Just the other day I needed advice. In every profession an insight from a colleague is sometimes all it takes, and in every profession the best results are achieved when we never stop learning. The practice of Christian Science healing is no different.
As my husband and I set out for a gallery to pick up a painting we had bought, I shared with him my assessment of a difficult case in my work. Over a period of a few months I felt no change, at all. Whatever I prayed about, however inspired my treatments seemed to be, I received similar messages with almost the same content and the same complaints. No progress - that was my evaluation.
My husband is an experienced practitioner with a large healing practice and expresses humility and modesty in such a way that is very inspiring and moving to me. As he was listening to my little tale, he asked me: So you don't see any change or progress in this man. What about you: Do you feel that you are making progress?
Now that got my attention and immediately lifted my thought higher. Was I making progress? And was my assessment that I didn't see any progress contributing to my own spiritual progress?
We started to share ideas and insights into the eternal and uninterrupted nature of progress. Progress is the natural law of God's creation and is always alive. The Greek roots of the word "life" actually mean "what moves". So the notion that life had a beginning once and either is something like a monotonous, stagnated object without development or is something sadly on its own without direction or incentive to evolve further, is not what God has in mind. When Mary Baker Eddy reads about the fourth day (from the book of Genesis, which records spiritual creation) she shares this inspired insight: "The changing glow and full effulgence of God's infinite ideas, images, mark the periods of progress." (Science and Health, p. 511). This full effulgence is alive, it is as present as is light, this radiance of reflection and spiritual understanding. God is unfolding all good, and the whole of creation possesses and expresses that good, all good, the maximum of good. Progress is reliable and perceivable and it is more and more good, starting from an already infinite, perfect basis and unfolding more infinity and goodness, forever.
After the conversation with my husband, I was deeply comforted and I continued to dive into the subject. I found this inspired and even more detailed insight into the nature of progress: "Progress is the maturing conception of divine Love." (Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, p. 181) With divine Love being the only Cause behind creation, we can expect with confidence that this carries over into an increased understanding and experience of divine Love and of us as the reflection of this Love. We can with confidence enjoy and prove our maturing conception Love in our own lives - in unselfishness, in calmness under pressure, in compassion, in generosity, in patience, in kindness, in forgiveness...every day. These qualities mark progress, and nothing else will do.
So when trying to get a hold on the state of affairs in any given moment, even over a longer period of time, I find the two questions, my husband posed, practical and wise: Is there progress going on? And if not, are you yourself making progress? Since we can always expect that progress is a law of God, the answer to at least one of the questions can always be in the affirmative - until they both are. Goodness and mercy are following us, every day.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.