Saturday, December 4, 2010

Love is the power

During a discussion with a man I just met last weekend I brought up my favorite topic, Christian Science.  One of his first questions was, “What is the distinction between Christian Science and Scientology, given that they both promote healing by means other than medicine?”

I thanked him for recognizing that Christian Science is not Scientology.  I said that I do not know much about Scientology except that it is not Bible-based.  Then I told him that Christian Science is based on the teachings and example of Christ Jesus and the prophets as found in the Bible.  It is Science, the study of which takes the learner toward a deep understanding of God and God’s relationship with each individual.  As the Bible in I John reveals, “God is love.”  Using that definition of God, He feels much closer and more powerful and the relationship feels like something more present to me than an abstraction.

Although our discussion was short, my thoughts continued.  I thought, “What if love were all there is?”

In fact, that conclusion is exactly what I find to be true as I study Christian Science.  That God is All and that God is Love is revealed in the Bible and can be stated intellectually.  What brings it home for me is demonstrating the presence of divine Love in healing. 

Let me give an example.  My daughter Jen, who had recently graduated from the university, worked and saved to fund a dream trip to trek through Patagonia, an area at the southern tip of South America filled with pristine beauty of glaciers, mountains, fiords and trails to allow them to be seen.  After several weeks alone on the trails, she stopped at a mountain hostel for a little friendship and a shower.  In a phone call home she mentioned that a heavy rash had appeared all over her body.  She wanted to stay on schedule by leaving the next morning, but it would be impractical to carry the backpack with a rash.  We both knew that the power of divine Love does not allow an ungodly condition to stop the progress of joy and our conversation brought that truth to consciousness.  Love enables rather than disables.  Although I did not hear again from her for over a week, I later learned that she had left on schedule with no remaining trouble from a rash. 

I have experienced and witnessed too many such healings to believe that this healing was just a coincidence or just biologically natural.  For me and for Jen, it is confirmation of the presence of divine Love reaching the human experience wherever we are.

And, the recognition of divine Love as the one healing and saving power is what distinguishes Christian Science from other methods of healing.  As the Bible declares in Romans 13, verse 1, “there is no power but of God.”  I love knowing that this point can be experienced by in daily life.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spiritual perspective makes a difference

Today is a rainy, late October day in Iowa with unusually strong winds blowing down many of the remaining red and golden leaves from the trees.  The lead news stories of the day are reports of airport closings and warnings of potential tornadoes.  Trepidation has caused canceling of some activities and has kept a few from venturing out to work. 

I contrast the atmosphere of apprehension associated with today’s blustery conditions with my happy experience in similar weather while growing up on a farm.  We lived in a house built out of two sturdy log cabins that were connected together and furnished with conveniences of electricity and plumbing of the day.  A feature I remember fondly was the tin roof over the porch just outside of the bedroom that my brother and I shared.  The sound of wind and rain on that roof was comforting to me, the louder the better.  I felt that I was in a safe place no matter what was going on outside.  That feeling of comfort stayed with me even when I went outside to do my chores, relishing the bursts of wind that I could lean against.

These contrasting takes on similar blustery conditions - - one of trepidation and the other of comfort - - remind me that perspective makes a huge difference to one’s experience.  Two individuals in similar circumstances may perceive the situation very differently.  Each is valid according to the observer’s perspective.  Yet one's perspective will lead to actions that result in a stressful or peaceful outcome. 

This brings me to the reason for this blog.  This blog is an extension of my work answering questions and sharing information about Christian Science in the state of Iowa with members of the media, legislators and others interested in Christian Science.  The blog gives me the opportunity to share my deep love for this Science that has been my foundation for a healthy and fulfilling life.

Christian Science teachings bring forward a Christ-based, purely spiritual view and understanding of reality.  This view is radically different than one that starts with the material or physical view that we generally have in front of us.  These different perspectives, spiritual contrasted with material, produce different outcomes.  Christian Science, starting with a spiritual perspective, applies a spiritually scientific method to problems and situations of all kinds, including physical ills, with healing as its proof.  In fact, Christian Science is best understood through healing experiences in a similar way that one understands how to drive a car by driving.  

Through the Christian Science system of healing I have regained good eyesight after 40 years of wearing glasses, overcome a paralyzing and painful condition on one side of my body, and experienced a restored hand following a work related injury.  Putting into daily practice what I am learning through study allows me to remain conscious of God’s always present power and protection, even under threatening conditions.  These healing experiences have showed me in a very real way that my relation to God is close and allowed me to feel that I can trust His power.  And this is what is meant by healing in Christian Science, which is seeing good results from trusting a spiritual rather than a material perspective.

In discussions with others, I have heard it said that Christian Science treatment based on prayer is equivalent to doing little or nothing.  On the contrary, the healings I have experienced have shown me that the perspective from a spiritual understanding of God brings about physical healing.

So what does spiritual power have to do with a rainy, windy day?  Perspective.  I might feel tossed and controlled by conditions of the weather and other physical conditions of health or illness.  However, a foundation of trust in the very present power of God allows me to feel confident that divine good controls the outcome, even in the midst of material bluster.  Prayer can bring this view into focus.

Watch this blog for more on the healing perspective of Christian Science and its practical approach to living.