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If God is ever-present Love, why did he allow ______?

From The Christian Science Journal - April 16, 2012

An accident, cancer, terrorist acts, and . . . fill in the blank. This is a question that puzzles and weighs down the world. It springs from two things: 1) a longing to understand the true nature of God; and 2) confusion over the origin and entity of evil. 

When what we see and hear testifies so perpetually of chaos, disorder, disease, and hate, how can we really know that God is not competing for influence over us with a living devil of chance, rogue cells, and horror? How can we be sure that God, divine Love itself, is the only actual power and Creator of reality? 

Finding satisfying answers to these questions involves taking more than a simple leap of faith. While faith can be a helpful point of departure, it’s essential to gain a spiritual understanding of the difference between what is good (hence powerful), and what is evil (thus powerless). Once we have shifted our premise of reality from a material to a spiritual sense of existence, the evidence begins to accumulate that God, divine good, is not just a power but the only actual power. 

Christ Jesus took on the question of the origin of evil when he was confronted with a man who was blind from birth (see John 9:1–7). Jesus’ disciples were confused on one point, and asked: Who caused the blindness, the man or his parents? Who was the sinner? 

To them, what they saw with their eyes and heard with their ears was a given. It seems they accepted a false premise that both God and disease were real. So, it was natural to reason that the cause of evil in this case was an inherent sin hidden somewhere within the man’s family, and that God had not only allowed this sin to occur, but was also punishing it. 

Jesus, however, didn’t share the same belief. He held a different premise of reality from the disciples. He erased any supposed blame from both parties and laid a new basis for right, correct reasoning. Precisely where the disciples saw blindness as an indisputable fact, Jesus saw that only the “works of God” could be “made manifest in him.” 

Jesus declared the "light of the world" to be the healing Christ: God's ever-present message of divine Love, and Love alone, illumining the actual spiritual status of man.

He then went on to talk about the importance of what might be called “day-work”—judging cases in the “light” of a spiritual sense of God, and of man’s true nature as God’s spiritual reflection. He further pointed out the total impotence of “night-work,” where evil is accepted at face value and is wrongly mixed into one’s equation of reality. 

Jesus declared the “light of the world” to be the healing Christ: God’s ever-present message of divine Love, and Love alone, illumining the actual spiritual status of man. Spitting on a material and limiting sense of evil as power, and inviting the man to wash that false premise away, Jesus healed the case. He didn’t just declare evil powerless and ignore it. He proved it to have no consequence by erasing the entire belief in evil and its effects.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of Jesus’ method of healing prayer, explained the unwavering spiritual premise behind his work. She wrote: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy. Man is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 476–477). 

Eddy understood that this spiritual perception and ability to heal weren’t confined to Jesus and his disciples, but that they are equally available to us all today. She later added, “You can prove for yourself, dear reader, the Science of healing, and so ascertain if the author has given you the correct interpretation of Scripture” (ibid., p. 547).

In my own life, I have been healed numerous times by “beholding in Science” the true nature of God as divine good, and man (including myself) as the perfect reflection of his Creator. It is this spiritual perception that stamps out the effects of a belief that God condones, allows, or knows evil. 

The path to the healing of any woe begins with a premise-shift, looking away from the question, “Why did God allow this evil?” to the enlightened and factual base of God’s perfect and good work as ever present. Let’s allow the Christ, Truth, to wash away the “mud” from our eyes. Let our spiritual understanding show us what is good and true, hence the only real power. With this essential shift in perspective made, we’ll see for ourselves that there is no reality, or God, in evil—and we will find ourselves healed.

Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Paris, France. 

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