Spiritual healing and God's tender mercies
Originally printed as an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel
Love stands as a common bond among all those who yearn to relieve suffering and to heal sickness in the world - to care for one another's needs. Love itself is the power that truly heals.
Many people today are joining in a spiritual search for genuine and lasting healing, as well as for deeper purpose in their lives. And at present, we all may be at many different places along the road to discovery and may have many different needs in the hour of sickness or sorrow.
Yet, when anyone turns with confident expectation to God, he or she finds that God tenderly guides the one who seeks healing as surely as He guides the healer.
To everyone searching for healing, the example of Jesus can be compelling. The Bible recounts how he was "moved with compassion." This was a constant in his life. He treated both the leper and the sinner with affection. He saw all men and women as sons and daughters of God, worthy to be loved, worthy to be redeemed and saved, worthy to be healed.
The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, persistently followed in Jesus' spiritual method of healing. She came to believe that divine Love alone is the healer. She encouraged other people to express God's love in every aspect of their lives; to be wise, sensible, and practical; to do all the good they could do, and then trust their prayers to God.
Eddy's book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" makes clear that healing always follows the inspiration of divine Truth and Love. The book points to the demand for tenderness, patience, kindness, humility, honesty, affection, and encouragement, which lift humanity out of sickness and fear. It says, "If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine" (pg. 365).
Expressing the love of Love, we feel the inspiration of God's guidance and are naturally impelled to help that traveler along life's highway who may be struggling or hurting. As in Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan 2,000 years ago (see Luke 10:30-37), the healer in the 21st century will also bind up the wounds - the fears, the despair, the discouragement - and pour in the oil of divine grace, consolation, comfort, and God's tender mercies.
The healing truth can flow to each of us through knowing that God's nature is that of pure Spirit, Life, and Love, and that each individual is made in God's likeness. We are wholly spiritual, always vital, purely loving. Understanding more of this, we find that our prayers reliably free us - and others - from sickness. Our prayers put us back on the road of life's purpose and discovery.
The one who loves God and humankind surely shares with the Samaritan of Jesus' parable a heart full of mercy and compassion. Such a person will not "pass by on the other side." And as in Jesus' day, to all those who are sick and suffering, the reality of God's ever-present care and absolute power continues to offer lasting comfort, hope, and genuine healing.
But a certain Samaritan,
as he journeyed, came where
he was: and when he saw him,
he had compassion on him, and
went to him, and bound up his
wounds, pouring in oil and wine,
and set him on his own beast,
and brought him to an inn, and
took care of him. And on the
morrow when he departed, he
took out two pence, and gave
them to the host, and said unto
him, Take care of him; and
whatsoever thou spendest
more, when I come again,
I will repay thee.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society