You guys ask the best questions, because you’re willing to ask the questions that don’t have easy answers. Recently, one of you asked that question in the title, and what hit me was both how important it is and how much you wanted it answered.
So let’s go for it. How does a healing happen, anyway?
It probably seems natural to look at healing as being about what’s going on with our bodies or in some other aspect of our lives. Something hurts or is out of place, then we pray for healing. And we know we’re healed when the hurt vanishes or whatever’s out of place gets adjusted. Right? Believe it or not, that definition only scratches the surface of healing. That’s why, to understand how healing happens, it’s helpful to begin by getting clear on what Christian Science is.
Christian Science peels away all our preconceived notions about our lives and the world and shows us what’s actually going on. And what’s actually going on is 100 percent about God. Christian Science helps us understand more about the nature of God as good, as Love, as pure Spirit, as all-powerful and always present—and everything else we need to know flows from those bedrock spiritual facts.
Begin with a correct understanding of God, and reason out from there on anything you can think of—including your health—and you’ll get the real and true view of it. Don’t be surprised if this view contradicts whatever’s going on right before your eyes. Christian Science calls on us to rely on our spiritual perception—what we hear and perceive as we listen exclusively to God—rather than on the five physical senses. Here’s how the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, puts it in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things” (p. 129).
Prayer clears away the doubt and fear so we can see that everything God made is just as intact as it’s always been.
Healing, then, is really about a change in perception. As all that God, Spirit, is becomes more compelling to us than anything else, the fact that we’re spiritual here and now comes more clearly into view. We begin to understand what that means for our health, our identity, our purpose, and so on. We may also feel impelled to let go of limitations, or beliefs about ourselves that we’d never before thought to challenge—because this new view of God shows us just how flimsy and false they really are.
That’s the healing: the willing acceptance of a new view. Notice that this is all going on … where? In our thoughts. While we do see an adjustment in whatever situation was bugging us—like the flu going away, for example, or working out some relationship problem—the healing is really the spiritual shift in thought. It’s our new or deeper conviction that God definitely is All, and that this includes us.
And that’s important, because it points to the how of healing. As we pray about a problem, it’s easy to think that we’re making something happen, or causing God to do something for us. But that’s not what prayer does. What prayer does is help us wake up to what’s already true, what’s already in place. It clears away the doubt and fear so we can see that everything God made is just as intact as it’s always been. When you see this clearly, it’s an “aha” moment—and an adjustment in your thoughts and life inevitably follows.
The other how of healing that’s such a relief is that it’s also 100 percent about God. Even though we might feel like we’re the ones working really hard to understand what’s true, I’ve found that there’s this inevitable moment when a switch happens. And in that moment, instead of trying so hard to know something about God, suddenly I find that I’m being bathed in what God is knowing. Instead of trying to tell God things, I hear God’s tender reassurances that everything is OK, that I’m safe, that I’m forever held in His love.
To me, that’s the ultimate how of healing: letting God speak to you and feeling His irresistible power transform your thoughts—so much so that there’s no looking back. That’s when you know, without a doubt, you’re healed—and you are healed.