I was in a women’s clothing shop in my neighborhood recently, having one of those delightful shopping experiences where the salesperson strikes just the right balance — attentive and helpful without being pushy or overbearing — a talent I appreciate and admire. As this individual was ringing up my purchases, she asked me what kind of work I do. I told her I’m a Christian Science practitioner — that people call on me for healing rather than go to a doctor or some other type of health care professional. As she continued processing my order, she asked further about my work, and I went on to explain that this type of spiritual healing is based on the way Jesus healed, in the Bible. With that, she stopped what she was doing, looked up and, focusing right on me, she asked:
I thought a moment and answered, “Yes.”
She nodded and turned back to the business at hand. We completed our transaction with expressions of gratitude on both sides, and I went on my way.
I’ve been thinking about her question ever since.
Of course, you’d expect me to say yes. After all, this work is more than my vocation — it’s my calling. How can I say unequivocally that it works? Well, I’ve seen it work, for myself and for countless others, over and over again.
But you know what? I’ve come to think of this question as one Christian Scientists get to answer over and over again — from our hearts and from our own personal experiences. Solid theory isn’t good enough; from a practical basis — from the I’m-suffering-and-need-relief viewpoint — we are called upon repeatedly to answer the question, Does it work?
I think Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science would agree with my assessment here. She wrote, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science:
Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them.
So that’s what Christian Scientists do — we study the Bible and the textbook to improve our ability to heal quickly, to give proof of what we profess to be true, to wit:
- God, Spirit, is the only, all-powerful Creator.
- God created man in His image and likeness, as recorded in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.
- Therefore, God’s likeness — man — cannot be sick, because God is not sick.
One of the things I value most about Mary Baker Eddy is that she wrote from her own experiences. And, because she knew what it was to suffer and to face tough challenges, her writings are infused with compassion for our struggles, too. Along these lines, the passage quoted above, concludes:
This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill.
I find great comfort in that sentence. It says to me that, while I am required to prove what I say — i.e., that Christian Science is effective in treating and healing sickness — I won’t be left floundering on my own, because an all-loving God will provide the ways and means for me to demonstrate the effectiveness of spiritual healing, step by step. In this way His law of progress will be realized, and I’ll see proof of this in my own life.
Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” His statement offers further tender encouragement that spiritual healing is possible and that progress toward the eventual healing of all ills is an attainable goal — albeit one we may reach one small step at a time.
So I keep working at it day after day, striving for “higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power.” And the results of this striving fortify me to answer with certainty, Yes, it works.