Listening to what we most need to hear about our health
Historically, people suffering from leprosy were considered unclean and were isolated from society. Others were careful not to touch them or even come near them for fear of contracting the disease. So imagine the drama of the moment when Christ Jesus reached out and touched a leper—and healed him.
The Bible gives this account: “There came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8:2, 3 ).
Jesus was not afraid of catching leprosy, because he understood that the true nature of man is spiritual and good, as created by God, divine Spirit. Where others saw a person with a contagious disease, Jesus saw instead the expression of divine Spirit, forever whole, and free from any material condition. The Master’s willingness to touch the leper symbolized the touch of divine Love revealing the man’s true worth as God’s child. And healing was immediate. The heavy weight of public opinion about disease and contagion that this man had been carrying melted away in an instant.
Condemnation couldn’t stand before the Christly view of man as pure and perfect. The grief and suffering from being sick and becoming an outcast—from losing family, friends, and useful occupation—were replaced by wholeness and well-being. This individual experienced proof of what it means to be loved and valued as a son of God.
The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains that Jesus had the ability to impart this holy view of man because he understood his spiritual identity as the Christ. She puts it this way: “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness. The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual,—yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 332 ).
Where others saw a person with a contagious disease, Jesus saw the expression of divine Spirit, forever whole and free.
The touch the leper felt was the mental touch of the Christ, cleansing his thought of dark images that produce disease. This Christ is here for everyone today to communicate to us our true identity as God’s spiritual likeness—God’s sons and daughters, inseparable from Him—and to cleanse us of disease-producing thoughts. Unhealthy mental images may arise from fear of separation from God, good; ignorance of God and His creation; or disobedience to God’s law. Whatever their specific nature, when destructive mental images are washed out of thought, healing takes place. The Christ acts as a cleansing agent in human consciousness.
Even though Jesus is not with us personally today, the Christ is always with us. Christ is communicating God’s healing truth for receptive hearts and minds to hear and respond to.
We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of knowing that the Christ is with us and that we can be receptive to the healing message of the Christ. In today’s world, messages about disease—messages contrary to Christ, Truth—are everywhere. The car radio, the loudspeaker at the grocery store, TV ads, computer screen pop-ups, social media, government agencies, and even employers constantly send us well-meant warnings about contagion, and procedures to avoid it.
While the motivation behind these messages is usually a desire to help, the effect is often to heighten fear. Science and Health points out: “The press unwittingly sends forth many sorrows and diseases among the human family. It does this by giving names to diseases and by printing long descriptions which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Every one hastens to get it” (pp. 196–197 ).
The fear instilled by the media needs to be removed from our thought by divine Truth in order to keep the body safe. We can know in prayer that material communication in whatever form cannot influence a consciousness illumined by Truth.
Because God is infinite, there is in reality one true communication—Christ’s healthful and peaceful message from the divine Mind telling us of our true identity as God’s spiritual creation.
We all have an innate spiritual sense that enables us to distinguish between the health-giving messages of the Christ and the fear-producing messages of material reasoning. Refusing to listen and respond to fearful talk about contagion, and turning instead to the truth of God’s ever-presence and goodness, brings God’s healing and preserving power into our experience.
Recently, I felt the familiar symptoms of a cold. As I listened quietly for inspiration from the Christ, Truth, I realized that the body, being material, has no ability to communicate anything about health. Material brain, nerves, eyes, and ears have no actual intelligence with which to convey material views, which are always limited and misguided.
The fear instilled by the media needs to be removed from our thought by divine Truth in order to keep the body safe.
I also realized that no person, place, or climate can be dangerous, because we actually live in the atmosphere of divine Love. In the environment of Love, there are no viruses, bacteria, or germs—and no contagion. Holy and pure thoughts from God are all that can be communicated. In a short time, I was free of the cold symptoms.
In reality, no one can endanger another, through contagion or any other means. Divine Spirit’s expression, man, is pure, holy, joyous, and productive, and can impart only health. The Christ is speaking to everyone, expressing a peaceful sense of our inseparability from divine Love. In God’s spiritual kingdom, where we live right now and always, only good is being communicated.