Back and arm pain healed
In much of American society, the word sin is uninviting, and talking about it is certainly a faux pas. Yet healing sin is imperative to spiritual progress, and an attitude of indifference toward those lingering qualities of thought that constitute sin will never help us grow in understanding our relationship to God.
Sin is commonly thought of as breaking a moral law such as by stealing, cheating, or indulging in sensual pleasures. And while these things are certainly to be included in the definition of sin, subtler traits such as jealousy, envy, unforgiving temper, and even ego exhibit sin. If we see sin to be the erroneous thoughts that tempt us to see ourselves as separate from God, we open our thought to gaining a clearer consciousness of the allness of God and the majesty of His love.
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I recently had a healing of a physical limitation, which also brought a healing of sin. One morning I awoke with pain in my upper back, neck, and left arm. I couldn’t explain it; I hadn’t injured myself or even done any particularly strenuous physical activity.
For the next week and a half, I spent much of each day in study and prayer at home. The pain and limited mobility fluctuated between manageable and very limiting. During this time, I was praying with the support of a Christian Science practitioner. As a practitioner myself, I admittedly felt sidelined and unable to perform the duties of my office by giving Christian Science treatment to others. But while I genuinely desired relief from the pain, at times I was only halfheartedly praying for myself because I was timid of “facing the music.” I knew there were sinful thoughts—lingering suggestions that I was limited or imperfect—that I had been entertaining for some time and was reluctant to let go of. I knew these thoughts were sinful because they represented a state of consciousness that was lower than my highest sense of right, and claimed to separate me from being the true reflection of God.
In times of physical pain and struggle, it’s natural to desire a release from the difficulty. But often, when we know we need to be healed of a sin, it’s much harder to honestly desire to be healed. Just as the woman with the issue of blood came to Jesus to touch “the hem of his garment” (Matthew 9:20), we, too, can come humbly to the feet of Christ, the spiritual ideal, with our desire to be free.
One morning the pain and limitation were acute, and I knew it was time to really open my heart to healing. That morning I sat on the porch and read this passage in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Let the ‘male and female’ of God’s creating appear. Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine ‘powers that be.’ Such is the true Science of being” (p. 249).
It’s no mistake that Mrs. Eddy used the word let to start the first three sentences of this paragraph. To me, to let is to yield, to surrender, or to allow. As I prayed, I saw that I needed to allow the man “of God’s creating” to appear, to surrender myself to “the divine energy of Spirit, bringing [me] into newness of life,” and to allow myself to “rejoice that [I am] subject to the divine ‘powers that be.’ ”
Sitting on the porch that morning, I made the conscious decision not to be victimized by any lingering sense of being something less than a child of God—perfect, sinless, and pure. Although the symptoms did not yield immediately, I felt impelled to go for a bike ride, something I had been unable to do for almost two weeks. Shortly into the ride, it was evident the symptoms had left and I was completely free.
I feel that the healing stemmed from three essential decisions I made that morning. First, I had to commit to being healed of the lingering sin. Second, I had to “let” myself see myself as the true child of God that I am. Finally, I had to “rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6) by taking the step to ride my bike. This not only yielded freedom of movement, but it also destroyed the sinful sense that I had been reluctant to face up to.
If we honestly and earnestly ask ourselves, “Am I ready and willing to be healed of sin today?” we’re not opening the door to guilt and condemnation; rather, we are yielding to the “divine energy of Spirit” that brings us “into newness of life.” And this newness is, quite simply, majestic.
Eric D. Pagett
San Luis Obispo, California, US