As I write, businesses are in different phases of reopening here in the United States, but concerns remain about the health of employers, employees, and customers based on the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s been months since I last visited a favorite local business. That day, a Saturday, which would normally have been busy, it was anything but business as usual. This popular antique store in my suburban neighborhood was almost empty when I came to browse. Hoping it might be because everyone was outside taking advantage of the sunny, mild weather, I suggested as much to the store’s owner as we chatted.
But she had another thought. “I think it’s the coronavirus,” she said. Then, with a determined look in her eye, she added, “But we don’t allow that in here.”
This was a couple of weeks before all “nonessential” businesses were asked to close their doors for an undetermined period, which she did willingly, in support of everyone in the community. Yet her response that day indicated an admirable mental stand against the economic and social disruption that the whole world has been experiencing as a result of the pandemic. It was a “You have no business here and you’re not going to make me afraid or ruin my joy” resolve that said, “Not now. Not ever.”
When adversity strikes, it’s natural to feel it’s unjust and to push back against it, even if it is a situation seemingly out of our control. In fact, no one pushed back harder on injustice than Christ Jesus, whom Christians consider the greatest humanitarian and healer of all time. He did so not from some extraordinary reserve of willpower or grit, but because he trusted completely in his loving, almighty Father, God, to heal and save humanity from sickness and suffering. “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27), he told his disciples. While Jesus was moved with compassion for those who were adrift, “as sheep not having a shepherd” (Mark 6:34), or overcome by fear or illness, as was a leper he encountered (see Mark 1:41), no image or report of suffering could move Jesus from his rock-solid faith in God’s goodness and healing power.
I’ve always loved the idea that I can be a porter at the door of my thought.
When he healed a nobleman’s son who was dying of a fever (see John 4:46–53), Jesus was in a sense saying about disease: “We don’t allow that here! Our loving God is not the cause of disease, nor does God send it. Having no cause, a germ or a virus—or anything that is harmful—cannot destroy life, because God is Life, and He gives us life. Life is eternal—and anyone can learn how to prove this.”
And when Jesus saw thousands of people who needed food, his consciousness of God’s infinite provision multiplied a handful of loaves and fishes sufficiently to feed them all (see Matthew 14:14–21). Instead of being alarmed by the seemingly irrefutable evidence of disruption—whether it was a food shortage, sickness, death, economic blight, or severe weather—his thought was impressed only by God’s presence and the harmony and perfection of His creation. And this spiritual consciousness healed in every case.
The intuitive sense that we have the right, and more importantly, the ability, to overcome fear, despair, and illness—that, in fact, we can disallow them entrance into our thought and therefore our experience—comes from the one divine Mind, or God. It is indicative of the fact that we reflect this divine Mind, as well as the consciousness of divine Love that destroys fear and the illusion of sickness.
The knowledge that we have this spiritual dominion has been so helpful to me when I’ve faced physical or other challenges. For instance, one morning at work years ago I began exhibiting all the well-known symptoms of the flu and quickly began to mentally go down a list of activities I might have to cancel, including the afternoon classes I was scheduled to teach. Very quickly it occurred to me that I could put my foot down and not allow the suggestion that I was becoming sick to have any place in my thought. “Stand porter at the door of thought,” I remembered reading in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The passage continues: “Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them” (p. 392).
One dictionary definition of porter is “a person stationed at a door or gate to admit or assist those entering” (merriam-webster.com). I’ve always loved the idea that I can be a porter at the door of my thought and exercise spiritual dominion over disease in this way rather than live in fear of it or feel subject to it.
Within a couple of hours of my standing porter and refusing entrance to any thought that wasn’t from God, good, the flu symptoms vanished, and I was grateful to be able to continue my normal schedule at work. While I’ve had many other physical healings of what would be considered more serious ailments, including an infectious skin disease, I remember this particular healing so clearly because there was such a quick dissipation of the symptoms and return to health.
Today, as we pray for the safe reopening of our communities, I’m reminded of a plaque that sits on my dresser with this message: “Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited” (Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 210).
Mrs. Eddy wrote those words over a century ago. In essence, she was saying of disease, “We don’t allow that in here.” And through her discovery of Christian Science, she showed the world why and how.
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