Last week’s blog post on the role of faith in healing – “Faith: The winning evidence in health trials” (February 22, 2012), brought out the difference between faith as human belief and faith anchored in substantial and evidential proof of Spirit as all and matter as nothing. The apostle Paul unraveled the mystery of faith by identifying it as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
In the comments section, blog reader Kim noted these ideas in Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health that she was reading with new eyes. "Faith is higher and more spiritual than belief. It is a chrysalis state of human thought, in which spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood… Until belief becomes faith, and faith becomes spiritual understanding, human thought has little relation to the actual or divine." (p. 297)
Kim said, “Put that into the concept of faith as substance, where matter has none, this progression from belief to faith to spiritual understanding really makes sense!”
Faith being substance and evidence, it is not simply a blind trust in a higher power or a tacit acceptance of material substance as the only verifiable proof. Faith is an open-eyed spiritual understanding based on the examination of the substance and proof of divine power. Faith results in healing. We can examine the evidence of God – of Truth, Spirit, Life – through prayer, and thus determine the healthy outcome of cases, much like in a trial. And the beauty of prayer is that it leaves no one out. Anyone can establish their faith on true evidence and bring out their own substantial proof, one-on-one with the Father.
I once suffered from the belief that someone else’s selfish behavior was responsible for the passing of my husband. Shortly after, this person, too, passed on. I suffered physically with the pain of anger, and also from remorse over being unable to forgive him before he passed. What could I do now?
I could have hunted for a physical cause for the pain and doctored myself with material remedies to block it. But material aids could not have answered the spiritual question at the root of the healing – how to forgive and be forgiven.
A friend who knew of my dilemma pointed me to a Scriptural account describing an encounter between Jesus and his disciples on the road to Emmaus. They didn’t recognize him. To them he was dead. Jesus however had already turned the page on that story. He was rejoicing in the resurrection and uninterrupted life. When they questioned him about his knowledge of the things that had just occurred in Jerusalem, Jesus responded by asking, “What things?”
Jesus’ faith wasn’t anchored in what he had seen or experienced humanly, but what he was seeing and experiencing spiritually with his Father, God. The question I asked myself was, Am I going to be hypnotized by the drama of pain? Or am I going to look for signs of resurrection, signs of renewal and progress?
I realized I could change the evidence – change what I was looking at to determine the case. I turned the page and acknowledged the resurrecting power of divine Love to turn the heart towards good. I released my husband, this man and myself to experience a renewed sense of life in God without the burden of pain and remorse. It started with mine. I forgave and I felt forgiven. Then the physical pain stopped and never returned.
Back to that page 297 of Science and Health mentioned by Kim, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Erroneous belief is destroyed by truth. Change the evidence, and that disappears which before seemed real to this false belief, and the human consciousness rises higher. Thus the reality of being is attained…”
Thank you, Kim, for pointing out those passages from Science and Health!
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no