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To see as God sees

The Lord's Prayer provides a basis for Christian healing.

From the February 2001 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Many people are asking today, How does Christian healing take place? Is it just imagination, or an emotional faith producing some kind of change in the processes of the brain? Or is there truly a divine power behind it?

The line from the Lord's Prayer "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" Matt. 6:10. gives us a glimpse of how original Christian healing, as practiced by Christ Jesus, actually takes place. The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, gives this inspired interpretation of that line: "Enable us to know,—as in heaven, so on earth,—God is omnipotent, supreme." Science and Health, p. 17. Healing takes place as we pray to see, feel, hear, know—right where we are now—what is actually going on in heaven, in the realm of God. What's going on is that God is being all-power and all-presence, everywhere, every moment. God, who is infinite good, is being supreme, in spite of all the appearances to the contrary.

This prayer "Enable us to know . . ." expresses our desire to know the truth about everyone and everything. It helps us to look beyond what the five physical senses see, hear, feel, taste, and smell, to perceive something of what God Himself is knowing, seeing, feeling, hearing, being.

Now this may appear to be totally impractical. But the following example of what takes place within the Babemba tribe of southern Africa points to what true knowing and seeing can do:

"When a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe, regardless of age, begins to talk out loud to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All his or her positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. No one is permitted to fabricate, exaggerate, or be facetious about his or her accomplishments or the positive aspects of his personality.

"The tribal ceremony often lasts several days and does not cease until everyone is drained of every positive comment he can muster about the person in question. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person symbolically and literally is welcomed back into the tribe." Leonard M. Zunin, Contact: The First Four Minutes (Los Angeles: Nash, 1972)© Leonard M. Zunin. Reprinted by permission .

What a wonderful example of seeing only what is good!

Babemba tribe members confront the accused with his good deeds.

In a remarkable paragraph next to the marginal heading "Mind's true camera" Science and Health refers to higher seeing this way: "The fading forms of matter, the mortal body and material earth, are the fleeting concepts of the human mind. They have their day before the permanent facts and their perfection in Spirit appear. The crude creations of mortal thought must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes behold in the camera of divine Mind, when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal. Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things. Where shall the gaze rest but in the unsearchable realm of Mind? We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being." Science and Health, pp. 263-264.

Shouldn't we always strive to be looking through "the camera of divine Mind"—the Mind that is God? This demands a change of standpoint, or rather thought-point. Instead of looking up to God as though He were distant and separate from us, earnestly petitioning Him to change or heal something, our need is to look out, in prayer, through that camera lens of the divine Mind. Then we'll see something of what God is seeing. And isn't God seeing only the expression of Himself—perfection, harmony, and limitless good? The very first chapter of the Bible says, "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." Gen. 1:31.

If it were possible to stand in the center of the sun and look out, what would we see? We would just see the sunlight flowing out radiantly from the sun. Similarly, as we pray by standing mentally in the "center" of God and look out, all we will see is spiritual light—the presence and power of God expressed everywhere. This is the healing light of the Christ. It restores, redeems, and heals everything in its path.

So how is this made practical? Here's an illustration. A call came to a Christian Science practitioner from a woman in a public phone booth. She and her husband had been involved in a car crash. She was uninjured, but her husband was very seriously injured, and she asked the practitioner to pray for him. She then went on to describe the scene in front of her—the ambulance, broken limbs, blood, chaos, and pain. After the call, all the practitioner could think about was that terrible picture. It was very hard to pray, because those graphic images kept vividly recurring. Finally in desperation, the practitioner prayed to God "Father, You are there, what are You seeing?" Then the most beautiful ideas about God's power and action came to him. He was certain that nothing was actually going on anywhere but God and His perfection. God was seeing "every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." Nothing could take place in the kingdom of heaven but harmony, peace, and orderly action.

As the practitioner stayed with these divine facts, and began knowing and seeing through "the camera of divine Mind," the disturbing images totally disappeared from his thought. Within 20 minutes, the wife called to say that her husband had been taken to the emergency ward in the hospital, but they could find nothing wrong with him and he had been discharged. They were on their way home.

What had happened here? Was this some sort of miracle? No, it was the natural law of harmony, the law of God being claimed, seen, and experienced. It was the revealing of an already existing fact—the uninterrupted perfection of God's creation—rather than the changing of a material condition. The revealing of spiritual facts brings about healing in our lives. With true revealing comes certain healing.

Science and Health states, "Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions." Science and Health, p. 477. One dictionary defines reveal as "to take back the folds on what already exists." Christian healing is the revealing of the perfection that already exists.

If you're watching a video that depicts hatred, death, destruction, you know these elements never actually touch the television screen. You never think the destruction is actually going on in the TV set. The screen remains untouched by any of the pictures that pass over it. With a certain amount of practice, you can actually concentrate on the screen itself, and not become absorbed by the images portrayed on it. Well, through prayer, it's possible to become so conscious of the perfection and harmony of everyone's true identity as the image of God, that the images of disease and destruction paraded on the screen of consciousness cease to cause alarm. Then they will fade and disappear.

True seeing enables us to be modern-day prophets. Mary Baker Eddy defines the term prophet metaphysically as "a spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth." lbid., p. 593. We may think of prophets as great figures who lived only in Bible times. But this definition shows there's a deeper meaning that's very relevant today. Each one of us can be "a spiritual seer." There are prophets today at the checkout at the supermarket, in the schoolroom, in offices and homes—people dedicated to being spiritual seers and to seeing as God sees. Through their spirituality they're able to look beyond what the physical senses see to "the conscious facts of spiritual Truth." In this way prophets help bring healing to every aspect of modern life. What a different place our world would be if it were filled with prophets!

The light of Christ heals everything in its path.

Jesus once asked his followers, "What went ye out for to see?" Matt. 11:8. He was referring to John the Baptist. Did they recognize him as a prophet—more? And we might think of Jesus' question another way: do we allow the physical senses to determine reality for us? Jesus' teaching and works challenge us to break away from this false way of seeing and to look through "the camera of divine Mind" to determine what's true.  In the same way, we can go out each day with this healing resolution: Today, I'm going out to see God's presence everywhere:

I'm going out to see everyone as the loved child of our mutual heavenly Parent.

I'm going out to see only the action of good everywhere.

I'm going out to see God's power in every detail of life.

I'm going out to see this vision bring healing, light, and harmony to everyone I think of.

I'm going out to see as God sees today.

To do this is to practice scientific, Christian healing.

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