Invisible light

June 17, 2017

Scientists tell us that only a small spectrum of light is visible to the human eye – what we know as the colors of the rainbow.  Although that seems infinite to us, there are many other kinds of light, like microwaves, and radio waves, and ultra violet, that are not visible but are very present and very active. (click here for an explanation)

The Bible says that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1st John 1:5)  When we’re struggling with things like sin or sickness, it may seem that God’s light is invisible, that it’s not reaching the darkness of our problems. Yet, just like those unseen waves mentioned above, the light of Love is ever active bringing comfort and healing.  The Apostle James explains it this way, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (Chapter 1, verse 17)  Those good and perfect gifts are freely given to all, and bring to light whatever needs to be resolved, along with the ability to do it.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health that “as mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible.” (Page 264)  Getting to know God better, learning more about His perfect nature, is the light that reveals the perfect nature of His creation, including man.

Speaking to his followers, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)  He knew that generosity, kindness, and honesty – and many other noble acts – were the reflected light of God’s own goodness.  Although his Heavenly Father may have been invisible, the effect of His love was – and is – always present in many visible ways.

The Psalmist summed it up this way: “In thy light shall we see light.”  (Psalm 36:9)

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

I believe in a God who is all powerful good, who doesn’t do evil or know evil.  I believe in a God who loves – whose very being IS love.  I believe in a God who comforts and strengthens and uplifts so that we can stand together and overcome evil – and reach out and comfort and strengthen and uplift those who need it.

The Apostle Paul says “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2nd Cor 1:3,4)

I believe this about God.  And I believe what Jesus said, when sharing what he knew about God with the world “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Jesus knew that God is pure good – of “purer eyes than to behold evil” as the prophet Habakkuk said. (Hab 1:13)  He knew that this goodness is provable and active.  He knew we must refuse to accept evil or act evilly or turn a blind eye to evil.  If we were to do that, we would perpetuate the power of evil.

Let us stand together to break the power of evil.  Let us, with all our hearts and minds and souls, resist evil and do good.  Let us rise above evil and bless and comfort and hold dear all who would do evil or suffer from evil.

Let us be better than evil and prove that evil can be overcome and cast down.

We can.  We must.

Let us start by comforting and strengthening and uplifting those who need it.

And let us forgive.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

We all know it when we see it: parents and children, spouses, friends, even strangers caring for, reaching out to, and helping one another.  This is love in action.  It has many different expressions: tenderness, assistance, listening, protecting, cherishing, comforting, aiding, lifting.  The list is long and we each could add many words to it.

And because we know what it looks like, we know when it’s missing too.

What can be done about that?

Is it really missing?  If God is Love as the Bible says (1st John 4:8), and God fills all space (Deut 4:39), also as the Bible says, how could love really be missing?  What is actually missing is our recognition of it.

If our premise is that Love is everywhere, we will expect to see it, expect to know it, right where it seems to be missing.  When it seems impossible to see love – in a disaster, or a sick room, or a political rally – close your eyes to the picture and open your heart to the reality of Love’s ever presence.  Don’t let go of Love until you are convinced that even right there in the thick of unloveliness, Love is at work.  Quietly.  Safely.  Permanently.

This is what Jesus did.  His conviction of the power and presence of Love enabled him to pass through an angry crowd unharmed (Luke 4:29,30); to raise to life the daughter of parents engulfed in sorrow (Mark 5:42); to feed a multitude too hungry and tired to fend for themselves (Matt 14:20); and the greatest example of Love at work, to resurrect himself from the grave (John 20:17) to prove that even there Love prevails.

These were not just isolated instances.  The Gospels are filled with stories of Love overcoming misery and despair.  And even after Jesus’ ascension, his disciples, and their disciples, and their disciples after that, continued to prove the healing and saving power of love right where love seemed to be missing.

And we can do the same today.

It doesn’t require any special power or even any religious affiliation.  It simply is a matter of holding in thought that love is stronger than hate, that it casts out fear, that it soothes and comforts.  Even in the face of that which is definitely not love.

Doing so introduces a new possibility into the mix, one not so convinced of the ugliness or sadness or terror.  That little glimmer of hope actually begins to reveal how love has been at work, quietly under the surface – but there all along.

When you look for it, you see it.  And rather than being aghast at its absence you will see its curative power gently dissolving every unloveliness.

Yes, it requires effort.  Yes, it requires consistency.  Yes, it even requires faith – faith that one person can make a difference.  But isn’t that better than the alternatives of hopelessness or indifference?

Divine Love is here.  Hold your ground in expectation that you can see it at work.  And then look for evidence of your conviction.

I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.  For Love is loving you too.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

What cannot Love do?

August 16, 2015

Love is another name for God that comes straight from the Bible (1 John 4:8). It’s not just a facet of His being or something that He does.  It’s who He is. And I could just as easily say it’s who She is too, since Love is no more a gender based idea than God is.  God is all and includes all, but not in a pantheistic way.  God, Love, simply is.

What does that mean to you and me?  We can expect to be comforted by Love, tenderly and persistently.  We can hope for and have consistent protection and direction, right from Love.  We can receive and be blessed by an unending abundance of helpful ideas leading to useful solutions, poured forth by Love. We can even reflect that infinite Love in caring for each other in meaningful and harmonious ways.

The Apostle Paul talked about that kind of caring in his magnificent first letter to the Corinthians (13th chapter).  He explained that we could be totally awesome, but if it was without love it would be hollow and ultimately in vain. His portrayal of love included these qualities: steadfast, unselfish, untiring, faithful, true, perpetual, fair, unyielding, immediate, continual, quiet, and so on.

Jesus knew how to love so deeply that it healed.  But the Master’s love wasn’t just human goodness amplified.  It was God’s love made manifest in him as the Christ.  And that Christ-love is still active today.  Didn’t Jesus remind his followers, and therefore us, that “the works I am doing you will do too.  And even greater works will you do…”  (John 14:12)  He was making plain that the infinite love of Love is as active and powerful and ever present today as it was then.

Divine Love is loving us and saving us and giving to us and helping us and guarding us and sustaining us and delivering us and lifting us and whatever else we need whenever else we need it.  This is how Love operates.

We don’t have to earn this love, but we do have to expect it.  We don’t have to deserve it, but we do have to make room for it.  We don’t have to wait for it, but we do have to watch for it.  And more and more as we attune our thoughts to infinite Love filling all space, will our space be filled with love too.  We will find it because Love will have already found us.

The Apostle Paul asked his readers to let this profound observation – this mind of Christ – be in them.  (Phil 2:5)  In other words, let this understanding of divine Love that Christ Jesus lived and taught be what you live and teach through your example.  What better way is there to do the works he did, than to start with love?

Love is loving you.  Let yourself be loved.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Was Jesus a scientist?

April 10, 2014

Okay, so he didn’t wear a white lab coat and use a microscope.  Oh, wait, I guess he did.  Well, not the lab coat, but he did use something like a microscope.  He examined – very closely – the thoughts of those around him!

It wasn’t really a microscope though; it was something even more powerful!  The Apostle Paul explains it this way in his letter to the Hebrews: “…the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  (4:12)  The W0rd of God was what Jesus used to understand and heal those around him.  He used it consistently and repeatedly.

And like any good scientist, he taught others how to use God’s Word consistently and repeatedly.  And they taught others.  And on and on.  Jesus even predicted it.  He knew his results were consistent and repeatable.  He said “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”  (John 14:12)

Although Jesus himself didn’t keep a scientific record of all that he did, there is a whole New Testament that lays out how consistent and repeatable – and scientific – his works were.  And the works of those who followed him.

And still follow him.

Was Jesus a scientist?  Read the gospels.  Read the book of Acts.  Read Paul’s and Peter’s and James’ and John’s letters.

You decide.  And go and do thou likewise.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Does it ever feel sometimes, that God doesn’t see you?  You’ve prayed and prayed, and still there’s no response?  Maybe He’s busy, or you’re too far down His list?  Or worse, you’re just not worth His time?

Let me reassure that you are not hidden from God.  Sometimes though, our views of God – or of ourselves – obscure Him from us, so that we can’t see what He is already doing on our behalf.  Mary Baker Eddy says about that “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.”  (Science and Health page 390)

You see, God is Love: the New Testament is filled with confirmations of that fact.  Not just loving, or loveable, although He is both.  But Love itself, filling all space.  So the more we know about that awesome infinite Love, Love that is omnipotent, the more we realize that we couldn’t possibly be overlooked by God.  Coincidentally, the more we know about divine Love, the more does our problem simply dissolve away.  Because we can’t hold on to a view of ourselves that no longer fits with what we’re learning about God.  There is a direct correlation between knowing God/knowing ourselves as His image and likeness, and healing.

Again, Mary Baker Eddy says, “We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God.”  (ibid p.258)  So if your view of God is limited and small, your view of yourself falls into the same definition.

The Apostle Paul tenderly reminded the Colossians, “…your life is hid with Christ in God.”  (3:3)  Don’t you think that’s the absolutely safest place to be?  And about as close to God as you can get?  You’re definitely not out of His field of focus there!

God, divine Love, infinite Spirit, knows you inside and out.  He made you, He cares for you, He directs you.  And as we lift up our thoughts, hearts, and lives to Him we are healed.  Because we see Him as He really is – which means we see us as we really are.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

I am not a Scientologist

September 5, 2013

Sometimes people assume that the Science in Christian Science is the same as the Science in Scientology.  Two completely different systems.  The IRS has agreed that Scientology is a religion, but it’s neither biblically oriented nor Christian.  Christian Science, on the other hand, is completely Bible-based and wholly Christian.  Here’s a great article that really explains the differences.

And here are the Tenets of Christian Science that show just how deeply rooted it is in the Bible (Science and Health, page 498):

  1.  As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.
  2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God.  We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God’s image and likeness.
  3. We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal.  But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.
  4. We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man’s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.
  5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.
  6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.

And by the way, I don’t know Tom Cruise or John Travolota, either.  Just sayin’…

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

This is how St. Paul finishes the sentence: …which was also in Christ Jesus.  (Phil. 2:5)  The Apostle gives numerous clues what that mind is – and what it isn’t.  For example, it’s not the carnal mind which is enmity against God.  But it is the comfort of love.  It’s not doing things through strife or vainglory.  It’s doing God’s good pleasure.  (you can find many more examples in Paul’s letters in the New Testament)

But the best indicator of that mind which was also in Christ Jesus is the Master himself.  His words and works give a powerful insight into what he was thinking.

When he fed the multitude with just a few items, was he afraid or worried?  No.  He was grateful and compassionate.  (see Matt. 14:15 to 21)

When he healed the sick and raised the dead and dying, was there any sense of limitation in his outlook?  No.  He freely shared health and life and goodness with all.

When he was on the cross, did he condemn or criticize?  No, he forgave and forgot.  (see John chapter 19)

And St. Paul advises that we have the same mind.  That means replace fear with love; stifle limitation with generosity; overcome death by living more abundantly.  But it especially means recognize God – his Father and your Father – as able to do all things.  (see Luke 1:37)  That is the most important mindset to embrace.

Jesus explained it this way, “The Son can do nothing of himself; but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”  (see John 5:19)

Let this humble, expectant, joyful, obedient, worthy, compassionate mind be in you.  And just see how it transforms your life.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Why Christ Came

December 15, 2012

Tragedy makes us ask, “Why would God allow this awful thing to happen?”  When bad things occur, we naturally wonder what went wrong and who is to blame.  And where was God?  But maybe that’s not the right question.

The Gospel of John records this powerful statement: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

God’s son came so that we could be saved: saved from fear, saved from anger, saved from sin.  That saving Christ is here right now, turning our thoughts of sorrow, confusion, and revenge into promises of hope, redemption, and eternal life.

Let the Christ speak to your heavy hearts.  Let the light of the world shine on you and all, and dissolve the darkness that seems to engulf us.  Let yourself be loved and lifted by the presence of  God’s only begotten son.

Fill your own thought with the healing Christ and then pass that love and light on. Do your part to redeem the tragedy.  And trust that God – and His beloved son – are doing theirs.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Rewriting the past

November 8, 2012

I’m not talking about pretending that something didn’t happen while still suffering the effects or consequences of it, or as a means for not dealing with it.  And I’m also not talking about what sometimes happens during a regime change when the national history is rewritten to better reflect the views of the new government.  I am suggesting revising our views of the past and the influence they have on the present as a means of healing them.

In her autobiography, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged.”  (See Ret. page 21)  She recognized that if she allowed her past as an always ill, divorced, and helpless woman to determine her future, she would never rise beyond those limitations.  Instead, she looked to the Bible’s God-inspired view of a holy creation untouched by human conditions (see Genesis 1:1-31 for example) as her basis for a future free from the condemnation of the past.  As a result, she overcame every illness (her own and others), had a very happy and prosperous new marriage, and went on to found a church and movement, not only unthinkable to other women of her time, but beyond even what men were able to accomplish.

These remarkable effects were also found in Jesus’ ministry.  Wasn’t every healing an undoing of some awful event of the past?  Whether the improvement was of a sinful or diseased condition, Jesus always indicated that the individual was now free to go about his or her life in a normal and natural manner.  In fact it was these works of Jesus – along with his word – that showed Mary Baker Eddy that this kind of thorough and redemptive healing was still possible today.

That’s right.  Healings of mind and body, past and present, are possible today, here and now.  This is Christianity made practical!

The “how to” requires persistently examining thought – not to use it as a bludgeon to condemn yourself or others – but to align it with the viewpoint God Himself has of you.  The God who said “I see everything and everything is good” was looking at you when He said that.

This mental alignment may involve cleaning up some messes, but the capacity and wherewithal to do so are as much a part of your progress as correctly identifying yourself as God’s own likeness.  And often, when we humbly and persistently seek God’s solution to redeeming the past, those messes simply fade away.

Okay, so this isn’t necessarily an overnight process.  That’s not to say that healing can’t occur overnight!  But being persistently willing to give up our attachment to our own or others harmful actions, or to stop attributing cause or effect to unhappy events and circumstances really helps us to keep thought in tune with God’s outlook.

Be patient with yourself as you take this on – but do take it on.  It will lift you and all of those in your sphere of influence above the downward spiral of the past.  And that makes the now much more enjoyable.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.