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How do you know when healing has happened?

From the May 2021 issue of The Christian Science Journal

How do you really know when spiritually scientific healing has taken place? Don’t look to your body; look to your thought. When your thought has changed and become more spiritual, the human evidence can’t help but respond with a greater sense of harmony.

A Christian Science practitioner shared this guidance with me years ago, and it continues to be a guidepost whenever I am seeking healing. Putting these words into action can be challenging, especially when I just want a situation to be resolved quickly, or when physical symptoms seem daunting. Yet I’ve learned that the real question is whether my thought has changed about the situation. 

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, illuminates this relationship between thought and body in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The elements and functions of the physical body and of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes its beliefs” (pp. 124–125). 

I’ve found that when my thought is lifted to a higher understanding of man’s innate perfection as the image and likeness of perfect God, all-harmonious Spirit, I’m no longer impressed with what the physical senses are reporting as truth. This doesn’t mean ignoring symptoms or wistfully hoping they will go away. It involves replacing false matter-based reports with the actual truths that Christ Jesus proved about man’s ever-present perfection. As he taught us in the Sermon on the Mount, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Sometimes healing inspiration comes quickly. Other times, we may need to steadily and consistently keep thought aligned with the Bible-based truth of perfect God and perfect man. At these times, I’ve found that Jacob’s example of persistence is a good one to hold on to. 

The night before Jacob was to meet his estranged brother, Esau, for the first time in twenty years, he wrestled with an angel, a divine inspiration that said to him at dawn, “Let me go, for the day breaketh.” Knowing that he needed a thorough spiritualization of consciousness, Jacob replied, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:26). He refused to let the opportunity for spiritual progress pass until he had received the full blessing. In recognition of this spiritual growth, the angel changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Jacob’s subsequent reconciliation with his brother proved to be completely harmonious.

So, too, can we refuse to let an opportunity for healing pass without gleaning from it an exalted, provable understanding of our freedom as the embodiment, the manifestation, of all-harmonious Life, God.

This was our family’s experience in a milestone healing that continues to bless us. 

When our now-grown son was 23 months old, I left him in the capable care of my husband and my parents as I flew across the country for my Christian Science students’ association meeting. (These meetings are held once a year for students who have completed a two-week course on Christian Science healing with an authorized Christian Science teacher.) When I left home, our son was showing slight symptoms of a fever, but everything else was normal, and I felt confident leaving him for the three-day trip.

When I called home after arriving at my destination, I could hear our son’s cries in the background. I learned from my husband that our son’s fever had worsened. My husband and my mom had been very attentive, but it appeared our son couldn’t be consoled. 

I knew, unquestionably, that our son was safe in the arms of his Father-Mother Love. 

I didn’t know what to do. As much as I wanted to attend my meeting and believed this was a right activity, a big part of me wanted to rush back to the airport and take the first flight home. Aggressive fears and negative “what if” scenarios flooded my thought.

So I phoned my Christian Science teacher and poured out my concerns. His calm assurances of our son’s protection under the constant care of his Father-Mother Love reminded me that our son’s true, spiritual Mother—divine Love, God—was with him every moment. I didn’t have to go anywhere for him to feel the presence and comfort of this spiritual motherhood. 

Science and Health refers to God as both Father and Mother and gives the spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer, illumining the first line, “Our Father which art in heaven,” with these words: “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (p. 16). This spiritual sense of motherhood—expressed in ongoing love, tender care, patience, courage, persistence, meekness, and spiritual strength—was giving our son the perfect care he needed. My teacher also suggested I call a Christian Science practitioner back home to visit our son at our home. I felt this was wise and did so immediately.

When fear still seemed to be in thought, this statement from Science and Health was most helpful: “Every function of the real man is governed by the divine Mind” (p. 151). Based on this truth, I prayed this way: “Our son’s temperature, appetite, activity, and rest are maintained by the all-knowing, all-loving, unchanging divine intelligence. No element of his true being can refuse to perform its natural function in obedience to the gentle law of Love.” My job was to bear witness to this flawless concept, right where the physical senses claimed a fever and abnormal functioning. I affirmed the words of the Psalmist in his prayer to God: “In thy book all my members were written” (Psalms 139:16).

I prayed with these Bible-based truths until I felt the deepest peace I have ever known. I knew, unquestionably, that our son was safe in the arms of his Father-Mother Love. God was right there with him, and all was well. Nothing more needed to be said or done.

The next morning, when I called home, our son was completely well. He’d had a normal breakfast and was out playing hoops with Dad. As I attended my association meeting that day, I remained clear and firm in the truths that were the law governing each of us. My husband and parents also held fast to the spiritual facts throughout the day.

This healing has been a milestone for my family and me. To this day, the peaceful spiritual certainty I experienced that night remains an anchor.

When confronted by a challenge, each of us is actually on the threshold of discerning new spiritual truths. We can humbly thank God for the opportunity to advance in our spiritual understanding, and—like Jacob—refuse to let go until we receive that blessing.

Mrs. Eddy states, “The song of Christian Science is, ‘Work—work—work—watch and pray’ ” (Message to The Mother Church for 1900, p. 2). She didn’t minimize the importance of consecrated effort. But oh, the glorious blessings of spiritual understanding and healing! These establish us firmly on the rock of Truth and remain beacons in our experience forever. The prize of spiritual peace and healing is most certainly worth the effort.

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