A definition of hope

One thing I appreciate deeply about Christian Science is that it gives us a very tangible sense of things that can sometimes seem vague and abstract. Recently I heard a speaker make a statement that that I felt gave voice to how Christian Science enlightens us in our understanding of these seemingly elusive things. The speaker, however, was not a Christian Scientist.


It was Jim Wallis, an evangelical leader and widely acclaimed author and speaker, who spoke at an event I attended. He said that hope means “believing in spite of the evidence and watching the evidence change”.  This statement resonated deeply with me as I considered the many references to the word “evidence” in Mary Baker Eddy’s writings.


In Christian Science healing, we don’t ignore the evidence of a problem that may seem present physically, but we do look away from it and expect it to yield to God’s omnipotent goodness and divine control, which includes no disease. As Eddy puts it, “Only by the illumination of the spiritual sense, can the light of understanding be thrown upon this Science, because Science reverses the evidence before the material senses and furnishes the eternal interpretation of God and man” (Science and Health, 461).


Reversing the evidence in our thought leads to healing that is manifested in our bodies and in our experience, and that gives us the best hope we could have because we can expect to see outward results despite the appearance otherwise. Wallis was speaking not in the context of healing for physical problems but rather on the topic of societal ills, particularly racism. The principle applies for both needs. Hearing Mr. Wallis make that statement has encouraged me in my prayers both for challenges that seem insurmountable in our world and situations in my own experience that may appear to need some major adjusting.


To me, what brings real hope is “the illumination of the spiritual sense” mentioned above in Eddy’s quote. And because Spirit is omnipresent, that illumination is available to all of us everywhere at every moment.