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ON THE ROAD TO SIMON'S HOUSE

Humility and the heart of a healer

From the December 1, 2008 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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Spiritual healing goes hand in hand with humility.

That's what I continue to discover in my own healing practice. In its most obvious form, humility shows a mature willingness to put the brakes on selfish and materialistic motives. And it allows the Christ—God's presence and power—to govern. Humility is not an unworthy, "Don't look at me" state of thought—that comes with a mountain of fear behind it. Authentic humility is firm, fearless, and says: "Look at what God can do. His goodness and grace satisfy you and heal you." Far from a weak state of mind, humility brings power and stability to the healer and to the one seeking healing.

The good news is, we each have this quality. Humility is part of our very nature as God's expression because we are all, first and foremost, His spiritual ideas—His children. Jesus said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do" (John 5:19). Now that's humility. Jesus knew that he was the idea or expression of God and, therefore, lived to express the power and goodness of God. He proved this is true right now for you and me, too.

Each day, I try to listen daily for God's guidance in how to be a better healer. One thing I'm learning is that to obtain the heart of a healer, I must make my way to "Simon's house." To me, Simon's house signifies authentic humility.

The book of Luke tells of this Pharisee, Simon. He invited Jesus to dine at his home, and Jesus went. While there, a woman from the city, described as "a sinner," showed up, with "an alabaster box of ointment." She let down her hair, and "began to wash his feet with tears," drying Jesus' feet with her hair and finally applying costly ointment—all considered very private and humble actions. Meanwhile, Simon was taken aback. After all, didn't Jesus know what kind of woman this was? But Jesus had a very important lesson to teach Simon. He went on to say: "My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little" (see Luke 7:36–50).

Simon had not been impolite to Jesus. He did what was expected, yet nothing more. On the other hand, the woman's trust in the healing message of the Christ led her to the very feet of Jesus. She gave up much, including the cost of the expensive ointment and the embarrassment of showing her emotions in public. The woman showed that the Christ—the true expression of God, which Jesus so fully lived—was worth everything to her. She honored Jesus in every way she could. And in turn, Jesus honored her.

Mary Baker Eddy found the concept of humility important enough to begin her chapter "Christian Science Practice" in Science and Health with this story that took place at Simon's house. She'd found through experience that in order to heal through Christian Science, one needed a pure heart and a life aligned with God. She wrote, "If the Scientist has enough Christly affection to win his own pardon, and such commendation as the Magdalen gained from Jesus, then he is Christian enough to practise scientifically and deal with his patients compassionately; and the result will correspond with the spiritual intent" (p. 365).

The woman (referred to in this instance as "the Magdalen") received Jesus' respect and the healing touch of the Christ because she had both the courage and meekness to make her way to Simon's house in the first place. Similarly, I've had to ask myself, "Am I on the road to Simon's house?" If I am, then, just as the woman who repented, I have to humble myself—yield my human will to the divine. If I'm on the road to Simon's house, I'm grateful for the example Jesus so completely gave of the Christ. I'm recognizing the weaknesses and sins I've been falsely accepting about myself and others. And I'm actually replacing them with what I'm learning about everyone's God-given, spiritual, and sinless nature.

If I'm nearing Simon's house, I'm approaching the Christ, just as the woman did, "from the summit of devout consecration, with the oil of gladness and the perfume of gratitude, with tears of repentance and with those hairs all numbered by the Father" (Science and Health, p. 367). From this standpoint, Mrs. Eddy assured us all that we would be sufficiently prepared to practice the heart and soul of Christian Science healing.

A friend of mine had a healing that illustrates the importance of this type of self-surrender. He had a difficulty that had bothered him for years. Oftentimes, he couldn't completely swallow certain foods and liquids—they just wouldn't "make it down," as if something was blocking their passage. The difficulty had worsened over the years, causing a lot of aggravation, discomfort, and even embarrassment in social situations. There were times when a bite of food wouldn't go down for hours. Then, one evening this past summer during dinner he again had difficulty swallowing a bite of food. When it still hadn't yielded the next morning, he took a day off from work to pray, and called me for spiritual support. Although my friend had prayed about this before on many occasions, and had found some relief, this time something different happened.

This time, I believe, my friend found his way to Simon's house. A sense of desperation yielded to confidence and hope. Frustration and fear gave way to calmness and meekness. He told me, "I felt nurtured by Love." This Love is God, the source of all love and the true Life and Mind of each of us. Then, that afternoon the complete healing occurred. What had been stuck moved naturally down. He said he felt as if something that had physically blocked his throat had been removed, and he immediately called me to say, "I'm healed." He said it was very simple, and that he was left with a deep sense of humility and gratitude. Since then, he's been able to eat without any of the former difficulty.

So how can you and I find our way to Simon's house? Especially when pride and materialism of all kinds are often championed—attempting to weigh down thought and stop progress. Our ability to heal and to hear God's direction must be based, first, in a knowledge of and trust in God. If that ability is not based in Spirit, self-confidence buried by ego and self-will won't allow me or anyone to get even close to what is described in Science and Health as "the outstretched arm of righteousness" (p. 365).

It's also helpful to think about what happened when the woman opened the jar of aromatic ointment. A wonderful fragrance must have filled the house. Similarly, the presence and power of Truth permeate the entire atmosphere when we practice humility and ask ourselves, "How can I best use what God has given me? What more can I do to care for others?"

The woman who'd entered Simon's house must have recognized the difference between true humility and the unworthiness she'd been accepting. She decided she didn't want to carry around a false view of herself anymore. And Jesus showed her it was never truly hers. He recognized her readiness to live as God had made her to be. Simon the Pharisee also noticed the woman's unworthiness, but instead of seeing it as a state of thought that could be redeemed by the Christ, he continued to consider it as part of the woman's identity. Yet he failed to see the hypocrisy in his own actions. The Christ-presence was right there in his house, yet he failed to see it—and therefore fully benefit from it.

The presence and power of Truth permeate the entire atmosphere when we practice humility and ask ourselves, "How can I best use what God has given me?"

Finally, the story illustrates that forgiveness is closely tied to humility. Forgiveness means starting over with renewed love, wiping the slate clean. It is the Christ, Truth, that wipes the slate clean. The Christ is the "divine eraser," eliminating sin, disease, and death. The woman began her journey by self-lessly entering Simon's house. Her humble acceptance of the Christ bathed and cleansed her own consciousness with its gentle authority—even before she washed Jesus' feet. You could say her healing began on the road to Simon's house and was complete when she departed forgiven.

What a wonderful change we can expect God's grace to make on our hearts, on our lives, and on our own healing practice of Christian Science, as we, humbly—graciously—enter Simon's house.

♦

FOR MORE NO THIS TOPIC

To hear Keith Wommack speak on this topic, tune in to Sentinel Radio during the week of November 29–December 5, 2008.

For a listing of broadcast locations and times, go to www.sentinelradio.com. To purchase a download of this radio program, #848, go to www.sentinelradio.com and click on Audio Download Store.


Keith Wommack practices and teaches Christian Science healing in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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