Contributed by Tony Lobl
It was just a book bought at a bargain price in a secondhand bookstore by my friend, Frank.
He said it contained some of the spiritual ideas we’d been discussing during our last months at University.
Friend or not, had the book bored me Franks’ gift would have quickly been returned to the shop it came from.
Instead, what followed revolutionized my life, offering a whole new way to think about life and stay healthy.
The latter point didn’t strike me at first. At the time, I wasn’t looking for a different approach to healthcare. But that is one of the treasures I found within the pages of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
Like most people, I had grown up relying on the expertise of the family GP and the emergency department of the local hospital - including various visits caused by brushes with the animal kingdom! I was bitten on the leg by a dog, came out the worse in a clash with a horse’s hoof at a holiday camp, and luckily escaped without significant damage when a baboon used the roof of my dad’s Renault as a trampoline during a safari park visit.
I also had a routine operation at thirteen years old. I’ll spare you the details, except to say it was a success. In addition, I owe my straight teeth to a caring orthodontist who managed to relieve me of a rather chronic case of Bugs Bunny lookalike syndrome.
While I also had problems that medical care hadn’t solved, I still wasn’t looking for an alternative approach to caring for my health. The fact is I wandered into my spiritual lifestyle solely because the ideas in Science and Health resonated with an intuitive spiritual sense I had of God’s goodness. I’d first felt that when I was 12 years old and actually experienced a physical healing through a spiritual experience when I was 18. Studying this book in my early twenties soon showed me such healing could become a natural part of understanding and experiencing divine goodness.
“It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony,” is how Science and Health put it.
In other words, the book was telling me that getting to know God better could not only help me grow spiritually, but also help heal my mind and body. I soon saw this “healing” was not about simply soothing sickness or empowering me to manage a condition - as valuable as those can be. It could be “heal” as in remove the symptoms and restore health.
That’s not to say such healing works like waving a magic wand. At times recovery has been quick, even immediate. Other times it has taken time, prayer and persistence. Sometimes the deeper need has been for that spiritual growth and a willingness to let go of attitudes and actions that don’t square with the expression of an all-good God, which I have learned is the inherent identity of us all, as Jesus proved by his own unparalleled healing works.
I’ve loved learning that and striving to see myself and others in that light. And I’m truly grateful to have been shown a different, spiritual starting point from which to seek both health and healing. Namely, the all-encompassing reality and infinite love of the divine mind, God.
From headaches to heartache, and from friction at work to troubled finances, looking beyond the material surface of things into a diviner reality has brought me a broad array of experiences of a grateful restoration to harmony and a far more consistent, spiritual joy.
Thirty years on, I can say that bargain priced book was a great investment, one that continues to pay huge dividends.
Contributed by Tony Lobl