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What I’m learning about contagion

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

It always happened like this: A family member or friend had a cold, and then I had a cold. It seemed almost inevitable.

However, from the time I was little, I had been learning something different in the Christian Science Sunday School. I’d been learning that the thought “They are sick, and now I will be, too,” wasn’t one I had to go along with. I’d been taught that God is good and all-powerful and takes care of our health. Also, He made us spiritual, which means we’re protected from contagion or illness because something spiritual can’t be sick.

So I finally decided that enough was enough. I made the commitment to challenge the suggestion that contagion is something I can’t do anything about, affirming that God is really in control of my health (and my friends’ and family’s health).

"I did not have so much as a sniffle over the course of that semester.".

Around this time I began attending a boarding school and lived in the girls’ dormitory. During the fall semester, there was one point when it seemed as if everyone around me was getting sick. As more and more people became unwell, it was harder to just hope that I wouldn’t get sick. I remembered my commitment and knew I could turn to God for help.

I found this passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy very helpful: “Truth handles the most malignant contagion with perfect assurance” (p. 176). So whenever I saw somebody cough or sneeze, I affirmed with confidence that all of us live, move, and have our being in Truth, which is another name for God (see Acts 17:28). This means there is no room for anything unlike Truth, such as the suggestion, or lie, of contagion.

I also prayed with the fact that God is the only cause and creator. Since God is good, God couldn’t have created sickness and doesn’t cause it, since good can’t cause evil. So in reality, sickness can’t actually exist or be part of my—or anyone’s—experience.

I’m happy to say I did not have so much as a sniffle over the course of that semester, and I know that was because of my prayers. I’m so grateful that I could move beyond just wishing or hoping I wouldn’t get sick to feeling assured that God holds each of us in perfect health and that we can demonstrate this in our lives.

By Trinity Thomas

Christian Science Sentinel February 24, 2020 issue

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