After a recent weekend full of family activities and long drives, I started to feel physically ill. We were almost to our destination, and I felt confident in my ability to finish the drive safely, but when we arrived at our destination I felt very ill, and it was hard to engage normally with our family. I knew I could pray for healing, and in prayer I declared spiritual truths about God and God’s creation, truths that are stated in the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science.
As soon as I could, I stepped away from family activities to pray quietly and rest. That’s when I realized I had been interspersing all of the spiritual truths I had been declaring with frantic pleas—pleas not to be sick. These pleas were not based in the fundamental facts of Spirit, God. Instead, the pleas were yelps of a scared mortal, trying to will himself into health.
As with most activities, prayer is most effective when the one praying has both feet in the same boat. So, I stopped engaging in two different sides of a mental conversation. Instead, I just became very quiet. I felt a need for fresh spiritual inspiration and to feel the immediacy of God’s love. I wanted to be faithful to an underlying conviction that I could deeply feel God’s presence and the rejuvenating power of Spirit.
The more I quietly prayed, the more a deep sense of being loved by God crept over me. This sense of being loved was powerful because during the family trip I had begun to realize that some of my conversational habits were not conducive toward fostering a loving and harmonious experience for others. I had been humbly yearning to be a better friend and family member—putting others first instead of needing to be the center of conversation, or being available to my family members instead of staying tucked away in a corner checking on my phone.
In this time of quiet prayer, I became aware that I already had the ability to express love toward others because of the fact that I am already loved so deeply by God. As the Bible puts it, “We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:19). In other words, my ability to express love was based entirely on the fact of God’s already present love for me as His expression.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, “We should measure our love for God by our love for man; and our sense of Science will be measured by our obedience to God,—fulfilling the law of Love, doing good to all; imparting, so far as we reflect them, Truth, Life, and Love to all within the radius of our atmosphere of thought” (p. 12). I knew I could impart more love to others, and I also knew that I was included in that radius of thought. I had the right to feel the power of Truth destroying error in my consciousness, including erroneous fears about my health. I loved the idea of loving God so much that I could trust His love and care for me and my family.
During this quiet prayerful time, the discomfort vanished entirely, and I was healed. I rejoined my family, and I felt grateful to have an immediate opportunity to practice loving more, by showing my family members how much I valued them through deeply listening and engaging in conversation. I had a very peaceful night, and the next day I was able to complete another long drive in perfect health.
I am very grateful that the ever-present nature of God, good, means we can always trust Him to show us exactly how we are loved—and how to love.
Maryland Heights, Missouri, US
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