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Can a 'miracle' really occur?

From the August 18, 2014 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Miracle. That which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science.

—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 591

Nate Frederick was the guest on this Sentinel audio chat. A Christian Science practitioner, he is also a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship. While studying theology in college, Nate was introduced to Christian Science. The questions were submitted online by listeners. This excerpt has been edited for publication. To hear the whole chat, go to

Are we really ready to believe in quick, radical healing that puts material laws aside?

For me, it starts with the concept that there are no impossibilities. The Bible says that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). When there’s a difficulty in life, it’s always a push to get deeper and to know more about the creator.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy says, “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony” (p. 390). So as you get that right understanding of God and deepen it in your life, it becomes natural to experience “miracles.” [Editor’s note: See spiritual meaning of miracle on page 591 of Science and Health.]

It has a lot to do with expectation too. Mary Baker Eddy also talks about desire as prayer (see Science and Health, p. 1), so when we have that desire to see God’s goodness, we’re not looking at life from a material point of view anymore. We’re looking at it through spiritual sense—the way God sees it. Then harmony becomes very natural—not a miracle.

People born with disabilities—how can we pray to see a miracle for them to understand God and be cured?

The desire to see those sort of things healed is always blessed. But how do we move from a consciousness of want, to a consciousness of have? Jesus always saw what the individual had, not the defect, or how they got the defect. For example, the disciples bring a blind person to Jesus, and they ask Jesus why this person was born blind. Was it the sin of the parents, or was it the sin of the blind man? Jesus, realizing that there was one cause, one creator, said, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). By healing the man, he wiped away the whole question about where it came from.

Healing is always about waking up.

That’s where spiritual study and prayer always bring us. Prayer wipes us clean of all of that questioning and brings us to the understanding of man as the manifestation of God. Jesus always saw man as purely spiritual, as the complete expression of Life and Love, and of health and holiness. In Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy describes how Jesus healed. She says, “Knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame …” (p. 210). So, right where there seems to be inability, or a defect, you can see that God is there, Soul is there, being manifested through man.

How do healing experiences affect what Mary Baker Eddy refers to as “the dream of life in matter” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 16), or material existence?

Healing is always about waking up. If we’re stuck in “old me, sorry me, poor me,” or other beliefs, we need to wake up and see that God is here and now, and to work out the laws of God in our lives until we know them and see tangible good in our experience. When we wake ourselves up mentally and start to live in a state of rejoicing, we’re using our spiritual sense—our capacity to understand God—and that’s when healing becomes a natural part of life.

Mrs. Eddy says divine “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Science and Health, p. 13). Do you think this accounts for the so-called miracles that have occurred in other faiths?

Extraordinary things happen in people’s lives for various reasons. But Christian Science is the universal law of God. It’s applicable to anyone. I see everyone as the child of God—that’s who we all are. It doesn’t matter how you’re defining yourself humanly, your real individuality is still part of the same truth of God. There can be only one truth. Like gravity, it applies to everyone, universally, impartially. 

God is always shining good on our lives, and we’re the very expression of that infinite good.

It seems, materially, that we’re on this spinning ball, called Earth, and we experience night and day. But that’s an earthly perspective. If we were to move up from the earth and get past the atmosphere into space, we’d see that the earth is beautiful and the sun is always shining on it. And the same thing is true in spiritual study and prayer. When we pray to lift up our thought, we see that God is always shining good on our lives, and we’re the very expression of that infinite good. God’s love is unchangeable; it’s constant, it’s forever.

Once in my life God’s love was so apparent, I felt it nearly constantly and had many healings. I want to get back to that point, but despite much prayer and study, it doesn’t seem to be happening. Do you have any thoughts?

I think it’s that you need to express it. Jesus said he came not to be served, but to serve. If you want to feel love, “wash people’s feet” (for the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, see John 13:4–15). In other words, do whatever comes to you from God to be that loving presence for others, even if you don’t feel it. Because sometimes we don’t feel it, but it’s being active in loving that makes us feel it. Jesus said we’re the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), and if you think of a light beam, a light beam only shines outward. It doesn’t turn around and turn in on itself and say, “What about me?” It just shines and lights up everything in its path, and that’s the nature of you and me. And so, we have to get in that activity of shining our light. 

If you ask God how to do it, God will show you ways to bring love to others, and in doing that, you will find yourself.

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