I am grateful to have had the opportunity to give yesterday’s adult ministries talk to the Congregational Church here. I know people there both from the Clergy Association, and from the community, and several are fellow blog readers of yours, including the woman who asked me to do this (whose gorgeous jewelry she was wearing I photographed below).
Originally they contacted me wanting me to be part of a panel on spiritual healing, and I steered them away from that idea, recommending instead for them to have a series. I think that was good advice, for they got our respectively undiluted content (not tamped down for political correctness and beat around the bush consideration).
We filled an hour, sharing a ton of candid content to full room. I started by introducing them to Mary Baker Eddy, the awesome discoverer and founder of Christian Science, sharing her initial healing, together with her eventual publication of her blockbuster bestseller, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. We discussed why it is call Christian Science (explaining Bible based laws of God that are provable today).
I introduced them to the seven synonyms for God as used in Christian Science: Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle. I talked about the ramifications of God being infinite, all powerful, ever present and good. I explained the difference between Jesus and the Christ, along with the metaphor of God as the sun, Christ as the light, and each of us a ray. That means we are inseparable from God and the Christ describes our true essence, both actively working in us, and speaking to our consciousness in a way that we can hear.
Jesus, as the Messiah, best encompassed and represented the cumulative light of the Christ. He healed others by seeing that Christ essence and activity everywhere, even where problems seemed to limited, material sense to exist. He knew our nature to be spiritual, not material, and chose God’s outlook as his perspective. He understood that thought governed experience, and so wielded the highest, most powerful, best thoughts.
We’ve heard recently of the mind/body connection. Mrs. Eddy was a frontrunner of that idea, but she went further. It is not just about having a better thought in your human mind, as good as that might be. Instead it is about what the divine Mind knows and thinks and sees about you. When we align our thoughts with the divine Mind –the Mind that made us and knows all things– our experience aligns in proportion to that understanding.
In Jesus’ mountaintop prayers he tapped in deeply to that divine Mind, and when looking at needy humanity, healed from that standpoint, never climbing down to the level of the problem. He hame to show us how we can do this too. What you believe, accept, and claim as real manifests, just as placebos show. In her work on Christian Healing Eddy says, “You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea.”
I shared many examples of healing in my experience, in a whole range from simplistic to impressive. I explained spiritual healing as a shift in thought, and that results are based on uncovering and understanding what was already actually true– a proving of spiritual law– and not on seeking miraculous exceptions to the rule. I abbreviated these stories of healing considerably so as to get through more examples. One of them was my elbow healing you may remember from this blog here.
Good questions followed. They wanted to know about my transition from atheism to being a Christian Science practitioner, so I shared that story. They wanted to know about how the Christian Science church is faring today, so I gave an honest assessment that included wishing for better attendance in our local church, while conversely seeing much growing interest in Christian Science in other areas.
They wanted to know how to see people with physical challenges differently, and how to be a most effective part of a prayer team for collective prayer. We talked about not accepting labels for problems, and refusing to identify people (or ourselves!) with those labels. Instead, we must resolutely see them how God or Jesus would see them.
One knew a Christian Scientist in college who had tried for a spiritual healing, but ended up turning to the medical for help. I explained that Christian Scientists are free to do whatever they think will help them most in terms of healthcare. This cleared up misconceptions.
I explained how Christian Scientist’s often call first aid kits, second aid kits. Our reputation for not going to doctors stems largely from the fact that when you go to God first instead of last, often that need to go to the doctor is circumvented by quick healing. I gave the example of our oldest daughter breaking her jaw on the bathtub at two years old, when I turned immediately to God in the kind of prayer Jesus did, and she was healed in ten minutes, so much so, that the babysitter came, and we went off to our concert. Turning to the medical first in that situation would have meant her jaw being wired shut for a long time. I explained that usually you can afford the ten minutes to turn to God first, and then often you will find that no other remedy is required.
They wanted to know what my dad (the doctor) thought about Christian Science, so I briefly told them (see my blog about that here). My children’s top-notch eye doctor was in the room, and on hearing what my dad had to say, shared that if he has a patient that is thinking negatively about an impending surgery, he just refuses to do the surgery, because he is that clear that their thinking will govern the case, regardless of what he does. Apparently, research shows that they will invariably have a worse outcome, and he wants no part of it.
We talked about what we can do to uplift our view of others by seeing the Christ in them, and our improving collective thought to contribute to the sustainability and survival, peace and salvation of the world. We talked about how God was as close as their next breath, since Life itself is God.
I shared some examples of other things we think of as God and how all atheists believe in something. It is spiritual healing every time we turn to the true God instead of honoring false beliefs, limited fearful perspectives, or material reliances instead. When we magnify instead of marginalize God, Life, Truth, Love, healing takes place. This takes practice and alertness, but God is large and in charge, and no one is unreachable.
You get the idea! It was a vibrant, open presentation and discussion. It was very well received, with several very touched by what they can do going forward to experience more healing by having a higher, God-sourced outlook. From my examples, they learned to start with God in their prayers instead of their problems, saw the connection between forgiveness and healing, learned how to “Stand porter at the door of thought,” and realized the need to start out with more simple demonstrations of controlling their thought, and then building from there.
Additionally, I had a handout of particularly helpful quotes from Mary Baker Eddy to take home and ponder, to use in jumpstarting their prayer life. I even gave my Science and Health away to a participant at the end, and another thought they would get it for their daughter for Christmas…
Thank you, God , for this opportunity, and for being in the midst of us!
Wonderful ministry Polly! Thank you for detailing the talk so beautifully here. Bless you and your community for being so progressive in thought.
Thank you Polly for that fabulous presentation. We at First Congregational Church are very thankful for the insights you shared. I am monitoring my thoughts more closely. Also, the jewelry is by Amy Kahn Russell for those of you who are interested.