By Rocha Mbenza
From the August 5, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Often, when you turn on your TV or radio or even look at your smartphone, you realize that spiritual concepts seem to stand in radical contradiction to material existence.
Excessive generalizations and dramatizations about the downfall of society are rampant. Yet Psalm 91 in the Bible exhorts us not to fear the terror that comes by night, the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in darkness, or the destruction that strikes in the middle of the day. How can we courageously face the negative images that bombard us, and know what is good and true?
In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, we read, “Delusion, sin, disease, and death arise from the false testimony of material sense, which, from a supposed standpoint outside the focal distance of infinite Spirit, presents an inverted image of Mind and substance with everything turned upside down” (p. 301).
Christian Science, the law of God that Jesus proved, explains that God, infinite Spirit, is real, perfect, and All, here and now. This makes clear that disease and fear have no real substance because God, the only Mind, didn’t create them! And as God’s image and likeness, we reflect this immortal Mind.
It has been imperative for me to see that the opposite of immortal Mind, which is mortal mind, is not real and has no power; its suggestions may seem real (like a mirage in the desert), but they are not. This understanding enables me to refute mortal mind’s suggestions, realizing that they have neither quality nor quantity, neither origin nor reality.
In 2009, I was preparing to go to Brazil to take Christian Science Primary class instruction, which teaches students how to heal through prayer based on Christ Jesus’ teachings. One month before my trip, there was widespread fear of the H1N1 flu (“swine flu”), and the media reported on this constantly. Fears about this flu were coming from everywhere. Faced with such a bombardment, I needed to focus on good and healthy thoughts from God.
When I arrived in Brazil, I could see the general panic that animated passengers from various parts of the world. After a few minutes of observing what was happening, I calmed down and began to pray in this way: God never gets sick and never feels vulnerable. God is Spirit, and man, as God’s reflection, is spiritual and not made up of vulnerable matter. Spiritualizing my thought this way was not ignoring something or refusing to deal with a threat. We can yield to divine Mind through prayer that affirms God’s, divine Love’s, power, and become increasingly aware of Mind’s ever-presence, to defeat the challenges we face. Taking directions from this Mind is natural.
Man, as God’s reflection, is spiritual and not made up of vulnerable matter.
I saw how all the passengers, and all those who were working at the airport at that moment, were contributing to the common good by going about their business in a kind and helpful manner. They were children of God, in the holy place, the Father’s house, where we all live, move, and have our being (see Acts 17:28). I admitted deep in my heart that I could see only what God was seeing. God, as Mind, recognizes only His absolute perfection and permanence reflected in His creation.
I reasoned from the truth that God, being All, is the Being we reflect. Since there is no disease in God, there is no disease in us. I stood firm in the understanding that man can confidently be “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8). And there are no imperfections in God’s omnipresence. I understood that the health of every passenger was constant, since health is a spiritual attribute. And the so-called swine flu did not have power or reality because it is not supported by divine Love.
While I was in line at the airport, one of the staff signaled me to enter one of the rooms for a mandatory examination, which confirmed my health for the authorities.
After the examination, I took my taxi to the hotel and attended Christian Science class instruction with joy. I was grateful to have been given the opportunity to pray about this health issue for the world.
Prayer springing from the divine Science of being supports all of God’s children, and as Mary Baker Eddy so beautifully puts it, “Of this we may be sure: that thoughts winged with peace and love breathe a silent benediction over all the earth, cooperate with the divine power, and brood unconsciously o’er the work of His hand” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 152). I love these Christian and divinely scientific thoughts, because they enable me to place all my weight on the side of reality; they give me the opportunity to bear witness to the healing fact that man is the inviolable image of God, divine Spirit.