and glorified God..."
I have continued to think about the experience I shared in my post on Tuesday. Our daughter was a toddler that September. And although I had actively helped to raise my seven younger brothers and sisters well into my twenties, my role was rarely that of nurse. My mom had always been the nurse, spiritual caregiver and liaison with Christian Science practitioners when any of the younger children were home from school or not well enough to take part in their regular activities.
This was really my first bedside experience as a mother with a child who was not well, and I had never felt less equipped. She looked so small and helpless. This seemed so different from the scores of children for whom I had been called upon to give treatment as a Christian Science practitioner. It seemed so much easier to see the true spiritual status of children who were not “my parental responsibility”. I had long since chalked that up to my clarity about what was true about God’s relationship to each of His ideas…child, mother, horse, home, job. But these feelings of helplessness, in the midst of my child’s need for comfort and healing, seemed to seriously undermine my confidence. Was my clarity about spiritual reality and its practical coincidence just based on some cold disconnect with the patient? How was healing so consistently experienced with patients whom I didn’t have a mother-child relationship with, but when it came to my own daughter I was a basket case?
As I often did, I turned to the Bible for an answer. The one that came was so powerful it almost tipped me over in my chair. I was reading a number of accounts about healings that had been realized in Jesus’ presence. Each of them included a wrap-up statement in which the patient was healed “immediately, and they "glorified the God of Israel.” Hmm. Being the obsessed wordsmith that I am, I headed to my dictionary and Strong’s Greek and Hebrew lexicon to mine yet another term that I thought I had full use of…the word “immediately”. What I found changed my practice of spiritual healing…yet again. It said, “without medium”.
It dawned on me with more clarity than ever before that neither Jesus, nor his thought, was a medium for healing. Jesus was only a witness to what God was always doing: expressing, conveying, asserting perfection. Jesus’ witnessing brought focus, that of the patient and all those present, back in line with what was always and is only going on, and he did it with such transparency that they left the experience completely free of his role in what had happened. They glorified “the God of Israel”…not Jesus.
This witnessing, this focus, became for me “my job, my career” and I promise, I will write next week on what I have learned about the connection between focus and distraction as well as Mary Baker Eddy’s use of the word “magic.” But suffice it to say that I see my role as one who walks into a “room” and trains my focus on the “first faint morning beams” of perfection, goodness, love…the presence of God. I imagine myself as standing there just staring at it, God’s goodness, with absolute absorbed interest (spiritually) and eventually everyone is looking in the direction that I am looking. I don’t have to do or say a thing. I am not changing a thing. I am not creating a thing, a thought, an environment, a situation…just providing a focus. I am just drawing attention to what is already true and truly going on at any, and every, given moment.
If I do what I do transparently, I can then walk quietly out of the patient’s “room” and they will see the “full radiance of the risen day”…the fullness of God’s goodness, wholeness, complete perfection…and glorify Him…forgetting that I was ever there…except to bring a nice hot cup of tea.
"Many imagine that the phenomena of physical healing
in Christian Science
present only a phase of the action of the human mind,
which action in some unexplained way results in the cure of disease..."
"They regard the human mind as a healing agent,
whereas this mind is not a factor in
the Principle of Christian Science...."
- Mary Baker Eddy
This changed the way I thought about relationships with patients. Did it make any difference if it was my child, someone’s family member, his friend, her mother, a stranger? No, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that I remained always available…and truly willing to get up and walk out of my own reverie, walk (when invited) into the room, take in that warm “cup of tea”, focus on the (sometimes “faintly seen”) presence of good, let the rest of the room wonder what I was quietly looking at and let them look in that direction themselves, tiptoe out, and let them “glorify the God of Israel.”
So that day I started a journey towards understanding the immediacy of Jesus’ presence… on a hillside, in a temple, by the side of the road, or in a sickroom. The journey continues…I’ll keep you posted on the waymarks. I have some travelogue-ing to catch up on…stay posted…oh yes, our daughter woke up that day a happy little girl ready to play…but that too is another post.
Next week…my side trip into the world of focus, distraction, and some insights on “magic”!