What’s my history?
Acknowledging the God who is Love as the creator of all heals hurts, past and present.
A truly remarkable statement was made by Mary Baker Eddy when she was asked about a physical injury not yielding to Christian Science prayer. The patient was a veteran suffering from a wound he’d received in the American Civil War. Asked what she thought might be preventing the healing, she explained that both the practitioner and the patient believed that a war was part of the man’s history. Mrs. Eddy must have had a different view of the man, seeing instead his spiritual history, forever at one with God, divine Love (see Ira Packard, “Justification,” Sentinel, May 10, 1913).
Regarding our history, Mrs. Eddy had this counsel: “It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man’s real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being. . . .
“God is over all. He alone is our origin, aim, and being. The real man is not of the dust, nor is he ever created through the flesh; for his father and mother are the one Spirit, and his brethren are all the children of one parent, the eternal good” (Retrospection and Introspection, pp. 21–22).
Mrs. Eddy’s writings help us understand the basis for her remarkable assertion that because of our forever unity with God, Spirit, we have no material history. She was making a distinction between what she’d seen, from her study of the Bible, as divine reality—that God is an all-powerful and ever-present God of love, always governing His creation—and what the material senses presented as difficulties in human experience. She had found that this kind of spiritual seeing has a powerful and beneficial effect. When the what-seems-to-be-true is corrected in thought, those difficulties, or distortions of life, are corrected in our experience, in what we call healing.
What Mrs. Eddy learned about a loving God came from what she called her textbook: the Bible, including its accounts of Jesus’ healings. It healed her. Here is one way the Bible describes God: “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else” (Deuteronomy 4:39). This God made all that was made, including man in His own image, and He created it all to be good like Himself. And God blessed His creation (see Genesis 1). The Bible reports many instances in which the power of God saved and protected His children, healed the body and raised the dead, provided comfort in times of fear, and met the human need for food and water.
Given the Bible record, her own healing experience, and her extensive scriptural research,
Mrs. Eddy concluded: “The three great verities of Spirit, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience,
—Spirit possessing all power, filling all space, constituting all Science,—contradict forever the belief that matter can be actual. These eternal verities reveal primeval existence as the radiant reality of God’s creation, in which all that He has made is pronounced by His wisdom good” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 109–110).
The Bible record also affirms that man is God-made. But man was not created and then left on his own to be reshaped by worldly experiences. Instead, as the image and likeness of God, who is infinite Spirit, man is in fact spiritual, forever one with God, continually expressing the nature and activity of good.
From her study of Jesus’ healings and from her own experiences as a healer, Mrs. Eddy concluded that acknowledging the God who is Love as the creator of all reality has a direct impact on human experience—embracing, adjusting, improving daily life and healing hurts, past and present.
Our history consists of a moment-by-moment being with God.
This means for us today that we can each be clear about our own history. We can challenge the history of a minute ago or of years back. I’ve found this to be very helpful in my own life. A simple example: One day I accidentally banged my head on a not-completely-open garage door with such force that I was thrown backward, flat onto the pavement. I immediately affirmed in prayer that it never happened. And I continued to pray with that idea: “I was never there, in matter or a mortal body. Instead, I was with God, governed by God and wisely acting under God’s direction, no matter what seems to have happened.” I was tempted to blame myself for acting carelessly, but I recognized that self-condemnation would only affirm the belief that I hadn’t been protected and that I could suffer from a mistake. I continued with my prayer and had no aftereffects from the accident.
This swift healing confirmed for me how important it is to understand that our history consists of a moment-by-moment being with God, and that recognizing the fact of this forever unity embraces our life in whatever way best supports our continued well-being. Anything in our human past that would seem to have been formative (such as heredity), a precursor to something hurtful (such as divorce), or an argument for irrevocable damage (such as an accident) cannot possibly be true, because of our forever unity with God as His reflection. Given this, the hurtful event or condition could never really have happened. We were never really there, but rather were always with God, good.
Praying in this way completely contradicts the evidence of the five material senses. The senses continually report with great authority that pain, poison, wounds, accident, etc., are real; they say, “I see it; I feel it; I know it is real.” But we always have the choice of whether to accept that sorry depiction of reality as our story. Science and Health states, “. . . If God, or good, is real, then evil, the unlikeness of God, is unreal” (p. 470). So instead of accepting what the material senses report as reality, we can challenge it. If their evidence is not consistent with God’s love for us, it can never be true.
Successful healing prayer rests on acknowledging what is true of God and of our relation to God. Acknowledging this gives us an accurate view of our true history—and of our forever now.