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The "Word" that Heals
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD


         The 107th psalm presents in remarkable way the struggles of mortals by land and sea in their efforts to escape from the bondage of sin, disease, and the dread of death. It is curiously interesting to see how little the problems of mankind, under the influence of material belief, have changed throughout the years. That which shines like a great light through this record of mortal experience, however, is the fact that divine Love is forever irresistibly drawing humanity away from mortal illusions to the truth which overcomes all evil. As we read this psalm we are reminded of our Leader’s words (Science and Health, p. 323), “Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march toward righteousness, peace, and purity.”

         Many and varied are the types of human character presented by the psalmist — those who are hungry and thirsty for Truth, those who are in darkness and affliction “because they rebelled against the words of God,” and others who are sick and sorrowful; but we are told of all who cried to God for help, that “he sent his word, and healed them.” The student of Christian Science loves to linger over these words, the truth of which he is daily proving, because he knows that it is always the divine word which heals, whether it come through an inspired writer or through someone who understands what the word of God can do. Even our Master did not claim that he himself healed the sick, but that it was the word of Truth which he declared, as when he said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” After witnessing his demonstrations and listening to his teaching, it is little wonder that the people said, “What a word is this!”

         Strange indeed it is that the Master’s professed followers in this age should be so ignorant of the power of the divine word that they never think of invoking it in their distress and even condemn those who through Christian Science have learned to do so. In strange contrast with this spiritual blindness is the clear vision of the centurion who came to Jesus seeking help for his servant. When the Master offered to go with him, the centurion declared he was not worthy of such honor; “but,” said he, “speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” We are told that Jesus marveled at this man’s faith, and said he had not found the like of it in Israel. The story ends with the statement that the servant was healed that very hour.

         All through the gospels and in the epistles the healing power of the word runs like a life-giving stream. The wonder is that we should so long have been blind to its gracious promise; but St. Paul explains this when he says that “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” The psalmist tells us of “the fool” who says in his heart, “There is no God.” Now most people would strongly object to being classed with such a one, but when they deny the divine power to heal today as in the time of Christ Jesus, they virtually take their stand with the one who denies God altogether.

         As the great revelation of divine Truth, called Christian Science, unfolds to human sense, there are more and more who are healed by the word itself as given to mankind in the Bible and in Science and Health; and for this we may well rejoice. Oftentimes the practitioner’s work seems laborious, especially when the sick and those around them pour out unceasing complaints; but this burden can be lifted if the worker will encourage the patient to go direct to the divine Word and, with the strength thus gained, do his own work. This is by no means a reflection upon the work of the practitioner — far from it; rather is it meant to make that work better understood and appreciated. In the final sense, however, “The Word of God” as presented in John’s apocalyptic vision must be seen as the only conqueror of sin, disease, and death. Should we not, then, seek a better acquaintance with this Word, and press on to receive the divine commendation, “Thou . . . hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”

 

"The 'Word' that Heals" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, May 6, 1916
 

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