We don’t need a silver bullet

Healing inspiration comes from God and is always fresh and new and inspired.

Looking to be a better healer? Then you’ll want to keep an eye out for articles like this one, appearing periodically in the Sentinel, The Christian Science Journal, and The Herald of Christian Science. Their aim: to correct some of the misconceptions about Christian Science that would keep us from having the results we so desire.

Mythically, a silver bullet represents a mystical object that is capable of killing a werewolf. Metaphorically, a silver bullet represents a simple, seemingly magical solution to any difficult situation.

Sometimes, when we’re seeking Christian Science healing, we might find ourselves looking or asking for a “silver bullet” solution to a problem. It might be just the right statement from the Bible or the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy—something that doesn’t require much of us other than to repeat it!

Have you ever found yourself hoping to find just the right quote, or contacting a Christian Science practitioner for metaphysical treatment and wishing he or she would give you some “magic” phrase that would make all your problems disappear? 

It sounds sort of ridiculous when stated like that, but if we aren’t alert, we can fall prey to that kind of thinking. Of course, the truths revealed in the Scriptures and in Eddy’s writings are powerful healing ideas, but these books aren’t mental medicine chests full of little pills that we can take to fix things. That sort of superficial reasoning couldn’t be further from the truth. In Science and Health Eddy writes: “Expect to heal simply by repeating the author’s words, by right talking and wrong acting, and you will be disappointed. Such a practice does not demonstrate the Science by which divine Mind heals the sick” (p. 452).

The fact is, the Bible and Science and Health are textbooks to be studied, cherished, and understood. They heal because the words they contain came out of divine inspiration and demonstration and reveal the Word of God. 

Sometimes healing occurs in Christian Science without any statement to ponder at all. Once, a friend of mine called a practitioner for treatment, and the practitioner simply agreed to pray for her and hung up the phone. My friend told me later that, at the time, she’d wished the practitioner had given her some statement of Eddy’s or some citation from the Bible to pray with. But then she realized she wasn’t suffering anymore. She had been instantly healed.

Of course, that’s not the way Christian Science healing always happens, and sometimes studying and praying with a particular passage or spiritual idea is just the thing that lifts us to see what we need to see. But the healing inspiration comes from God and is always fresh and new and inspired.

I once called a practitioner for treatment and said I felt I was passing out. The practitioner said she thought it was highly unlikely, because for me to pass out, God would have to pass out, and she didn’t think He was going to do that. I laughed at the idea of God losing consciousness, and with that, my fear was gone, and I was well again.

It wasn’t the words themselves that brought about the healing but the clearer understanding of God and of my true selfhood as His offspring. 

I have thought of that healing many times, and I always find it encouraging and comforting, not because of what the practitioner said to me—though at the time it was exactly what I needed to hear—but because of the idea behind the words. The understanding of my true identity as the perfect, spiritual reflection of a perfect God, divine Spirit, made it just as impossible for me to lose consciousness as it would be for God. It wasn’t the words themselves that brought about the healing, but the clearer understanding of God and of my true selfhood as His offspring that I glimpsed and felt in that time of need. The love I felt was an expression of God, divine Love. I was turning to God for help, and so was the practitioner.  

Sometimes healing is like switching on a light. We suddenly see exactly who and what we are spiritually. And sometimes healing is like walking up a few flights of stairs—more effort is required of us.

A spiritual take on effort can be found in this statement in Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896: “Be of good cheer; the warfare with one’s self is grand; it gives one plenty of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with you,—and obedience crowns persistent effort with everlasting victory” (p. 118).

Those who have studied the Bible and Eddy’s writings have naturally found go-to statements of truth that have proved helpful—even transformational. But these statements are really springboards to the inspiration and insight needed at that moment. They can speak to us anew—with comfort, joy, and healing—every time we turn to them.

A hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal says:

Lo, He sent His Word and healed them,
       Still that Word of God is here.
Still its tender healing message
       Speaks to every listening ear.
(Violet Hay, No. 175, © CSBD)

Let’s not be fooled by “silver bullet” thinking. It actually deprives us of the opportunity to ponder fresh inspiration straight from God, and to gain substantial spiritual ground. Besides, who needs a silver bullet when we have an all-good God in whom we can wholeheartedly trust? As the Bible puts it: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22, 23).

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