‘The alterative, healing effect of Truth’

I have always been fascinated by Mary Baker Eddy’s use of the word alterative. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which is the textbook of Christian Science, states that “Truth is an alterative in the entire system, and can make it ‘every whit whole’ ” (p. 371). An experience I had several years ago helps illustrate the healing power behind a spiritual understanding of this concept.

I am a Christian Science nurse, and in that capacity I’d promised a friend, who is also a Christian Science nurse, that I would take care of her patient while my friend was on vacation. But when the time actually came, I was ill myself. I didn’t have the stamina to go to my own mailbox or walk the dog, let alone take care of someone else. My husband even rescheduled his annual “boys’ getaway weekend” to stay home and help me.

As a Christian Scientist, I am used to relying on prayer for healing. I have had many healings over the years, including those of financial issues, relationship problems, mononucleosis, strep throat, and pneumonia. In each of these experiences, I’d had to let go mentally of what the material senses were presenting and understand more fully that I was spiritual and perfect, made in the image and likeness of God, as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis (see verses 26, 27). And I’d recognized that as the spiritual likeness of God, I was not subject to the shortcomings of a material sense of life—a limited, mortal body or any discord that the physical senses would present.

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Comfort From The Psalms
Beside ‘still waters’
January 11, 2016

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