a powerful, transcending reorientation of life.
Basically, this is how Christian Science heals. It's the spiritual action or reorientation that takes place in some degree in both the healer and the patient. Christian Science draws us out from trust in matter and begins to open us to the spiritual nature of lasting affection and trustworthy life.
The real purpose of our lives is to strip away anything that would overcover or overshadow our pure spiritual sense of oneness and eternality with God. It's not really an acquisitive pursuit; it's more one of letting go of material trusts and ambitions. Such spiritualization of our lives will eventually unlimit our lives, rather than strip them of genuine necessities. We'll begin to open ourselves to the action of divine law. And through this law we'll have the ability to overcome the evil that hides the true nature of man as Godlike -- man who naturally confides all to God.
1The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 2Science and Health, p. 23. 3See Mark 9:29.