For anyone wishing that science and the Comforter promised by Jesus could coexist, take heart. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32) and “I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do…” (John 14:12, Common English Bible). There has to be a law to the healing works of the Master if we are to replicate what he did. If “science” refers to true, provable facts, then science and the Comforter are inseparable.
Laurance Doyle, a well-known astrophysicist, said, “Progress in science begins with a willingness to take the evidence of intelligence over the evidence of what appears to the physical senses. This is what real science has always essentially been about — from the round Earth replacing the flat misrepresentation…”
One who was willing to look beyond the senses was Mary Baker Eddy. In 1866 she suffered severe spinal and head injuries from a fall on an icy sidewalk in Lynn, Massachusetts. The physician in attendance, Dr. Cushing, as well as her friends, did not expect her to live. After her minister tried to prepare her for death, Eddy asked to be left alone and opened her Bible to the gospel story of Jesus healing a crippled man (Matthew 9:5).
Being sickly and incapacitated most of her adult life, Eddy had searched over many years for the healing truth Jesus said would make her free. She had also sought relief through popular treatments of her day, which gave her temporary relief at best. Increasingly, her study and experiences caused her to conclude that health was mental in nature and that God had the power to heal through Christ. These thoughts converged in her hour of greatest need following the accident.
“As I read, the healing Truth dawned upon my sense,” she explained. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) came to her with such clarity, she said, that she felt a power and strength not her own. The pain had ceased. She arose, dressed herself and walked into the other room to the amazement of her friends.
Over the next weeks and months, Eddy contemplated what had happened. She knew from biblical accounts that many had been healed through “holy, uplifting faith” and that the early Christians were healers. She wondered if there was a principle behind these spiritual healings that could be employed by anyone. After spending the next three years studying the Bible and testing what she was learning by healing others, she became convinced that this was so, and she began teaching others to heal through what she called Christian Science. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she explains how Jesus healed and how his followers can too:
“Jesus beheld in Science (God’s laws) the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.”
When my daughter began to walk at about 11 months, her right foot turned inward at a noticeable angle. Later, a pediatrician suggested she would need an aluminum brace to correct the problem, and we were asked to see an orthopedic specialist. I called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me about the situation. Paraphrasing Hebrews 12:13, the practitioner said, “God makes straight paths for her feet.” The whole verse reads, “And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” In less than a week the foot was perfectly straight. We never needed to go to the orthopedist. Our daughter later took ballet, played varsity sports and recently completed the Florida Ironman.
The first chapter of Genesis tells us that man was made in the image of God and adds, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” The prayers for our daughter were that God would make apparent her true spiritual perfection as a child of God.
Christian Science teaches that healing is the natural outcome of appealing to a higher spiritual law that is always in operation. God’s laws only have to be applied, and Christian Science shows us how to do so.
Originally published in The Clarion-Ledger, @clarionledger