Fiction: “We ‘use’ Christian Science to deal with problems.”
Fact: Christian Science helps us understand the world around us in an entirely different way. Where there seem to be limitations, it shows us we can soar. Where on the surface we see pain or suffering, Christian Science reveals freedom and comfort.
So while it’s very easy (and very common) to think that Christian Science is something we have in our back pocket to use when things are tough, it’s really so much bigger than that. Yes, it will always be there for us to show us how God’s love can meet any need we might have. But healing happens most readily when we understand that we aren’t “using” Christian Science to fix something, but instead, that we’re recognizing the awesome reality of God’s total goodness.
It’s a little like the law of gravity. Gravity is always operating. We don’t “use” gravity to keep our feet on the ground. It just does. In the same way, God’s completely spiritual universe just is. And we are part of it—in it and of it as God’s reflection.
Jesus didn’t “use” what he knew of God to heal.
Reflection is more than just an image in a mirror. Reflection refers to our very existence. Christ Jesus is a great example of seeing himself and others as the reflection of God. Jesus wasn’t “using” what he understood of God to heal. He was just so clear about what God is and what God creates that he reflected that with love, and outward things conformed to this knowing and loving. Why? Because what he knew about God and His creation was true. So anything that wasn’t part of that creation—such as sickness or stress—must ultimately be untrue, and therefore couldn’t really exist. The result was healing.
So when we have a problem, it’s natural to turn to God to understand how He sees things. As we do, we begin to see as God sees. What is unlike God and His goodness seems less real to us, and it begins to disappear from our thinking and from our experience. Our model isn’t human problem-solving per se, but getting to know, and yielding to, the hugeness and glory of the divine. Then we find freedom, guidance, or whatever it is we need.
Once I was riding my horse alone in a wilderness park. It was a gorgeous day, and I was singing hymns as we went along. Suddenly, a deer appeared, my horse spooked, did a quick 180, and dumped me. I was unhurt and climbed back on to continue my ride. My question was: “What gives? I was singing hymns and I got thrown from my horse?”
The answer came that I needed to better understand why “accidents are unknown to God,” as Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 424).
The next part of my ride involved climbing a long, steep hill, and as we went, I kept thinking about why God doesn’t know accidents. I wanted to know what it is about God and His creation that makes being safe the only possibility. When I got to the top, I dismounted and led my horse down on foot. As I did, I slipped and went down with one leg bent painfully back under me.
Healing happened when I reached out for more understanding of God.
My thoughts went something like this: “I really want to get it. What more do I need to know?” As I sat there in pain, it became crystal clear that as God’s idea, I was infinitely flexible. It didn’t matter whether I was standing on my head, or sitting on a trail with my leg twisted under me. I couldn’t be hurt, since ideas can’t be twisted, hurt, or broken. I got it. It was such a cool moment! I was able to get right up, continued to walk down the hill, then finished my ride with no pain and no aftereffects.
Did I “use” Christian Science to address a problem? No. The focus of my thoughts wasn’t on overcoming the painful effects of an accident; I was reaching out for more understanding of God. And when I caught just a glimpse of the vast, wonderful truth of my being, the outward evidence conformed to that inspired view. In other words, the effect of an accident was healed.
Bottom line: We don’t “use” Christian Science; we recognize its game-changing truth about existence. It is the law of God that governs everyone, everywhere. And when we are conscious of this truth, and love it, its very nature embraces us with only good—and we see healing.