Share Christian Science—why not?
In sharing Christian Science, we are following Jesus’ example of sharing the good news of God’s love and helping meet others’ need for health and healing.
There are people in my life whose religion and health-care practices differ from my own and who seem to be suffering in some way. I have begun to realize that beholding the suffering of others and doing nothing to help is far from obeying Christ Jesus’ instruction to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Of course, we do not want to be intrusive. But without interfering in our neighbor’s business, is there a way we can respond to someone’s need that is in line with Jesus’ teachings, even if our help is not sought?
Consider this statement by the Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy: “Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people’s individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 62). Thinking rightly about a situation or an individual involves a humble leaning on the divine Mind, God, as the very source of inspiration and of everything that is true and pure.
So, how do we hold in thought the right idea of man? In the first chapter of the Bible, we learn that God saw everything He created, including man, as “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Christian Science explains that this pure view of man as the expression of God’s goodness is what enabled Jesus to heal sickness, sin, and death. Following Jesus’ example means yielding a limited, physical view of everyone, including ourselves, to the Christly view, which is unlimited and spiritual.
And there may be something more we can do. Sometimes, loving our neighbor might mean sharing a Bible verse, a Christian Science magazine, or the Christian Science textbook—Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The hunger for peace, health, joy, and harmony is felt by many. In sharing Christian Science, we are following Jesus’ example of sharing the good news of God’s love and helping meet others’ need for health and healing.
I’ve learned that the first step is to heal my own thought about what I see and hear that is unlike God. In so doing, I am shown how to love God and man. Many years ago, when my oldest daughter was about three, she and the three-year-old next door often fought. One day my daughter came home with a bite mark on her cheek that was bleeding.
Whatever holds us back from sharing is not based on loving our neighbor as Jesus taught us to love.
After comforting my child and cleaning her face, I called my Christian Science teacher for prayerful help with the situation. During our conversation, she asked me if I had given the mother of the neighbor child a copy of Science and Health. I replied that I hadn’t because I knew the family attended a church of another faith. But after giving this further thought, I realized I had been limiting my neighbor, assuming she would be prejudiced against Christian Science. I decided to go ahead and offer her a copy of the textbook, knowing that no harm could be done by giving her the opportunity to explore the Science that had been such a blessing to me. And even when she returned the book two weeks later saying she had read it but didn’t believe anything in it, I simply responded with how practical I’d found the teachings in my life.
The children stopped fighting and became better friends, and my daughter’s cheek healed without a trace of the bite.
A year later, my neighbor’s husband was suddenly out of a job. The family’s situation continued for so long and became so severe that we neighbors took up a collection to help pay their utility bills so they could have heat during an extremely cold winter. We took turns preparing meals so they would have food. Then their car was destroyed when a bulldozer accidentally slipped off the trailer on which it was being hauled.
At this point my neighbor rang my doorbell and asked, “May I have that book back? There is something I remember reading in it that I would like to look up.” I again gave her the copy of Science and Health.
Two weeks later, my neighbor came by, hugging the book and happily reporting that their house, which had been on the market for over a year, was now under contract to be sold, and that her husband had found a job with a signing bonus. They could at last afford to buy a car and would be moving to the location of the new job. She said Science and Health had been a great comfort to her, especially the message that God’s love meets every need. She asked if it would be all right for her to keep the book, and of course I said yes, that it was my gift to her.
This was proof to me of how right it can be to share Christian Science, especially the textbook. Whatever holds us back from sharing, whether it be indifference to others’ needs or the fear that they may be antagonistic toward the teachings of Christian Science, it is not based on loving our neighbor as Jesus taught us to love. Prejudice and lack of receptivity to God, divine Truth, are not characteristics of God’s child. God knows each and every one of us as His perfect expression, ever responsive to good and Truth.
If we understand that divine Mind has no thoughts in opposition to itself, we will let go of prejudice in ourselves and stop seeing it in others. We will not allow our brother or sister to suffer without sharing what we know to be the healing Truth.