People often say healing is the best way to share Christian Science, but lately to me, that feels like the cart before the horse. Most of my work as a Christian Science practitioner is with non-Scientists that come to me by referral, and they are not usually seeking “healing” in the way most Christian Scientists imagine they might be.
They are honest seekers of Truth. They want answers about God, and are thrilled to actually find them in an understanding put forth by Christian Science– that God is Truth, Life, and Love itself. I know the miracle of this shift in consciousness, because it changed my own life from atheism to serving this very God.
In my opinion, the Christian Science version of God is the best thing we have to offer a world where a large percentage don’t believe in God. That statistic is not surprising to me given the versions of God out there. If that is all I’d ever heard, I wouldn’t believe in God either.
Those statistics were very different in Mary Baker Eddy’s day, who founded Christian Science in 1879. At that time, and throughout her life (until 1910), a baseline of believing in God was rightly assumed. However, that is very much not the case today.
After gaining the revolutionary understanding of God’s true nature, the second huge gift of Christian Science is understanding ourselves as an image and likeness of all that God is. Most people do not see themselves this way, and the practical realization of this fact dramatically changes their lives for the better. That’s when the third thing happens: spiritual healing.
I am rather tired of Christian Scientists saying we need to heal better and that is the way to bless the world with Christian Science. That is starting with the effect and not the cause. How about we instead focus on sharing a God that is our collective and individual Life, Truth, and Love. Furthermore, let’s also prioritize supporting people in their quest for and identification with of Truth, Life, and Love. Then, as a natural outcome, their experience will be vastly improved, which we are fond of calling “healing.”
Jesus counseled us to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33 KJV) He didn’t say seek healing. He didn’t say heal and all these things will be added.
When you put the cart before the horse, you don’t go very far, if anywhere. Amazing Christian Science healing is still happening today for the honest seekers of Truth devotedly working on their own relationship with (and expression of) Life, Truth and Love. Spiritual healing is a profound, residual effect, but is not usually these days the best place to begin a discussion of Christian Science.
Christian Science is not best perceived as alternative medicine– merely a different type of treatment to take for a result you want. It is better explained as how to have a healthy relationship with the all-powerful, ever-present, infinitely good God, as well as how to cultivate the manifestation of Godlike qualities in yourself. This has incredible results, which are a marvelous byproduct that indicates you are on the right track. This is the huge, unique thing Christian Science has to offer, and any Christian Scientist can share that, whether they feel confident as a healer or not.
I feel we should start by listening to where someone is coming from, and then respond from there. Some today may already have a grounding similar to those in Mrs. Eddy’s day, and you can move directly and swiftly to healing them. But many, I find, have a lot to sort out first; they are rightly skeptical and resist what is beyond their comprehension. Establish some trust first by helping them to know and experience the actual God’s true nature as complete good, and their own identity as an outcome of that. I find this is the most helpful, least intimidating, and quietly nurturing way to share Christian Science, whose blessings multiply increasingly in proportion as it is explored.
I’m passionate about this not because I am interested in furthering a denomination, but because I imagine a world where a majority come to know God as Truth, Life and Love– an ever-present good that is all powerful and available to them every moment– and themselves as manifestations of that. That to me feels like our best path to collective survival, the way to mutuality and sustainability, the route to healing, the method for reducing fear and evil, and the approach of peace on earth. That vision is highly motivating, and it is born of a lot of tender care, listening, and the cultivation of genuine understanding.
Thank you, Polly for your wonderful insights. I think many people would benefit from knowing God better and their own relationship to God. Mrs. Eddy’s did us a great service with the definition of God she gleaned from her intense Bible study. If everyone knew themselves spiritually they wouldn’t be trying to change themselves into what they think is a perfect mortal! As there really is no such thing!!
I just had to comment on today’s blog. I LOVED it! I have had similar thoughts for some time.
The CS concept of Genesis One is unique, and I think it’s what many people are looking for, but don’t know it exists.
Our perspective bases our need to live lives of ethics, integrity and kindness, or what is commonly called Christian Character.
I also think that oftentimes (mortal mind) doesn’t judge us by our ability to heal, because it doesn’t expect us to heal anyway. But it does recognize “Christian Character” when it sees it.
When Jesus says (Matt. 5:48) “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect,” I think “therefore” implies we have been given the reasoning to come to this conclusion. Again, Genesis One.
Anyway, I just had to give you a shout out on that blog! Great job! Yes!!
Polly I agree with you. As a convert to Christian Science, I have noticed that many Christian Scientists put the cart before the horse in explaining to others what Christian Science is. We must demonstrate it in loving others, and caring about them. This is Love. The rest will follow. I love Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, have had class instruction, many many healings, yet I don’t like where many Christian Scientists come from in their belief everybody should just immediately get Christian Science. It’s not going to happen immediately. Mrs. Eddy writes when your concern for your neighbor is more than for yourself, your pews will be filled. I always share the beauty of God everywhere the opportunity presents itself. Just saying that the understanding of how good kind and loving God is brings reassurance and comfort to all seeking Him. When and IF they want to delve further there is Science and Heath. Helen Keller couldn’t read write or speak until someone patiently persisted in reaching her. That’s what we need to do with non Christian Scientists patiently be there for them teaspoon by teaspoon gently feeding them.
Thank you for your perspective.
Oh my yes, indeed! You have, as you often do, articulated my thoughts and feelings so very well.
Thank you sooo much, Polly. What you shared is sooo very true! We need to be out in our communities interacting with others, letting the joy of our life outlook bless others. CS is not a clique. We are here to bless others!
Excellent Polly! Prioritizing knowing God as her qualities, Life, Truth, and Love is the gift of CS. And the place to begin and to nurture what that means and where it leads. Your article was clarifying in that respect and helped me see that the results we often call healing are the effects of this growing understanding and not the place to begin! Thank you for this insight!
I put a lot of thought into this, as so did you all and thank you.
Healing is certainly a blessing, but perhaps we have reached the point where too much emphasis on it acts as a drawing card for CS to be viewed as some sort of metaphysical pill.
Perhaps man is really thirsting for TRULY understanding his/her divine insoluble conscious link to God FIRST, in the days when error seems to be screaming the loudest. Ie, yearning for that understanding when healing of any sort becomes unnecessary as a stepping stone to Truth when there is truly nothing left to heal.
An artistic thought came: healing is fine, but that presupposes a negative condition. Something to “fix”. Perhaps a major emphasis on a direct positive, like how to *think* like a painter seeing that there is no material canvas. The only canvas there is, is consciousness – or the divine Mind individually expressed, not human mind.
I’m reminded of the “outpicturing of thought”. And when viewing some of the beautiful artwork here on my computer, am I not seeing a “picture within a picture” in my consciousness ONLY?
Maybe we’re hungering to go deeper than seemingly discordant conditions, and when we do, what we see on the canvas has changed, because we are focusing on using the right brush, not trying to change the canvas.