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Christian Science treatment: a good Samaritan

From the August 1997 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Christian Science treatment heals. It is prayer that acknowledges and authoritatively affirms man's spiritual nature as God's, Spirit's, expression. Christian Science treatment is inspired by Christ Jesus' example, his teachings, and his healing works. It is prayer that counteracts mortal, or matter-based, beliefs—it casts them out with the power of God, Truth. Mortal beliefs, accepted as true, are manifested as trouble in our body, in our relationships, and in community and global affairs. When these beliefs are destroyed by Christianly scientific prayer, healing occurs. Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy explains what this treatment does for a patient: "The genuine Christian Scientist is adding to his patient's mental and moral power, and is increasing his patient's spirituality while restoring him physically through divine Love." Science and Health, p. 375.

The Word of God finds expression in Christ-healing. Therefore, treatment is not a personal endeavor. It is a divine activity. The Bible speaks about the effectiveness of God's Word. Referring to it, the book of Isaiah represents God as saying "It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isa. 55:11.

Effective treatment is filled with the spirit of joy, vitality, freshness, and discernment. The assumption that mere words, properly strung together, can heal, is utterly false. Just as a picture of a flower does not include the fragrance and texture of a flower, words alone do not contain the power and tenderness found in treatment that reverberates with the spirit of Christ.

Christian Science treatment reflects the omnipotence of God's justice and love when the life of the one giving it radiates, in some degree, the purity and compassion that Christ Jesus expressed in his healing ministry. Throughout Jesus' teachings we discover the elements found in effective treatment. His parable of the good Samaritan is a perfect example. See Luke 10:30-35. This captivating parable relates that after a priest and a Levite passed by a man who had been beaten, robbed, and left for dead by thieves, "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."

From this parable we learn that a dedicated life and sincere, spiritual love for others make a difference. Equally important, as the foundation for spiritual treatment, are compassion and consecration, which forward healing and regeneration. Effective treatment reflects God's great love for all His children. Just as the Samaritan came upon the man in need, a devoted, spiritual life is always divinely led to be where it will bless and heal.

Through turning to God wholeheartedly, we glimpse the perfection of God's spiritual creation, including man. Metaphysical treatment of sin or disease declares in essence: "I know who you [man] are. You are God's spiritual child. You are innocent and well. I know it. And you know it, too!"

Treatment in which spiritual reasoning and understanding counteract specific mortal claims about man, includes definite and clear-cut truths that expose and annul these claims. Healing can also happen without specific prayer. A simple conviction of God's allness and goodness will heal. But if a difficulty is not quickly healed, we need to be detailed and specific as we reason through a metaphysical treatment till we gain the spiritual understanding and conviction of perfect God and perfect man. All Christian Science treatment is prayer, but not all prayer is specific treatment.

The healer should not be afraid of material appearances. Evil's boast of unsightliness, weakness, or suffering as real cannot be accepted as God-created or God-sent if there is to be a Christlike foundation for healing. Just as the Samaritan "went to him, and bound up his wounds," the metaphysician reaches his patient's thought with Truth by silencing fear and expressing the spiritual certainty of present perfection. Mrs. Eddy, relating through an allegory how Christian Science shows disease to be without substance or location, says, "We send our best detectives to whatever locality is reported to be haunted by Disease, but on visiting the spot, they learn that Disease was never there, for he could not possibly elude their search." Science and Health., pp. 439-440.

Effective treatment is filled with joy,
vitality, freshness, and discernment. It
reverberates with the spirit of Christ.

Christ Jesus proved evil's claims of sin, sickness, and death to be unreal. Christian Science, fulfilling Christ Jesus' prophecy of another Comforter, continues to prove evil to be a lie. God's infinitude cannot, in truth, be challenged. His spiritual creation cannot be counterfeited or simulated and called material. In treatment, the recognition of God's harmony, order, and power bathes the thoughts of practitioner and patient with peace, inspiration, and grace. The symbolism, in the good Samaritan parable, of a body being ministered to is interesting to contemplate, in prayer, in connection with the spiritual definitions of oil and wine found in Science and Health. Oil is defined in part as "gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration." Ibid., p. 592. Wine is partly described as "inspiration; understanding." Ibid., p. 598. Every treatment should pour in this "oil and wine."

The Christianly scientific healer must know that God's creation, including the individual being helped, is spiritual. With this knowledge, treatment is armed with the Christly confidence that God will "take care of him." And this care covers every human concern and need. The healer can know that his patient is safe in Truth. In the sanctuary of Soul, he rests and feels the comforting warmth of his Father's love. And he is not only eternally safe but spiritually nourished as well. Soul's expression, man, expresses the satisfaction of Soul.

The metaphysician's treatment increases his patient's understanding and demonstrates his freedom from "thieves"—delusive human views of man. It affirms that God is the only Mind of man. Embraced by Mind, the patient responds to and understands Truth. No power exists besides God, Mind. Therefore, no evil power or belief actually exists to impose fraudulent claims on the patient and have him feel robbed, wounded, and left for dead. Treatment erases any lingering error of belief and reveals the harmony that has always belonged to him as God's reflection.

Christian Science treatment is not a demand for God to do something. It springs from expectancy on the healer's part. It's an expectation of the manifestation of ever-present good. A grateful acknowledgment of the present perfection of God and man. And yes, gratitude is not just one but "two pence"!

Spiritual treatment is a compassionate but powerful prayer motivated by Love. The healer, unimpressed with evil's material evidence, reflects God's declaration of perfection. He fills his treatment with the inspired understanding of man's unity with God. This lifts the patient out of difficulties into the fearless consciousness of God's allness—demonstrating that evil is unreal and therefore has no power over man. Treatment sings with gratitude and an expectancy of good, and it carries with it a confidence that God will direct if anything further needs to be known. It then concludes with a sweet rejoicing and a knowledge that its power to heal can never be hindered or reversed.

The priest and the Levite didn't bother to put prayer into action. They apparently didn't even try to love the man in need. Whereas both of these men passed by, the good Samaritan expressed the dynamics of God, divine Love, and came to where he was needed. All sincere students of the Science of Christ can love those who call upon them for help, through inspired, heartfelt treatment. And this pure Christian prayer heals.

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