When The New York Times article “Christian Science Church Seeks Truce With Modern Medicine” by Paul Vitello was published a few weeks ago, I had my fair share of scoffs and guffaws. But after a while, I realized that something was going to have to change in the way I react to this type of article.
It took me a while to figure out exactly what I was dealing with as I tried to turn my frustration to grace, but I finally realized that I was approaching this challenge with fear. I was afraid that the article’s readers would write off Christian Science as a crazy, dogmatic, and judgmental religion. I was worried that perhaps our scientific study of Christ was, in fact, dwindling into dogma, much like early Christian churches did eighteen hundred years ago – especially since it sometimes seems that we don’t have the full churches and dramatic healings of the early 20th century. And I couldn’t understand why others were saying “Good riddance!” when I myself had been radically healed by the Science of Christ.
Obviously, this was not the correct way to approach the Times article. “Take it easy,” I said to myself. Sometimes we can get really wound-up about things we love. I decided that the best way to approach my worries was to go back to the basics.
I have often rolled my eyes when I’ve been faced with some worrisome problem and someone nearby has said, “Hey, God is Love.” But for this experience, I think it works perfectly. I realized that the only way I was going to find any sense of healing through this supposed problem was to pray to understand and embody Love more fully than ever before.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy writes, “Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must ‘have her perfect work’” (454:24).
What Mrs. Eddy seemed to be getting at here was that we can’t tap our feet in impatience about something we want. By dictating that success was to be found in attendance numbers, even greater miracles, or an ever-supportive media, we would be essentially waiting for a mortal picture to show us what spiritual progress looks like.
That doesn’t make much sense. What does make sense is to watch as divine Love moves around, about, and through us. To see the successes in the healing practice and application of Christian Science, we need look no further than our observations of Love. What brighter outlook we can share? By re-focusing on Love as our measure of personal worth and spiritual success, we open up ourselves to see Christian Science in action everywhere.
I truly believe this is what Mrs. Eddy was saying when she described the Science of Christ as a universal religion. Could anyone ever truly deny the existence of Love? And because Christian Science is based on divine Love, we can allow ourselves the patience to avoid any preconceived human notions of success. If patience is to “have her perfect work,” then it would be good to wait and see how much better that will be than anything we can imagine.
I’ve thought a lot about how I can be open to seeing Love, but I think the really big fun starts with how I can express Love. It may feel like a big deal that takes a lot of effort, but I realize that at the end of the day, it’s easy: I just do it!
Considering the context of this article, I’ve been wondering about some solid ways I could be more loving about the media. Something I’ve often come back to when I’m thinking about someone else’s words or actions is the act of separating the person from the action or harsh word. God’s children are and have always been motivated by divine Love. Though our actions can make us feel apart from God, we can never really be separated from God and His loving motivation.
This isn’t to say that we should ignore articles that are written about Christian Science. What it means is that we should look at all those things that try to frighten us, discourage us, slander us, and tell us “no,” and reply with a sturdy and resolved, “Erroneous! God is Love!”