The first time I read the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, I found it contained an explanation of the Christ that made a great deal of sense to me. The author, Mary Baker Eddy, tells us, “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332). She also says, “Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death” (p. 473).
Mrs. Eddy makes it clear that opposition to God, good, has no real power or influence.
As I continued in my study of Christian Science, I also learned about the erroneous influence on human thought that opposes the Christ. This “antichrist,” as the Bible calls it, is a denial of the Christ that would attempt to block Christ’s power to heal. However, Mrs. Eddy makes it clear that opposition to God, good, has no real power or influence. In the textbook she tells us, “Christian Science brings to light Truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil” (Science and Health, p. 293).
Many years ago, I had an experience that illustrated for me how the Christ is indeed speaking directly to us, enabling us to find healing and resolution in even the most obstinate of circumstances. It also taught me the importance of silencing the anti-Christ.
Shortly after I became a member of a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, the executive board set up a committee of one to take care of the contracting work to be done in our Reading Room. Since at that time I was dealing with many contractors on my job, I was appointed to be that committee. My first assignment was to arrange for an electrician to come in and do some rewiring, since the lights were not working up to capacity, and certain areas in the Reading Room were rather dim.
It sounded like a simple task. However, I soon found out that various church members had been trying to get this job done for four years, to no avail. The reason the committee was appointed was to have someone deal with the problem both metaphysically and practically.
When I heard about the history of the situation, I found it baffling, and was confident I could get the work done quickly. I arranged for some electricians to come in, and after bids were made, the board selected the company they wished to use. I then set up an appointment for the electrician to do the job, but he never showed up. For months, I went through this process time and again, calling in several different electricians, but the job was never completed. Every time it seemed imminent, some obstacle got in the way—the appointment time was confused, or I couldn’t reach the electrician, or there were miscommunications between the Reading Room librarian and me, and so on.
Material power is actually unreal, since God, the only Mind, is All, and is always sending forth rays of pure goodness.
During this time I included the Reading Room in my daily prayerful work, and once a week I spent considerable time praying to eliminate this roadblock. Nonetheless, the situation failed to improve, and as the months dragged on I became more and more frustrated. One full year after I had begun this committee work, I received a call from a board member telling me it was imperative that the lights be repaired immediately, since some of the people who regularly used the Reading Room had been complaining that, owing to the dim lighting, it was becoming more and more difficult to read. Although at the time the challenge seemed overwhelming, I was determined to heal this problem, once and for all.
That evening I piled up my books—the Bible, the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, and various concordances to both—on the sofa, with the intent of spending a good five or six hours in deep study and prayer. But as I was walking toward the sofa to begin the study, I became very still, turned to God, and listened—really listened—for I knew that in this way I could hear the Christ reveal whatever it was that needed to be prayerfully met. In a flash, this message came to me: “If Christ equals light, then darkness equals anti-Christ.”
“That’s it!” I exclaimed. The specific error underlying the situation had been revealed. I realized that mortal mind (anti-Christ) had been suggesting that the healing message our Reading Room shared with the community could be obstructed. But I knew that a mortal, material power is actually unreal, since God, the only Mind, is All, and is always sending forth rays of light, rays of pure goodness. With deep conviction I affirmed, “There is no anti-Christ; the Christ-light is inextinguishable!”
Although the human situation had not yet been resolved, I knew with absolute certainty that healing, which occurs in consciousness, had just taken place. And the immediacy of the solution enabled me to see that the Christ is indeed speaking to us; all we need is the willingness to listen.
The following day I called the electrician with whom I had recently been in contact, and for the first time in months, he came to the phone. He told me that although he himself could not do the job, his son, who was also an electrician, might be available. I then called the son, who turned out to be most accommodating. A day later he sent a worker from his company to do the job, and by the afternoon, it was satisfactorily completed.
The Christ is indeed speaking to us; all we need is the willingness to listen.
That in itself was cause for rejoicing. But there was another blessing that emerged that day. While the man had been installing the new wiring system in the Reading Room, he had become curious about the literature and began reading. By the time he was finished with his work, he had developed an interest in Christian Science. He asked the librarian some basic questions, inquired about a branch church and a Reading Room in his area, and left with an armload of free literature.
This experience was proof to me that regardless of material evidence to the contrary, the light of Christ, an ever-present source of guidance and inspiration, is always shining. In truth, it can never be blocked or extinguished. And when we turn wholeheartedly to God in prayer, we find that this light, which sometimes appears in unexpected ways, is unlimited in its manifestations.
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