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Faces on Faith: The medicine of the mind

May 9, 2014
By JUNE SIEBER - Sanibel Christian Science Church ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Every bookstore has rows of self-help books on subjects such as: The Mind-Body Connection; You are What you Think, or Attitude Determines Outcome.

Over 65 years ago, Norman Vincent Peale told us the benefits of positive thinking. Though much of Peale's Power of Positive Thinking was Bible-based, many of today's self-help books are a conglomeration of "new age" thinking.

I heard Dr. Peale preach when my late husband was stationed at the Sheepshead Bay Air Force Station in Brooklyn, New York. People lined up six deep at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan on Sunday mornings. Soon after his assignment, Ron was diagnosed with Pericarditis, or inflammation of the lining of the heart. As the daughter of a Methodist minister who had studied under Reinhold Niebuhr at Union Theological Seminary, I knew about Christian Science because my dad's cousin was a Christian Science Practitioner. I had taken a copy of the Christian Science textbook, with me when we moved to Brooklyn, and after my husband's dire diagnosis, we decided to really read and study Christian Science.

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We were deeply affected by statements like the following from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

"Mind can impart purity instead of impurity, strength instead of weakness, and health instead of disease" (p. 37l).

"The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself from bodily suffering" (p.387).

When the doctors determined that my husband's heart had deteriorated to the level of a 65 year old man and wanted to give him a medical disability discharge, we rebelled at the idea of that prognosis for such a young man, and asked for more time to pray for his healing. In two months, the doctors were amazed to report that his heart had returned to normal and he was able to finish his military service at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton while I went back to Kent State University to complete my master's degree in education.

The "Medicine of Mind" on which we relied, also came from Biblical promises such as the one in Isaiah 4l:l0: "Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." And the lovely words from Zephaniah 3:l5: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing."

Relying on the "Medicine of Mind" does not leave us helpless. Rather, it makes God reachable, realizable, and tangibly near. This heavenly Mind of each of us is constantly embracing us, divinely governing, regulating, and ordaining perfect harmony.



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