Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recovering Health

A common problem these days is addiction stemming from prescription drugs. Many people might be interested to learn that there is a way to combat sickness and recover health without having to depend on medication. That way is the healing power of Christianity that Christ Jesus practiced. His words "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32) point to the naturalness of healing from a purely metaphysical standpoint as he did. They point to unchanging divine law, which we can turn to with certainty.

Through the study of Christian Science, we're helped to see what that healing truth is, the truth found in the Bible's pages. There we learn that God is omnipotent and entirely good and that man is the image of God. As the likeness of his creator, man forever expresses the divine nature. And because God is Spirit, man is spiritual. To be sure, we appear to be merely flesh and bones and subject to suffering. But physicality isn't the actual or ultimate substance of our being. Life in the flesh is a misconception of man, whose real identity as the image of God is incorporeal, untouched by debilitating physical conditions.

The growing understanding of man's spiritual nature has a purifying effect on the body. It awakens us to the everpresence of Christ, Truth--of the divine healing influence--and the body responds to this uplifting influence. Health is restored.

Not cloud talk, this. So many men and women--children, too--can attest to this. And from my own experience, something that happened to us when we lived in Seoul, Korea. Apparently something we had eaten on the economy as they put it that we Westerners couldn't handle, or the water we had drunk that we shouldn't have, resulted in acute discomfort. We needed help from a practitioner and there just happened to be a worker from The Mother Church in Boston in Southeast Asia at the time for a meeting of Armed Services chaplains. This Journal listed practitioner was staying at a local hotel. My husband phoned and he immediately took a cab and came to our apartment. He spoke to us of strong truths found in the teachings of Christian Science, and prayed for us. Before very long, the extreme discomfort abated, and by the next day, we both were recovered enough to eat something. Oh, were we grateful to God for that potent help from this devoted worker!

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "To ignore God as of little use in sickness is a mistake. Instead of thrusting Him aside in times of bodily trouble, and waiting for the hour of strength in which to acknowledge Him, we should learn that He can do all things for us in sickness as in health." (page 166)

Divine healing in Christian Science is more than a recovery of health; it includes moral strengthening. Turning to God in prayer and relying on Him for healing constitute the genuine Christian way of salvation. This holy activity regenerates and purifies one's thought and life.

We have a God-given right not only to enjoy sound health but to recover it through spiritual means when it is threatened. Jesus has furnished us with a precedent, indicating that as we follow his example we can learn what God is and how to avail ourselves of His power.

The Bible is full of asurances of God's healing help. These are not empty promises. They come to life for us in clear-cut healing when we are equipped with practical knowledge of God's eternal law of harmony and of our relationship to Him. Empowered with the Christly understanding that a study of Christian Science brings, we can turn to God for every aspect of our well-being, including health, proving to our own satisfaction and joy, "The Lord will take away from thee all sickness." (Deuteronomy 7:15)

Monday, November 22, 2010

How the synomyms for God healed me

(Written by Hal Shrewsbury)

Mary Baker Eddy describes the physical healing of Christian Science as "...the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation." The term, "Principle", as a synomym for God, is unique to Christian Science which Mrs. Eddy defined as a "scientific system of divine healing", as well as to the age in which she lived when the principles of electricity, the automobile and airplane were being discovered and utilized. These principles had always existed and in were in operation but were only useful to mankind when they were discovered and understood. An airplane seen flying in Jesus' time would have been considered a miracle but today we understand it to be the principle of aerodynamics in operation. Likewise, Jesus' healings had been considered miracles for nineteen hundred years until Mrs. Eddy discovered them to tbe the operation of divine Principle, God.

After discovering Christian Science in1865 she spent the balance of her life stating and explaining it so that all may understand and utilize this system or science of healing which is available in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures". In the final edition of her book of 1907, she defines God in her chapter, Recapitulation, as "incorporeal, divine, surpreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" which express the nature (Mind, Spirit, Soul), essence (Life, Truth, Love) and wholeness (Principle) of God. The understanding of the spiritual definition of these synonyms as well as the order in which they appear are important to healing since Recapitulation is the chapter Mrs. Eddy chose for teaching the healing practice of Christian Science in class instruction. Although I understood that "order" was necessary to understand any science--numbers for mathematics, notes for music, etc., I did not appreciate the relationship of the order of these synonyms to healing until I reviewed an important healing for me--the healing of the fear of death associated with flying. I found the order of events leading to this healing matched the order of the seven synonyms on page 465; each synonym leading to the next synonym and lifting my thought from that of a mortal fearing death to that of God's image and likeness which knows no fear.

Awaiting orders to Navy flight training while serving on an aircraft carrier which had just come back from action in the Korea war, I heard so many horror stories of crashes and casualties involving flying on and off the ship I became very fearful. It appeared I was risking my life due not only on my flying ability but on that of hundreds of individuals from those who designed the airplane to those who maintained and serviced it. I realized I had to heal my fear of flying or it could prove disastrous. I started reading every refence I could in "Science and Health" as well as "Prose Works" on death. One Sunday I saw one of the squadron pilots on board ship in church and, telling him of my fear of flying, I asked him how he dealt with that fear as a Christian Scientist. He took me up on the flight deck where the airplanes were tied down and asked me to look at the F4U Corsair which he flew and which had the reputation of being a "widow maker" because of its tendency to roll and crash when power was applied unless the pilot corrected the roll quickly. He pointed out that there was nothing dangerous about the airplane sitting on the flight deck but the only danger was in what I thought would happen to the plane in a given situation. He then referred me to Mrs. Eddy's definition of man in "Science and Health" as the "compound idea of God including all right ideas". He said, the airplane did not include me but that I included the right idea of the plane.

I cannot explain the freedom and peace I felt as the fear left my thinking. It was as if a heavy weight was lifted off my back. However, as with any spiritual insight, it isn't really understood until demonstrated much as one has to prove mathematical understanding by working out the problems. The following week I was on the flight deck and a Corsair was on approach trailing gasoline from a leak. With the abrupt stop as the hook caught the wire, the plane burst into a big ball of fire as the leaking gas rushed forward on the hot engine. I felt sick as I visualized the pilot being burnt to a crisp in the cockpit and was miserable all afternoon. At supper that night I looked down the table from me and there was the pilot of that plane eating dinner with his shipmates. He had jumped from the airplane after landing and hadn't been touched by the fire ball. I then realized the suffering I had experienced was from what I "believed" and was just as real to me as if it had really happened. I then accepted from all those references I had read that death was likewise an illusion rather than the reality of God's creation, and that I could rely on my spiritual (Godlike) senses to protect me from what the material senses tell me.

Looking back, I saw my healing occur as I understood each snyonym in the order of the definition of God in Recapitulation. it was "Mind" which told me to heal the fear of flying and seek a more spiritual understanding; "Spirit" thorugh studying the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings which, in turn lifted the fear of flying from my consciousness. However, this spiritual understanding was not sufficient until I saw that even the material picture I was suffering from was false. This gave me the confidence to trust the spiritual senses of "Soul" which was my identity as God's image and likeness. As my thought was uplifted through Mind, Spirit, and Soul, my prayer brought me into harmony with the operation of "Principle" which in turn demonstrated a career in flying, "Life"; the protection from error during that career "Truth" and the joy and satisfaction of expressing God in that activity "Love".

This healing had a projound effect on my life as it freed me from the fear of being the victim of any accident, be it airplance, automobile or even a crashed economy. I am grateful for Mrs. Eddy's discovery of God as the divine Principle which is always operating in our lives. And as the mathematician identifies his thinking with the laws of math to solve a problem, we can experience the operation of this Principle to heal our life problems by identifying our thinking with the spiritual understanding of those seven synonyms for God.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Loving Thy Neighbor

(One of our dogs, who was named after a favorite poet, sometimes gets inspired to take pen to paper, or paws to keyboard, and he wanted me to post the following poem which appeared in my second book of poems -- "And Angels Smile")

Loving Thy Neighbor

Jesus' command is alive and well on our street.

We dogs ought to know; we get a lot of love,

Especially from Glenda, who gives us treats

And is always glad to see us.

She brings her pretty little dog

Around to our house to play.

And when I was a tiny puppy,

Our neighbor brought me a stuffed toy

I would chew on in the cool grass.

I still remember this.

And since my sister has come along,

She's had the same love and attention.

Of course, Glenda helps people, too.

She doesn't talk about religion;

This woman lives it.

We dogs know love when we see it in action.

And we think this is what Jesus was talking about.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Avoiding Destruction

(Written for someone now ready
to take up the teachings of Jesus Christ)

To avoid destruction worthy to the name,

Embrace the narrow path Jesus taught

His followers to take in life.

Why did our Master say this to us?

To take all the joy out of living?

Ridiculous thought.

It was to save us from the sorrow,

The disillusionment and the lack

Of all things worth having,

That inevitably comes from

Taking the world's way.

And the worst thing about

Disobeying Jesus' commands?

It leads to a sense of living apart from God,

To absence of the lasting good

Our heavenly Father alone can give.

No matter how far down the broad way

You have gone -- if almost to the end --

You can turn around and adopt

Today the only way to live.

Your loving Father wants you home.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Guest Column

(This is from my dear friend, Hal Shrewsbury. And given that the world needs to know how practical is an understanding of God and man in our daily lives, it's a privilege for me to have this testimony on my blog this morning.)

Eye Examinations at the Naval Academy

In my senior year at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, many of my classmates were concerned about their eye exams because of the 20/20 requirements for naval aviation, and many were doing various eye exercises because their eyesight had deteriorated from four years of studying.

I didn't think much about it untilI met the photographer of "From Bow to Boston", a book carried in the Christian Science Reading Room in those days, who attended the Annapolis church and was then blind. I knew I had to free myself from fear and decided to do some prayerful work, since I had always wanted to fly for the Navy. I looked up the definition of "Eyes" in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy -- "Spiritual discernment--not material, but mental" and then looked up "Spirit"..."Divine substance; Mind; divine Principle; all that is good; God; that only which is perfect, everlasting, omnipresent, omnipotent, infinite."

I reasoned that seeing good had nothing to do with physical eyes, but was a divinely mental quality which I could never lose,and that there were many people with perfect eyesight who were miserable with what they were seeing physically. Furthermore, my photographer friend would pose us in his studio and take pictures even though he was blind. He was expressing "spiritual discernment" even without his eyesight. Since I firmly believed in exercising since I was on the gymnastics team at the Acaedemy, I felt I could "exercise" my spiritual vision by seeing all the good I could before the eye exams which were a week away. I can't recall a more wonderful week while there, or since.

While standing in line waiting for the eye exam, I felt fear that the doctors would find something wrong since I had stayed up late the night before studing with a dim light after "lights out" had sounded. I immediately countered this suggestion with the thought that the doctors were doing their highest sense of love to insure future pilots would be physically qualified and that only divine Love, God was with me in that line. When I read the charts, my eyesight exceeded the 20/20 requirements and I flew airplanes off and on aircraft carriers as well as performing the demanding visual requirements of air-to-air refueling for 20 years without the use of glasses.

This experience has blessed me in many ways since, and I know that as God's man, we can never be deprived of the only vision that is really important: that of spiritual discernment, the ability to see good.