The freedom that is ours
As I was sitting at my dining room table one morning recently, looking out at my favorite view of the backyard, where there is a beautiful oak tree, I saw dozens of robins flitting about. Some were in the tree, some were on the fence separating my property from my neighbor’s, and many were sitting on my birdbath. These delightful birds were having a grand time drinking and splashing in the water, while others waited patiently nearby for their turn to frolic. “What freedom these creatures have!” I thought. Everything they needed was provided for them, and they seemed not to have a care in the world.
This idyllic scene reminded me of the readings at a recent Wednesday evening testimony meeting at my branch Church of Christ, Scientist. The topic had been liberty and freedom, and for several days after, I had been further thinking about how much the idea of freedom meant to me as a student of Christian Science and in my work as a Christian Science practitioner—in which my desire was to be a transparency for divine Truth, to help patients understand how they could be free from the false belief that they could ever be separated from God.
At this particular testimony meeting, I’d felt impelled to share one of my very first healings in Christian Science, which took place many years ago.
I felt enlightened by the truths that I was reading.
As an adult, I spent a few days on vacation in the Bahamas with my mother; and although I was very new in my study of Christian Science, I had brought along the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. After spending a day walking around the hotel and the surrounding neighborhood, I gradually began feeling extreme discomfort in my back and hip, so much so that it became difficult to walk. It seemed to me that it was my time to demonstrate what I had been learning, and as I was so new to the study of Christian Science, it did not occur to me to call a Christian Science practitioner for help.
That night, I opened my copy of Science and Health and began to read from the chapter called “Footsteps of Truth.” This passage particularly resonated with me: “We must learn how mankind govern the body,—whether through faith in hygiene, in drugs, or in will-power. We should learn whether they govern the body through a belief in the necessity of sickness and death, sin and pardon, or govern it from the higher understanding that the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all error, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin, disease, death” (p. 251 ).
I was impressed by these guiding statements as to how true healing takes place, which was one of my questions as a new student of Christian Science. In fact, this passage is one that I’ve frequently turned to as my healing foundation as I’ve continued to grow in my spiritual understanding.
I felt enlightened by the truths that I was reading, and although I was still in a lot of physical pain, I felt at peace and decided to try to sleep. Sleep I did, and when I awoke, there was no discomfort at all—a complete healing! I felt like how the birds in my backyard seemed—without a care in the world—and had gained a new appreciation of Christian Science and the sense of freedom that it brings.
This healing brought a strong sense of wonder to me, as for the first time I glimpsed the freedom from limitation that is ours as God’s beloved children. I had not learned of Christian Science until I was an adult with a grown child, and I’d previously had several medical diagnoses, including of allergies and back problems, for which I had been taking prescription medications—though I had been gradually eliminating my use of them as I studied Christian Science.
This healing showed me that because God, Spirit, created me, I could be free of the impositions of the claims of matter—including an overattention to what I was eating, what was in the air I was breathing, and how I was walking or moving. (Indeed, I was later healed of those claims.) Mrs. Eddy affirms, “Love and Truth make free, but evil and error lead into captivity” (Science and Health, p. 227 ).
I glimpsed the freedom from limitation that is ours as God’s beloved children.
With this healing, I caught a glimmer of how effective Christian Science is, the simplicity of it: As God’s children are one with God as His spiritual offspring, all that is true about us is what the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-acting, all-harmonious divine Mind knows. Of course, as I also learned, the study and practice of Christian Science takes persistence, dedication, and effort.
Mrs. Eddy writes, “God made man free” (Science and Health, p. 227 ). Freedom is our divine right as the immortal, spiritual children of God, perfectly formed, perfectly functioning, and free from the bondage of material claims. This doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges in our human experience, but as we hold to the truth of our being and realize our true, spiritual identity as a divine idea, we see material beliefs and restrictions fall away—and healing takes place.
This divine message of our true being is the Christ, Truth, forever present “to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18 ). And this understanding of our relationship to God brings freedom not just from physical ailments but from all seeming evils, including hatred and intolerance, which seem so prevalent in the world today. Anything that does not come from the one loving God has no place in God’s universe, and we can pray to know that all mankind can feel the presence of Love.
As we grow in our understanding of the truth about God and His creation, we can feel liberated—as those brother birds in my yard seemed—and naturally see in our experience the freedom from imprisoning material beliefs that is ours as God’s offspring. With steadfastness and persistence, we can demonstrate this here and now.