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By Delaney Gatine
Should I be impressed?
During weekly testimony meetings, most of the healings I heard about as a kid were not quite relatable to my life. They were stories of grandeur about instantaneous healings, which I had not experienced.
Though I grew up in Christian Science, my religion was fairly distant to me until I was 11. Just about the only times during the week that I thought about God was when I attended church services. When I finally began to embrace Christian Science and further my study, I really began to understand why it made so many people feel inspired and led to incredible healings. The one thing that was difficult for me was understanding how so many
people seemed to have what I called “aha” moments.
These moments were the ones in which Christian Scientists stood up to testify about an incredible, matter-defying, instantaneous healing. Upon hearing this, I would look around to see people in the church widen their eyes or give a knowing smirk, like they were all on the same page about where this story was about to go. These healings, although wonderful stories, seemed so distant from my own experience. It seemed as if I was the only one not in on the secret.
As I struggled with the idea of the instantaneous healing, I came across a passage from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy:
“If honest, [a Christian Scientist] will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy” (S&H 21:12).
So I don’t have to continuously have “aha” moments? As I read that, I was really able to cherish the idea of progress. My growth in Science is not about one defining moment that transcends all material boundaries. I can start with a sincere devotion to God and constantly progress to “finish my course with joy.”
Further along on that page, Mrs. Eddy talks about everyone’s eventual pull in the “right direction.” Regardless of where the initial destination may seem to be, everyone is ultimately pulled in the right direction. The only requirement for receiving that guidance is that we have an honest devotion to Spirit.
Rather than having big moments every once in a while, I interpret that passage as meaning that small, consistent steps are equally as – if not more important than – the barely believable stories. With this, I was also able to release the notion of comparison. Although I had not at that point felt that I had experienced a huge, testimony-worthy healing, I had been able to experience hundreds of healings that had easily gone unnoticed.
We do not make a huge deal out of waking up healthy most mornings, but that is a healing within itself. Healing is the recognition of what already exists. Jesus did not heal with his own, material powers of healing.
He declared, “… The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). Just a few verses later, he reiterated his inability to act of his own material power: “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30).
Jesus was clear in his understanding that healing was simply the recognition of God’s omnipotence. He was not any more surprised by Lazarus raising from the dead than he was by any other healing that seems less impressive to the material eye.
As Christian Scientists, it is sometimes easier to recognize the larger healings because the so-called laws of matter would say they are impossible. We drop our jaws at some testimonies while others barely catch our attention. This does not mean that the first type of healing is better than the second or that the first testifier is further along in their understanding of Spirit.
It simply means that the material audience was more impressed with one testimony than another. The rules of matter are arbitrary because matter itself is erroneous. When one looks past that error to find Spirit, the impression of God, good is constant in every testimony, large or small.
As I continue to explore my understanding of healing, I have been trying to recognize the materially “unimpressive” healings in my life. There are many ways that matter is overcome daily, and recognizing them has made my view of Spiritual growth more expansive. Now, I listen to every testimony with the Truth in mind – that matter never is nor was in control. Truth is Truth, and I am grateful every day for the constant opportunity to express that.
• Featured photo at top by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash