While I was watching a little television just before going to bed one evening, the program I was viewing was interrupted by a commercial about cold sores. It explained how they come about, and it pitched the product a particular pharmaceutical company sells to treat them.
When I woke up the next morning and looked in the mirror, I was startled to see what appeared to be a large cold sore. Yet there had been no sign of the sore when I went to bed the night before. I recalled the commercial, and I immediately realized what had happened: What I was seeing on the body was simply “an image of thought externalized” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 411). In fact, Christian Science teaches that all disease is an image of thought externalized.
I realized I had unconsciously let the image of the cold sore presented in the commercial and what was stated about cold sores impress me, and this was objectified on the body. In hindsight, I should have hit the “mute” button.
Now I faced a choice about how I was going to treat this condition. I could go to the drugstore and get the type of medicine the commercial had suggested, or handle it through spiritual means as I normally would as a Christian Scientist. I have turned to Science unreservedly throughout my life with every problem that has arisen, large or small. And I’ve found that when applied humbly and steadfastly, it has never failed to heal. As a matter of fact, the saying “Satisfaction guaranteed” comes to mind.
When I decided to handle the situation spiritually, this is what came to thought: Turn away from matter; do not examine, probe, or be impressed by it. Then came this follow-up thought from the textbook of Christian Science: “A spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive” (Science and Health, p. 463). And it certainly did. Within an hour or so, all traces of the offensive cold sore were gone.
Among many things, this experience illustrated to me the importance of watching what we take into thought and accept as being true. Christ Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), and he showed us what this truth is through his teaching and healing. When faced with a startling image of disease or discord, he wasn’t impressed by it; instead, he saw its falsity.
Christ Jesus saw man as an idea of God, entirely spiritual, eternal, and therefore without any element of disease or imperfection.
In other words, Jesus didn’t vacillate between Spirit and matter; he recognized matter as nothing and Spirit, God, as All, the only creator of man and the universe. He continually kept his thought fixed on what was true—on the absolute, unequivocal truth about God and His spiritual creation.
The imperfect model before thought, which presents man as a limited, aging mortal, moving closer to his demise with each passing year, could not for a single moment convince Jesus of its seeming reality. He saw man as an idea of God, entirely spiritual, eternal, and therefore without any element of disease or imperfection. This is the perfect model that Jesus always kept at the forefront of thought, and it enabled him to heal.
When we consistently keep this spiritual model in thought, we’ll be less inclined to be distracted or impressed by the false, mortal models that continually come at us like pop-ups on our computer screen—material models that suggest we are material and therefore vulnerable to material conditions, such as cold, contagion, hereditary disease, and so on.
Mortal mind, the “carnal mind” referred to in the Bible, can bear witness only to its own limited beliefs. But because of its limitation, it doesn’t, in reality, have any power or influence over God’s children—or ability to heal.
However, God, divine Mind—the only real Mind, the Mind we, as God’s spiritual ideas, reflect—can and does heal. As we turn our thought away from the body and listen to what divine Mind is telling us in the stillness and quiet of spiritual communion, we see only the perfect model—man as the true image of God, whose being reflects wholeness and harmony.
Mary Baker Eddy writes: “In Science, all being is eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action. Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite” (Science and Health, p. 407).
When we allow this perfect model to be the only one present in thought, we are mentally hitting the “mute” button on false models and demonstrating our God-given authority to do so. This inevitably brings blessings not only to us, but to the world, and is the foundation for all spiritual healing.