One Saturday a number of years ago, I was working in a Christian Science Reading Room. I had served until closing time, but I wanted to stay longer. I loved being able to pray and study at the Reading Room. With a one-year-old and a three-year-old at home, I rarely had time alone. But on this particular day my husband was caring for our sons, and he assured me that I didn’t need to hurry home. I stayed at the Reading Room and continued praying, knowing that God, divine Mind, would show me what I needed to know.
At the time I had a third baby on the way, and soon I began to feel very sick. At first I was scared because I was a 30-minute drive from home and from my husband’s help. Fear tried to convince me that the symptoms were serious. But I knew, as a student of Christian Science, that God is Life, and that there is no power opposed to God. In the Bible we read, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). I knew that neither the fear nor the symptoms belonged to me, because they had not come from God, and I was God’s spiritual expression, as we all actually are.
I looked up the answer to the question “What is man?” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. In the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings, man is often used as a generic term that applies to all of us. The first part of that answer reads: “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science” (p. 475). The power and truth of those words assured me that I was not at the mercy of a mortal belief in sickness, because I was not mortal or material but immortal and spiritual.
However, I didn’t yet feel healed. I prayed, “Father, show me,” and I trusted that God would lead me to what I needed to know.
Then I got up and began to walk around the Reading Room. That’s when I spotted a Spanish edition of The Herald of Christian Science. It had a photo of some food on the front cover, and words that I didn’t understand, because I had never studied Spanish. I could read French, but the majority of the Spanish words—the ones that were not English or French cognates—were a mystery to me. But somehow I felt led to read this Spanish Herald.
From the little that I could understand, it was clear to me that the subject of the article I’d started to read was about how food has no power to give or to take away life. And there were some references to the Bible and Science and Health, which I looked up in English. That is how I discovered for the first time the story of Elisha and the sons of the prophets in Second Kings 4:38–41.
In this story, there is a famine in the land of Gilgal. Elisha tells his servant to prepare a pot of stew so that the sons of the prophets can eat. One of them goes out looking for herbs to put into the stew, and he picks gourds from a wild vine. When they taste the stew after the gourds are added, though, they realize it is now poisonous, saying, “There is death in the pot.” But Elisha puts meal into the stew, and then they are able to eat—the Bible tells us, “There was no harm in the pot.”
For me, the message was clear: There is no power in apparent material causes, and therefore no reason to be afraid of matter. Only God, Spirit, governs us, not so-called material laws. With that recognition, I had no more fear or pain. I was healed and was able to drive home.
This cherished healing gave me a deeper understanding of the omnipotence of God and how we can know, through spiritual intuition and receptivity, how God speaks to us. We are not limited by language or by words. The language of Spirit is universal. Divine Mind gives us the understanding that we need to be healed, and helps us know that we are cared for as the beloved child of divine Love.
Andover, Massachusetts, US
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