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Spiritual healing without words

From the March 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Originally published in German.

Looking to be a better healer? Then you’ll want to keep an eye out for articles like this one, appearing periodically in the Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel, and The Herald of Christian Science. Their aim: to correct some of the misconceptions about Christian Science that would keep us from having the results we so desire.

There may be occasions when specific inspirational words are helpful, maybe when dealing with a physical difficulty that is constricting and even frightening. You might ask a friend or a relative or a Christian Science practitioner (someone who gives treatment through prayer for others) for an inspiring quote from the Bible or one of Mary Baker Eddy’s writings to pray with. Or you might just open these books or one of the Christian Science magazines to such a passage, and find just the inspiration you need. 

Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, followed Christ Jesus’ teachings, listened to God, and wrote down what she received. Many of her statements became those that Christian Scientists love to read and pray with. She provided us with manifold material we can study and ponder. This magazine was founded by her in order for Christian Scientists to share their insights and healing experiences with readers around the world. (That’s why I’m writing this article!)

No news—words are helpful in communication. We often use words in our prayers, asking God for help or giving thanks to Him. They provide a structure. We can listen to kind and encouraging words, and they nurture us with a meaningful message, sometimes with a surprise—some inspiration that makes us pause and appreciate a thought we didn’t anticipate.

The question I’ve sometimes needed to ask, though, is: Am I relying on the words to provide a healing message more than on their author, God? The answer might be: No, not if I’m seeing the word as God’s directly available message to me, giving me a fresh look at my relationship to God, or helping me see myself, my friends, coworkers, family members, and even those I don’t know as God’s expression. However, I’ve found that if I’m relying on words alone for healing, then I could be tricked by fear into believing that it’s hard to find the “right hit” in order to get rid of a problem.

God, good, was already communicating to me, in that very moment, the truth I needed.

Rather than specific words, what we’re really listening for is the voice of good, the activity of Christ, divine Truth, which is just as available in our lives and activities as it was in biblical times. The Christ message can get through to us at any time, anywhere. 

Once my husband and I were parking our bicycles in front of a shopping mall, and the bike next to mine suddenly fell hard on my foot. Because it was summer, I was wearing sandals, which didn’t offer much protection. For a few moments, I had difficulty thinking any words at all. 

But words weren’t necessary because I understood that there is no stepping into or out of our constant connection to God, our guarding ever-presence. In the next moment, I was off, into the shopping mall, doing our errands. I can only attribute this instant freedom to God’s love, which redeemed me from the image of a hurt foot and pain in that very moment. I was totally assured of God’s power, which held me completely untouched by anything opposed to His all-harmonious and peaceful presence. Finding words to pray with hadn’t been necessary. 

I also felt no need to check my foot. It wasn’t until we went back to our bikes that it occurred to my husband to inquire about my condition. I was surprised, because I had totally forgotten the incident, and when we both looked at my foot, there was nothing to see, nor was there any pain. That was a very joyful thank-you-God moment!

I have, of course, had other experiences when thorough and thoughtful prayer has been needed to better understand and claim God’s love for myself and for others, which removed fear and brought healing. Regardless of the approach, to think and live from the single point of view that recognizes God is omnipotent and omnipresent good naturally enables us to turn away from thinking that matter has sensation or can produce pain and fear.

Mrs. Eddy asks in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, this question: “Do we gain the omnipotent ear sooner by words than by thoughts?” (p. 13). And an answer can be found in this encouraging statement from the Bible: “For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). Being aware that God is seeing and hearing all His beloved expressions and always meeting our needs has helped me when I’ve had no specific words at hand. When the bike fell on my foot and at first caused pain before I could think any words about God’s ever-present omnipotence, God, good, was already communicating to me, in that very moment, the truth I needed. I wasn’t stuck in a material condition or in need of certain wording. The truth of God’s love was at one with me, and by that I was healed immediately.

From that experience and many others, including those where a thorough understanding of a certain statement or concept was needed or helpful, I’ve learned that healing results from more than just finding the right words. Rather, healing comes from trusting the message of truth from God, the author of all true thoughts and words, who is constantly communicating right messages to us, so that we can see ourselves as we always are: pure and innocent, free and whole.

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