Preventing colds and contagion
FRIENDS who moved from our snowy winters to a tropical climate noticed an interesting difference. When the temperature here gets up to 70 degrees we all shed our coats and kids kick off their shoes. When it gets down to 70 degrees where our friends now live, people often ``bundle up.'' What's warm to one is cool to another and is sometimes thought to be a cause of illness. Perhaps this illustrates a statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ``People believe in infectious and contagious diseases, and that any one is liable to have them under certain predisposing or exciting causes. This mental state prepares one to have any disease whenever there appear the circumstances which he believes produce it.''1
Although we must be wise and not pretend to have dominion that we have not proved, it still is true that our belief causes colds and coughing--not exposure to temperature, humidity, wind.
To be free from colds we need to be free from the belief in them. We progressively gain this freedom as we understand the truth of God and of man as His perfect spiritual reflection.
The Scriptures teach us that God is Love, that He is infinite good. Because He is infinite, He must be present everywhere. How, then, can anything unlike Him have actual, God-sustained existence? To God there is no harmful virus or environment, no widespread or local contagion. He creates only perfect spiritual offspring that express His nature. Not one of God's children is ever separated from Him, and there is no space where subtle, invisible evil could lurk to influence or harm them. God does not create or permit sickness--or evil in any form--at any season. Don't Christ Jesus' words ``Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect''2 point to this spiritual reality and to the possibility of its demonstration?
Most of us believe ourselves to be vulnerable mortals governed by conditions beyond our control. Sickness seems to us an indisputable reality. Perhaps upon our first hearing about spiritual truth it is this truth and not sickness that seems strange.
But doesn't the spiritual reality of God and man seem strange only to the physical senses and materialistic reasoning? The material senses have no capacity to measure or value even such commonly expressed qualities as honesty and affection. These senses can no more be counted on to comprehend God and His man than we can look to a microscope to measure the cosmos.
But the limitations of the material senses cannot keep you and me from knowing God and His spiritual creation. God is kinder than to let that happen. Man is grander. False beliefs can be changed.
They are changed through the exercise of spiritual sense, with which we all are blessed as surely as we have breath. Though it may seem buried by earthly, materialistic thinking, our spiritual sense can be cultivated through prayer. It reveals the true nature of man as expressing the divine nature.
Astounding as it may sound, through spiritual sense God's reality can become more real to us than material things now seem to be. Becoming conscious of His presence through prayer, we feel totally safe, not vulnerable to exposure or contagion or any other danger. We glimpse ourselves to be God's man, in the presence of good alone. Fear of exposure and contagion disappears, and we prove our God-given immunity from sickness. When the belief in and fear of contagion are whisked away by the power of divine Truth, discerned in prayer, symptoms of contagion vanish also.
Jesus thoroughly understood man's exemption from evil, and this spiritual understanding enabled him to heal more quickly and widely than anyone before or since. He healed individuals of leprosy, which terrorized so many. He cured people of fevers, of blindness and deafness. If we cannot yet do the same, we can come to accept the fact that Jesus proved such gracious good to be possible, and we can meekly strive to follow his teachings so faithfully that we begin to do those works ourselves.
1Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 228-229. 2Matthew 5:48. DAILY BIBLE VERSE In him we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17:28