Having spent much time traveling abroad from my home in Canada this past year, I’ve had ample time to consider how important it is to try to be a healer, no matter where we are. Offering a kind thought to someone distressed by a travel delay, saying a silent prayer amid frustration, just being patient under pressure, can be a blessing to everyone around us.
To be a healer means to bring harmony where there’s discord, joy where there’s sadness, peace where there’s conflict, and honesty where there’s corruption. We do this best by seeing that harmony, joy, and peace are actually spiritual qualities of God, innate in every person as the reflection of the divine. It’s natural for us to embody these and other Godlike qualities and to see them in others. This spiritual “seeing” has a healing effect on individuals and communities.
If you’re a student preparing for a study abroad program, a spiritual approach to this opportunity will do even more to enrich your experience. The primary purpose may be to get credit in a course of study or pick up a résumé item for graduate school or future employment. But however busy you may be with your course of study, taking time to offer healing thoughts, to talk through differences with people from other cultures, and to be a peacemaker can be a real blessing.
No matter where you are, daily prayer will bring to light the reality of a loving God, who is infinite Love and Spirit. It will also reinforce the fact that you are spiritual, and are under God’s care. The more clearly we see God and ourselves in this way, the more readily we will see our fellow men and women as totally good, intelligent, made in the divine image and likeness.
To me, this is honoring the healing work Jesus did, but it’s also caring for my neighbor in a deeper sense. In his summary of the law of Moses – the Ten Commandments – Jesus said that the first commandment is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.... The second,” he continued, “is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:37, 39).
A lovely aspect of seeing every individual as the spiritual embodiment of divine qualities such as joy, intelligence, and warmth, is that these divine attributes are universal. This means that our capacity to heal is not limited by religion, race, or culture, but can be affected by our motives.
Mary Baker Eddy, who strove to follow Jesus by obeying these two great commandments, thought that one’s motivation determines the success of any undertaking, including healing. Throughout her main work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she included a series of marginal notes. The first one – “Right motives” – in the first chapter, “Prayer,” sets the tone for the whole book.
The chapter emphasizes that the motive for prayer, for healing, and for living in general, doesn’t rest in material purposes or goals but rather in wanting to express greater Godlikeness and grace. The author says, for example, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” (p. 4).
Whether you’re traveling to parts near or far this season, exercising your right to bring healing to people and communities is a wonderful way to enrich your life. Such a selfless motive surely brings success in every way.