Protection from illness
TO be immune, the dictionary tells us, is to be ``exempt from or protected against something disagreeable or harmful.'' As we hear of the evidence of disease around us, we may well ask ourselves if such safety is possible and where it comes from. We're told that protection from disease is found in a complex biochemical system in the body. But sometimes the immune system is attacked by disease and breaks down.
Is there a surer, more consistent source of safety? I can say from my personal experience as a student of Christian Science that the answer is yes.
In absolute reality, each of us -- in his or her true spiritual identity as the beloved child of God -- is totally exempt from disease or trouble of any kind. Understanding this, and living the pure life that such understanding demands, do bring protection into our experience. Christ Jesus spoke of the defense that issues from such understanding and obedience when he said, ``And 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.''1
To an ordinary, materialistic way of thinking, innocence increases vulnerability. But from a spiritual standpoint we begin to see that innocence is the foundation of immunity -- not innocence in the sense of naivet but as purity and natural obedience to God. For that very reason, children do not have to be innocent victims of the evil and danger that may seem to surround them. Innocence in human experience is an intimation of the absolute purity of spiritual man and of his safety in God's care.
I've learned that this is not merely a fine-sounding theory but can be demonstrated in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. When my son was in kindergarten, several children in his class came down with a serious contagion. It was assumed by many of the parents that the spread of this disease among the rest of the children was more or less inevitable. As a Christian Scientist I was not willing to accept this assumption. I knew from experience that as the understanding of our spiritual safety increased, as well as our obedience to divine law, our family found protection from disease and other difficulties. Even when trouble came, we were not harmed.
I thought of the assurance given in the ninety-first Psalm to those who love and understand God: ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.''
The psalm goes on to mention specific forms of danger from which we'll beprotected. I thought particularly of the promise ``...neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.''2 I knew that my son's safety was in his spiritual innocence, and that this was true not only for him but for all the children in the classas well.
From that time no new cases of the illness were reported. In fact, in the three years since then no new outbreak of any other childhood disease has occurred among this group of children.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them.... There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, butall whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.''3
None of us -- child or adult -- has to be the helpless victim of disease or some other trouble. In a growing understanding of our spiritual innocence, and in a willingness to live lives that bear witness to this innocence, protection can be found.
1Mark 16:17, 18. 2Psalms 91:1, 2, 10. 3The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 210.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. Psalms 7:10