The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, speaks often about praying with the idea of “reversal.” In many instances, I have found this to be a helpful idea to guide my prayer. When a problem arises, we can reverse our thought about it. We turn away from mortal mind—the false mental sense that we are material—and replace it with an understanding of our true, spiritual identity. This results in healing!
Some time ago, I burned my hand while cooking with hot oil. I aimed a firm mental no at the suggestion that life is in matter and could therefore be hurt or damaged. I knew God was my life and that God does not create pain or discomfort. Then I remembered that a call would be coming in soon that I would need to be on without distraction—yet I was still in pain.
A passage from Science and Health came to me: “When an accident happens, you think or exclaim, ‘I am hurt!’ Your thought is more powerful than your words, more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real.” It continues: “Now reverse the process. Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics …” (p. 397).
When we reverse the process, we take away our witness to what the material senses testify. We disregard what mortal mind says because it is not of God. We are not mortal or even partially so, but completely spiritual and perfect. I knew that whatever the material senses were telling me was not true, no matter how loud mortal mind seemed to scream. I knew my thought was “more powerful than the accident itself.” If I turned my thought to God and saw myself as He made me, my body (and my hand) would also reflect perfection. I reversed the error and saw that as a spiritual being, I was never in harm’s way.
I was completely healed. There was no redness, no irritation, and no pain. I was able to take the phone call with a sense of peace, and I forgot all about my hand.
That same week, I took my dog, Ellie, for a walk. While we were out, Ellie nearly swallowed a bee. When she spat it out, the bee was perfectly OK, but Ellie appeared to be uncomfortable. I took her into the house and began to pray to bring my thought into accord with God’s care for His creatures.
Like every idea in God’s creation, Ellie is completely spiritual. She is cared for and protected by God and could never have any accidents. It came to me that two spiritual ideas (Ellie and the bee) could never hurt each other. Ellie looked calm immediately, licked my face, and fell asleep on my lap. An hour later I checked her mouth, and there was no evidence of any bee sting.
Within a few weeks, I had an accident that resulted in an abrasion on my eye. The situation was troubling, and I wanted to find complete peace before I went to bed for the night. So I called a Christian Science practitioner for treatment through prayer. The practitioner told me I was never touched. She was reversing the mental process and reminding me that I could never be hurt. By saying I was “never touched,” she pierced through the illusion that I could be affected by anything other than good. As a child of God, I couldn’t ever be in an accident or be separate from God, not for a single moment.
I remembered another idea from Science and Health, which reads: “Reverse the case. Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” (p. 392). I prayed with this idea until I was at peace and no longer in pain. I went to sleep and woke up completely healed. There was no nick or scratch on my eye. My vision was clear, there was no pain, and the healing was complete.
Pain is never in matter, but in mortal mind. When we know this as fact, we are able to reverse the process in thought and replace the false suggestion with an understanding of God. Mrs. Eddy explains in Science and Health: “You do not say a wheel is fatigued; and yet the body is as material as the wheel. If it were not for what the human mind says of the body, the body, like the inanimate wheel, would never be weary” (p. 218). Matter has no intelligence. God gives us the dominion and the intelligence to silence mortal mind and know, and evidence, the unreality of anything unlike God.
I am so grateful for the power and usefulness of Christian Science.
Washington, District of Columbia, US
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
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