Healing Love - Never Out of Reach
Highlights of a talk given by Jill Grimes, C.S.
October 2013 at The Leaves Annual Meeting
Jill spoke about the pure, permanent and unconditional love of God.
God’s love is always connecting us to what is spiritually true, always enabling us to know that whatever the question there’s an answer, whatever the problem there’s a solution.
Even though there are times when God seems far away … and even though sometimes our ability to feel Godlike peace seems impossible … fear is often behind this feeling. But fear never acts alone. It always has a story.
An example of fear’s story occurred years ago. A young man, the only child of a single mother, was in the military preparing to serve in a war zone. He kept in regular contact with his mom during many months of his training. Then all communication abruptly stopped.
Weeks went by without a word. His mother began to be concerned, then afraid, and finally she panicked. Without any evidence, she assumed that he had been sent to the war zone. She’d written a whole mental script – the possibility of his injury or even death.
At this same time she heard about a Christian Science lecture (like the one I’m giving here today) and decided to attend, even though it was miles away. After the talk, she spoke with the lecturer and told him of her fear for her son and related all the details of her mental script. When she finished her story, the lecturer asked her to think about location in a completely different way:
“Don't locate him in a material place or condition. If you locate him in a war zone, he is liable to all the beliefs and conditions that go with war … including injury and death.”
He asked her to locate her son in Spirit, not matter.
The woman drove home, thoughtfully considering this new understanding of location: Not a material place or situation, but in Spirit. Then, from her understanding of the Bible she reasoned that God is Spirit and that God is love. So that meant her son’s forever location had to be in God’s spiritual love. Her fear gradually faded as she prayerfully placed her son in this location (Spirit, Love). By the time she got home she was peaceful.
A few days later she received a phone call from her son. All was well. He hadn’t been sent to the battle front at all, but he’d been on a special training mission, and all was indeed “well.” It was many years ago when I heard about this mother’s being directed to locate her son in Spirit instead of matter. At that time I was in a very difficult place in my own life. So I put this idea (location being in Spirit) into practice for myself.
Whenever I would get frustrated and discouraged about my situation, I prayed to understand that my location, my home, and my family were located in God's spiritual love. I wasn't defined by opinions or circumstances. It changed everything. Within a few years my entire life and my family were transformed.
So many things want to locate us:
A poor economy. A stressful job. An unhappy home.
Numbers locate us … age, income, weight.
Dates locate us … April 15th, flu season, allergy season(s), holiday season(s).
I still prayerfully use this idea. No one is outside of God’s love. It’s the only location there is! This is the truth for each and every one around the world. Because God’s love isn’t conditional, and isn't denominational, and isn’t cultural … it is always present, always available, always providing a healing answer.
There’s Biblical authority for this truth. We’re told: In him we live and move and have our being
(Acts 17:28)… we are all the children of light. (I Thess. 5:5)
Yes…we are God’s image and likeness. (Gen. 1:26) All of us are the spiritual image of God’s love right now. We were yesterday. We will be tomorrow. Not determined by our physical situation. Or financial or family situation. Not cut off even by the mistakes we’ve made. Because every time we’re tolerant, generous, patient … we image God’s love. Every time we’re discerning, wise, insightful … we image the Mind that is God. When we are sincere, inspired and enlightened, we’re the image of Truth.
We embody these qualities. They identify us. These qualities are derived from the Principle that is God. They aren't personal. But sometimes there are situations that arise that try to label us with disease or disability. Or scar us with past hurts. And these experiences try to take over as our identity.
A friend of mine worked with a doctor in South Africa whose patients were women with AIDS. He said this about identity:
If these women could disassociate the disease from who they are, then they could see the disease as a
label rather than as part of their identity.
He said he was convinced this would be a major step forward.
I find this idea thought-provoking. Disease being a label, not part of our identity. I know what I do with labels, especially the ones with itchy, nylon thread. I cut them off!
Jill went on to speak about Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, used by Christian Scientists to understand and demonstrate the healing presence of God’s love.
This book is based on the Bible. It translates God to man, giving us a fuller understanding of God as love. It is used as a companion to the Scriptures.
Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health, was a life-long student of the Bible. After years of healing and teaching others to heal with a fuller understanding of God, this distinguished woman from New England, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, became a victim of religious persecution. How did she heal? By following Christ Jesus: Mrs. Eddy didn’t fight back or argue with her enemies. She turned to God in prayer.
But what about us! … what if we are falsely accused or hurtfully labeled. Well, … we've got Biblical guidance: do good unto our enemies, forgive, overcome evil with good.
And then there is this statement (of Mrs. Eddy’s):
The meek might, sublime patience, wonderful works, and opening not his mouth in self-defense
against false witnesses, express the life of Godlikeness. (Message to The Mother Church for 1902,
Bible Commentaries (use a) description of meek (which includes):
A man under perfect-control. Gentleness with the strength of steel. The proper attitude for complete
dependence on God.
Yes! Do you hear that? It’s Godlikeness, meekness, patience and wonderful works that takes the sting out of another’s accusations. It changes our perspective, and it heals.
How does this happen?
The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind. (Science and Health,162:9)
This stir is not agitation. The ideas in Science and Health move thought to an entirely new basis, the basis of Spirit with its transformational power. Thought is activated to think as Mind, God. It isn't about the human mind thinking good thoughts. The ideas here speak to the very core of being. Casual reading doesn’t cut it. It’s when you study Science and Health that you begin to know yourself within God’s spiritual love.
Then … labels are removed, wounds close, scars heal, and disease loses its hold. In other words, there is healing!
Jill then told about a business woman, a Christian Scientist. How she put these ideas to the test.
This young woman was asked by a friend for financial assistance … and she helped him. But what she didn't know was that her transactions had been lumped together and combined into a check kiting scheme.
And on a Friday evening, her office door opened, and two FBI agents came in. She was arrested for check kiting, told to hire a criminal attorney, and to stay in the city.
She was devastated, terrified, and humiliated. She had no idea how she was going to face her family and friends.
I have to tell you the going was rough … extremely rough. She got so low that weekend, that suicide seemed like a solution.
Well, what did she do?
What would YOU do?
She prayed. She chose life. She reached out to God as Life. She reached out to God as her Father-Mother. She reached out to Truth, to Love, to Spirit, to Principle, to Soul. She stuck to what she knew about God.
And after hiring an attorney, giving a deposition to the grand jury, explaining her motives and unwitting role, …this young woman was still sent to prison!
But it gets worse! The facility she was sent to was supposed to be a "country club" prison, but the week after her arrival it was converted for hard-core criminals!
She continued praying. She called it her identification prayer, because one of her greatest fears was being forever identified by a criminal record and labeled as an ex-convict.
Prayerfully, constantly, she identified with these names for God: Life, Truth, and Love. She declared:
I know that Jesus teaches that I am at-one with God, so I have to be at one with God's spiritual
love. I express this love as compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and courage.
What does this do?
Compassion gives me dominion over indifference and hardness.
Forgiveness gives me dominion over blame.
Empathy helps me overcome selfishness and self-obsession.
And courage moves me through cowardice.
What was the result of this consistent identification prayer? Her thought was stirred. The transforming power of Spirit, moved her beyond the terror she'd been feeling. Her fear lessened. She became quieter … even confident.
Right in the midst of the anger and violence of prison, she wasn’t bullied or attacked. She felt calm. In fact, her calm was noticed. First, by the guards. In fact for several weeks she was awakened in the middle of the night for drug testing. She found out much later that they didn’t believe she could be that calm without being on drugs!
Her cellmates noticed, too, and asked her questions. She shared with them what she knew about God. It ended up that every night, after lights out, she would tell them Bible stories. She shared the one’s she’d learned and loved as a student in the Christian Science Sunday school.
After many months she was released. There’s more to her experience, and I’ll come back to it.
You and I probably won't see the inside of a federal prison. But we've all known at one time or another the confinement of what I call, the prison of self: self-doubt, self-criticism, self pity, self-justification, self-righteousness, self-centeredness, self-consciousness, selfindulgence, etc. …
How can we be free of this confinement? Identify with God through prayer. Embody the qualities emanating from divine Principle, wisdom, generosity, honesty, and peace. Because every time any of us prayerfully identifies with God, we’re a bit like Moses when he heard God’s directive: Go in and possess the land! (Deut. 11:31) As he lead the children of Israel out of bondage.
Every time we identify ourselves spiritually we’re taking possession of the land of our experience. We’re taking possession of our mental real estate. We're leading our thought out of the bondage of fearful selfish thinking and owning spiritual peace. This peace can’t be stolen, devalued, or lost.
Practice taking mental possession of your day. Don’t let it be stolen by criticism, or devalued by opinions, or lost in misunderstanding. This will end fear, anger and anxiety. It will lift you out of the limited view of any difficult situation. You’ll feel God’s healing love.
Mrs. Eddy uniquely explains in Science and Health that this Christ is Immanuel, God with us - a divine influence that speaks to our human consciousness. To every human consciousness. The Christ isn’t denominational. The Christ isn’t a human person. Rather, it is the very spirit of God’s healing presence that Jesus lived and demonstrated.
Knowing this helps us understand what Jesus meant when he said, Before Abraham was I am. (John 8:5) and I will be with you always. (Matt. 28:20) Because it is this holy Christly influence that can be felt by anyone and everyone.
This is the link … God's unconditional love. It connects thought to spiritual reality. It is the Christ that Jesus taught as God’s healing presence, the kingdom of God he preached “that is within.” (Luke 17:21) It is the Christ that locates us in Spirit, not matter. It is the Christ that stirs thought and re-identifies us with God. It is the Christ that walks us through false accusations, jealousy, and hate … and brings about healing. It is the Christ that enables us to take possession of our mental landscape and to own real peace.
The Christ speaks where words can’t go. It's God's presence.
Jill closed with the following remarks.
You're not without God's healing love!
No matter what it feels like or what it looks like or sounds like. No matter if discouragement, doubt or disease wants to imprison you. If it isn’t good, it’s not from God. It doesn’t own you, and you don’t own it. It is not personal.
What gives any problem its supposed authority is the beliefs, the theories, the opinions, the story that’s been created around it. You know that mental script … such as: I’ve always had a temper. This disease runs in our family. A doctor said its incurable. … On and on the story perpetuates itself. … And then, eventually, … we sometimes begin to agree with it. Only then is when it becomes personal, and it tries to define us, and say that we’re stuck with it.
Often we hear or even say(!), my headache, his allergies or her depression. No! No! No! Remove the personal pronoun. It's not mine, it's not yours, it’s not his or hers.
Every time you identify with God …
Every time you take possession of good …
Every time you are influenced by the divine …
Every time you are meek, patient, Godlike …
Every time you locate yourself in Spirit …
You are un-labeling yourself and un-naming the problem.
I love what Mrs. Eddy said in a letter to one of her students:
"… we all have some error to contend with and the way to destroy error and evil is to unname it."
(In My True Light and Life, p. 458)
Prayer re-names us, the children of God, the children of light.
Remember my friend who spent a year in the federal prison system?
Remember how she courageously, consistently, and prayerfully identified herself with God and the qualities of Love and Truth?
Remember how she held fast to what she knew about God?
Well, guess what it did without her even knowing it? It un-labeled her. When applying for her first job after her release from prison, a mandatory background check revealed no record of her time in prison! To this day, many years later, a prison record is not part of her. It does not identify her. In fact her official record has no history of her ever being in a federal prison! And, like then, she still adheres to what she knows about God. Her name is still … the child of God.
You are the child of God! And whatever or however evil has tried to label or identify you, it is not you! It’s never been you. And it has never been anyone else.
You are not guilty. You’re innocent.
You are located … in Spirit.
You are in possession of God’s goodness.
And the divine influence, the Christ, enables you to know …
that healing love is A L W A Y S W I T H I N R E A C H !