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Healing and the ripple effect

From the July 9, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

My older brother was going through a rough time and wasn’t very happy with where he was in his life. He also wasn’t very open to Christian Science, even though we both had gone to the Christian Science Sunday School when we were younger. During this time, my foot became very irritated, itching almost constantly. It was really hard to avoid scratching it, but I tried to ignore the irritation, hoping it would eventually go away. 

To be honest, my mum and I were so focused on praying about the situation with my brother that it didn’t really occur to me to pray about my foot. As we prayed, I was very grateful for what I’ve learned in Christian Science about the fact that each of us is the child of God, and nothing can change that. You don’t have to call yourself a Christian Scientist or even believe in the ideas in order to be God’s child. That’s just what we are. No matter the circumstance, the spiritual fact is that each of us is always loving and loved, safe, joyful, and peaceful, because that is the way God created His children, and what God made can’t be reversed. 

Through other healings we’ve had in our family, my mum and I knew that the best way to help my brother was to see him the same way God sees him. God is good, so God sees only good. We prayed for God to help us see this goodness in my brother, too. We knew that his one and only identity is spiritual and pure and that this identity could never be taken away from him. This meant so much to me, because it reassured me that no matter what difficult things seemed to be going on, the underlying truth about the way God made him was still true.

We also made a list of spiritual qualities that we knew my brother expresses. We saw him as calm, patient, happy, and loved. Any day that he seemed anxious or angry, we made sure that we were still seeing him correctly. Sometimes it was hard to look past all the negative stuff, especially with the way he was acting, but I held on to what I knew to be true about him and kept loving him. 

All are included in God’s family as His sons and daughters. God’s love isn’t imparted unequally, with some getting more and some being excluded. 

Another idea my mum and I were praying with was that everyone is God’s child, and not one person can be left out of all the blessings that come with being His child. God loves and cares for everyone equally. All are included in God’s family as His sons and daughters. We knew that God didn’t love my brother less or give him less joy, satisfaction, or opportunity than anyone else. God’s love isn’t imparted unequally, with some getting more and some being excluded. This idea gave me a lot of peace, and I didn’t worry as much.

After praying with these ideas for awhile, we noticed a change in my brother’s attitude. He was happier and not as distressed. He became more determined to get up for work in the morning and wasn’t as tired afterward. For awhile, he’d been very closed off and would often stay in his room, but he began to be more open to talking about his day, or how my day was, and would be more engaged in the conversation. He also started staying home more frequently on the weekends and didn’t focus as much on partying. Everyone in our family seemed happier, and I felt so grateful.

Not only was my brother improving, but also, to my surprise, the irritation on my foot had vanished as well. And it never came back. I was thinking about what happened, and I realized that our prayers to see everyone as God’s perfect child had clearly included me, too. Changing the way I was seeing my brother—and asking God to give me a more spiritual perspective—was like turning on a light in my thoughts that made any darkness, including the irritation, disappear. 

This experience taught me that unselfishness and love are the keys to healing. It also taught me so much about how letting God transform our own thought can have a ripple effect that blesses more than just us.

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