By Ronald L. Musselman, C.S.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, in counseling us on how best to deal with invalids (or anyone needing support, for that matter), says, “The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love.”(1)
In these months of concern about the unusually difficult Coronavirus, it’s clear that most people, no matter their political leaning,(2) are concerned with being safe from contagion. As Christian Scientists, we know the source and continuity of our safety to be Love. Since, however, most of our population is not that spiritually aware of their safety, we need to keep in mind the need to have compassionate empathy, or “pitiful patience” with their fears.
We need to ask ourselves, “What’s the most loving approach when encountering others?” As we may be aware, one belief is that one can transmit the virus even if one seems perfectly healthy, a process known as “asymptomatic transmission”. Thus, others expect our use of face masks and physical distancing when out in public. Pitiful patience. It’s an expression of love to be patient with others’ fears.
We also need to be wise ourselves. The fact that we understand our safety and immunity as wholly from Love doesn’t negate the need to be wise. Jesus didn’t misuse his ability to be safe when he was tempted to jump off a high temple pinnacle.(3) We wear seatbelts and buy insurance while at the same time understanding the source of our safety.
In continuing our own protective work, we can refer to a phrase in the above opening quote from Science and Health: “...doling of arguments...”. Eddy wasn’t a fan of long metaphysical arguments as treatments. She’s quoted as saying, “Why do you give long treatments? Because you don’t give them on the right side. ... It’s the power of the living God we want. If the voice of God were heard, all would be healed.”(4) Therefore, let’s listen to the voice of God: “Be still, and know that I am God:”(5) Knowing includes confidence and understanding. Be still and be confident that I am God. Be still and understand that I am God.
1. SH p. 367:3
2. CSM online https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2020/0413/It-can-t-happen-here.-Coronavirus-hits-rural-America?j=299643&sfmc_sub=118912979&l=1215_HTML&u=10792297&mid=10979696&jb=245&cmpid=ema:Weekender:20200418&src=
3. Luke 4:9–12
4. Mary Baker Eddy - Christian Healer, Amplified Ed., p 151
5. Psalms 46:10 (to :)