"And it was so"

         Christian Scientists are often accused of being unsympathetic because they will not talk sickness and even try not to listen to it. The mental pictures conjured up during this sort of conversation are often very trying to those who are conscientiously trying to work out their problems in Science. Anyone who is just beginning to taste the joy of helping others, and perhaps has not sufficient spiritual understanding to know how to destroy these mental pictures before they become "imaged forth on the body" (Science and Health, p. 411) will do well to avoid entering into or encouraging conversation along the lines of sickness or its symptoms, and the like.

         An experience which I had a few years ago points to this. One of the children in my Sunday school class asked me one day to help her to overcome a physical ailment, which, though quite common to children in the general belief, is a very distressing one and often of long duration. I promised to do my best, and directly I got home I went straight to the Lesson-Sermon for help in realizing the truth which would make the child free. In the Lesson for that week there were many readings from the first chapter of Genesis, and as I read the whole chapter through I was quickly able to correct the material belief of discord with the spiritual understanding of what constitutes man in the image and likeness of God. The clear sense of God's perfect spiritual creation so wonderfully portrayed in that chapter reminded me that Spirit, God, is the only creator. In the twenty-sixth verse we read that man was given dominion, and as I was trying to free the child from error this dominion was clearly seen, trustingly claimed, and joyfully put to the test.

         A day or two later I called to see the child's mother and was told with great joy that the whole trouble had disappeared. The mother being very young in Science was naturally very full of the subject, and in trying to express her gratitude she went through many details and conjured up such a mental picture that it seemed like a cinema film. It was here that my lack of spiritual understanding showed itself, and the false sense was mentally entertained instead of being destroyed, with the result that the whole condition was again "imaged forth on the body" of the child a few days later. Again I was asked to help her and again I went to the first chapter of Genesis. This time while trying to read, two sentences stood out so clearly that I could see and read little else. One was, "And God saw that it was good;" the other read, "And it was so." Though they both occur several times in the chapter, they had never before struck me as being so emphatic a corroboration of what had been done, and I felt that I must base my thinking on them for my work.

         I saw distinctly that if everything God made was good, it was perfect then, it is so now, and it will be so forever because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and because "he commanded, and it stood fast." Nothing could therefore be added to it nor taken from it, but it just "was so." I saw, also, that if God saw that it was good then, He still sees that it is good, and that we, who are made in His image and likeness, can only see "that it was good," is good now, and ever shall be. Nothing can alter this grand truth; it is only our concept of it which needs altering. Paul tells us quite plainly how this can be done, when he says, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind;" and in proportion to our earnestness and faithfulness in this work will God's perfect spiritual and "good" creation be gradually and surely unfolded to us, bringing joy and happiness all the time in place of the discord and misery which the lying sense testimony is always expressing.

         Again it all seemed clear; but whereas it took only two or three days to free the child the first time, it took two or three weeks before harmony was manifested the second time. This whole experience was a great help to me and showed me more than ever before how important it is to obey the apostle's injunction, "Whatsoever things are true . . . whatsoever things are pure . . . think on these things," and to put all others aside. Here I would like to say how grateful I am for our weekly Lesson-Sermons, and how truly they bring "daily help for daily needs." As the mother of a young family working out many problems, I can honestly say that these Lessons are a tower of strength to me each week and never fail to supply messages of hope, comfort, and strength in time of need. Our dear Leader says (Science and Health, p. 259), "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration."


"'And it was so'" by Edith Maude Ellis
Christian Science Sentinel, September 21, 1918

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