Have you ever felt that some spiritual statements, especially ones that are well known to you, are just words?
I have, and at one time it was a real obstacle to my ability to practice and experience Christian Science healing. In my case, it had to do with “the scientific statement of being,” which is found on page 468 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy and is read aloud at the conclusion of every Sunday service in Churches of Christ, Scientist. It says: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.”
This statement is profound not only in what it says about the nature of true existence, but also in its ability to heal when we glimpse something of that reality, which is the foundation for the practice of Christian Science. But there came a point where its words had become so familiar to me that I lost sight of all that.
I learned “the scientific statement of being,” along with the Lord’s Prayer, when I was just three years old and began attending the Christian Science Sunday School. One day, I found my mother lying down in the middle of the day. When I asked why she wasn’t up, she told me she didn’t feel well. I told her I would pray for her and repeated both the Lord’s Prayer and “the scientific statement of being” out loud. She was so surprised, having had no idea that I knew this statement so well! And completely healed, she got up to begin making supper.
When I was an adult, though, over time “the scientific statement of being” lost its significance and meaning for me. I lamented this loss because as a child I had found it precious and comforting; now it felt so familiar that it had ceased to be more than just well-known words. I felt no inspiration from it. I had heard of others who’d had healings by praying with the ideas in this statement, but it had never occurred to me to do so. It felt old and stale, and I felt I needed something new and fresh.
From time to time I wondered how my mother’s healing had come about. After all, at that young age I had no in-depth understanding of God, although I’d always felt close to Him. Then, not too long ago I had an experience that revealed the answer to me.
I badly burned my fingers while cooking. Instead of holding them under cold water, which I knew would bring, at most, only temporary pain relief, I turned to God for a healing thought. And guess what came to mind. Yes, it was “the scientific statement of being”!
I think I let out a little groan, but I sat down, quieted myself, and earnestly began to really pray with it, not just say the words. As I finished, a very strong thought almost boomed out: “And this is the law!”
I had what felt like a moment of pure enlightenment, and instantly the pain was gone. No evidence remained to show there had ever been a burn. Wow! I had never seen as clearly as I did then that this statement is not only the truth, but is also law—the law of God, governing man’s being. The healing took place as I realized and accepted that. In the Bible we read, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). I now saw that the divine law articulated in “the scientific statement of being” is the law spoken of by Paul, pointing to our true life in God, spiritual and unblemished.
I had what felt like a moment of pure enlightenment, and instantly the pain was gone.
So, what about the healing of my mother? As I thought more deeply about it all those years later, I saw that my innocent sharing reflected what the Bible refers to as “the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Corinthians 11:3). As a child, I simply knew that this spiritual truth healed—no questions asked, no reservations. I’d felt no personal responsibility, fear, or doubt that could interfere with or block receptivity to healing. That childlike trust in God, divine Truth, was so pure and uncomplicated that I mentally stepped out of God’s way and let Him heal my mother, and she felt the touch of that healing Truth.
At some point, however, I had put away this treasure of “simplicity that is in Christ,” that simple, clear trust in God’s Word. I’d become blinded to the fact that it isn’t the words that heal, but the spirit of Truth, of God Himself, enforcing divine laws. These laws, which are provable, reliable, and practical, have an absolute, scientific healing effect. And as God’s sons and daughters, we each have an innate receptivity to them.
I was elated by this realization. And since then, I don’t hesitate to pray with “the scientific statement of being” when it comes to me to do so. But I don’t just mindlessly mouth the words. Instead, I find that as it is coming to thought, I am concurrently realizing, “This is the law!” And healings happen more spontaneously as well.
We can all be so glad and grateful that the understanding God gives and the truth He imparts are never just words, no matter how familiar or simple the words may be. Divine Truth’s Word is actual divine law in operation, which comes to light in consciousness with certain healing effect.