My job often requires a lot of walking and standing. So when a foot problem made it difficult for me to bear weight for long periods, I tended to just plow through the pain and keep going. It wasn’t until two years later that a friend working in medicine noticed my difficulty, diagnosed it, and recommended I follow a regime of physical therapy and probable surgery. That woke me up to what an imposition the condition had been in my life.
Having successfully relied on Christian Science for healing since childhood, I was confident that this condition could be healed through turning to God. And while expectant of a physical healing, I was also eager to know God and myself better as a result of taking this approach. What I consider one of the spectacular effects of prayer in Christian Science is that it often leads to discovering things about spiritual reality that have a wider impact than just healing the case at hand.
Time and again I have found that the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, have inspired my healing prayer. So I turned to the Bible for fresh inspiration. There I found that Christ Jesus didn’t look to disease to determine how to establish health; rather, he turned to the light of divine Truth, revealing the nature of God as good and the divine creation as forever whole. The result was that disease and discord proved to be powerless.
Here is one great example. When Jesus and his disciples encountered a blind man, the disciples were confused about how to best approach the case – distracted by questions such as, Who caused this problem? Jesus helped them see the case in a different light, replying that neither the man nor his parents were the source of the blindness. He turned their attention to God and healed the man.
In discovering the spiritual laws behind such Mind-healing – where “Mind” is used as a Bible-based synonym for God – Mrs. Eddy learned: “Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health. The Science of Mind-healing shows it to be impossible for aught but Mind to testify truly or to exhibit the real status of man. Therefore the divine Principle of Science, reversing the testimony of the physical senses, reveals man as harmoniously existent in Truth, which is the only basis of health; and thus Science denies all disease, heals the sick, overthrows false evidence, and refutes materialistic logic” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 120).
This passage helped me realize that the way to find health is to look to the divine Mind, not to material conditions. So my prayer was centered on recognizing the health that God had created in me and all of us as God’s flawless, ageless, spiritual offspring. Rather than looking for physiological causes for the problem, or seeking signs of health by measuring my pain level, I turned to Mind to understand my permanent God-created, God-maintained health.
In “Rudimental Divine Science,” Mrs. Eddy explains: “Health is the consciousness of the unreality of pain and disease; or, rather, the absolute consciousness of harmony and of nothing else” (p. 11). This was hugely helpful in moving me beyond just looking away from pain to understanding that the pain had no actual substance. While my foot still hurt at the moment, I knew that pain was not caused by God and therefore couldn’t be part of my true identity. As the creation of God, we can express only what God, good, causes.
I reveled in the spiritual fact of divine Mind as my cause, and health as a natural outcome of this Mind expressed in me. The pain lessened dramatically as I prayerfully rejected the notion that the condition was really part of me. By the time I left the next month for a trip that required much standing and walking, I was perfectly well. And I haven’t had a bit of trouble from my feet since.
Christian Science offers what no physical method of healing can: a better understanding of God as our divine cause, which empowers us to experience more fully the permanent nature of our health as God’s children.