About six years ago, I had an experience in which a greater understanding of the true, spiritual concept of body, and of the Holy Ghost, brought immediate healing.
It was a Sunday, and that morning I had flown across the United States to my hometown. A memorial celebration for my dad had been planned for the next day. My dad, who was not a Christian Scientist, had been prominent in the community. When he passed, we organized a gathering for his many friends, family members, and colleagues to express their appreciation and pay their respects. I was to deliver one of the eulogies.
When I arrived, I found that a family member’s lovingly motivated gesture toward me and others in the family had backfired and created a very difficult situation. With the help of a Christian Science practitioner, the immediate challenge was handled with grace and resolved. However, as I retired for the night, I continued to mentally rehearse the difficult events of the day, and concerns about what might happen at the next day’s memorial and beyond began to creep in.
Then, in the middle of the night, I awakened feeling violently ill with some sort of painful internal distress. I was unable to sit, stand, or lie down comfortably, which was very frightening to me. Yet I knew that I could rely upon God for the healing inspiration I needed right then and there.
Because I’d been on a plane that morning, I hadn’t been able to attend church, but I had been studying and praying with the ideas in that week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on the subject of “Soul and Body.” A Bible passage from that Lesson flooded my thought: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19).
I recalled Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of temple from the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which reads in part: “Body; the idea of Life, substance, and intelligence; the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love” (p. 595). Also in the Glossary, Holy Ghost is defined as “divine Science; the development of eternal Life, Truth, and Love” (p. 588).
Right then, I began to put those Glossary definitions together with St. Paul’s words, “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,” to discern their spiritual significance. I knew this Bible passage could not mean that the Holy Ghost, or divine Science, somehow animated or entered a material body to dwell there. Such an interpretation would be pantheistic. Reasoning scientifically, however, I recognized that in order to be the temple of the Holy Ghost or divine Science, my body couldn’t be material at all; it must be a spiritual idea—the embodiment or expression of the qualities associated with the Holy Ghost. And therefore, the only thing that could be developing in me—in my true body or consciousness—was “eternal Life, Truth, and Love.”
In the darkness of my hotel room, I began to consider what it meant spiritually to embody the qualities of divine Science. The first quality that came to thought was comfort. I reasoned that because the Holy Ghost is the divine Comforter, I must embody—express—comfort, rather than pain. One by one, I began to prayerfully consider the qualities associated with the divine Comforter, and there were many that came to thought, such as peace, love, restfulness, joy, grace, purity, holiness, vitality, gentleness, and strength. In my prayer, I affirmed that as God’s spiritual, perfect man—His reflection—I embodied every one of the qualities of the Holy Ghost, or divine Comforter, and nothing unlike them. I knew that this was the foundation of my being—my true and only real body—and I could trust that this was the truth.
After what seemed like only a few minutes of prayerfully pondering these ideas, all sense of illness vanished, and I peacefully fell asleep. The next morning I awoke refreshed and well. I was able to greet everyone in attendance at the memorial with joy, compassion, and grace, knowing that in truth each one of them also embodied the qualities I had been prayerfully cherishing.
In delivering my eulogy, I felt such grace and poise. I recounted some of the sterling qualities my dad expressed, such as integrity, wisdom, intelligence, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, strength, unselfishness, patience, humor, and most important, unconditional love. I said that in thinking about my dad’s expression of these qualities, I’d begun to notice them more and more in others, and in myself. To me that was evidence of my dad’s immortality. Thus, whenever I saw those qualities expressed, I could feel the presence of my Father with me. And although I didn’t say it, what I meant by “Father” in that context was God, the one and only eternal Father of all of us. As the Master, Christ Jesus, tells us, “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9).
I am deeply grateful for this experience and what it showed me of God’s tender, loving presence with us every moment. Even in what seems to be the darkest night of human fear and discord, divine Love, through the Holy Ghost and Christ, is continually unfolding to us the light of our eternal, spiritual identity—our real body—comfortable, harmonious, peaceful, and well.
Seattle, Washington, US
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