"Imbibe the spirit"

Several years ago, a young student of Christian Science heard the statement made by one who for many years had enjoyed the blessings which are among the things added to those seeking first the kingdom of God, "My greatest desire is to know God better; everything else is incidental."

To the student, this statement was startling, and she was deeply impressed. Up to that time, the healing of physical ills and the solving of other problems had appeared to be the important thing —the goal, so to speak, toward which Christian Scientists aimed. To discover that one who had been so successful in the healing work had as her goal not the healing, as such, but a closer communion with God, awakened the student to a clearer perception of what it means to be a Christian Scientist. A more intensive study of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," on the part of the student, with the purpose of obeying the admonition of its author, Mary Baker Eddy, to "study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit" (p. 495), ensued.

Naturally, such a study brought many happy moments, but one healing which came as a direct result of this conscious effort to know more about the allness of God and the coexistence of God and man stands out in the experience of the student. For many years she had been unable to lie on her right side for more than a few moments without suffering intense pain, which became almost unbearable when she endeavored to change her position. As she became increasingly interested in trying to realize the omnipresence and omnipotence of divine Love, and to understand more fully the apostle's statement, "Now are we the sons of God," as she was more occupied with the fact that man is not corporeal, but spiritual, the image of the One "altogether lovely," she forgot about her side. One night she became cognizant of the fact that she was lying on her right side with no difficulty whatever, and upon turning experienced no discomfort. Just when the healing had taken place she did not know, but it has been permanent, and it brought a beautiful lesson to her, a proof that freedom from error comes when thought is turned from materiality to the contemplation of spiritual truths.

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The True Meaning of Wilderness
April 18, 1942

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