Imelda Shanklin: Jesus Christ The Physician
We may be relieved of bodily ills and yet not be healed. A healing is more than a bringing of flesh and bone and nerve and blood to a state of soundness and regular action. Unless there is accomplished a change more fundamental than these, the seeker of health is defeated in his quest.
Healing does not stop at a bringing back of the vigor of body enjoyed in youth, when life was a joy of coordinating muscles and rhythmic functionings. It does not stop at a restoration to the state of organic freedom which was known in childhood, when mere living and the newness of the world filled us with the wonder maze of an irrepressible enjoyment of all that childhood should hold.
To be healed is to be restored to the original state of being. Healed, we shall live in that ecstasy of perfection which we knew before desire led us into credulity, and credulity enticed us into the physical.
Healing links us to God, in whom life has eternal duration.
Health is the frictionless relationship of life with environment. It is found where life is found: in God. Healing begins where life begins: in God.
To be healed, we must return to the place where life begins; we must return to God. To preserve health, we must remain where health is found; we must remain in God.
If we were what we appear to be and no more than what we appear to be, healing would never be possible for us. If our wanderings from the Source of health were irretraceable, the best that ever will be done toward healing is the best that ever has been done: alleviation of suffering, and postponement of death, which is the inevitable climax of suffering.
The answer to the question, Can we be healed? is insured in the answer to another and prior question: Can we reach God?
If we cannot reach God we cannot be healed. We may go on with ameliorating, inadequate aids, but we cannot expect, either in the body or out of the body, to come into a frictionless relationship with environment. We cannot find health if we do not go where health is.
If we can reach God we can be healed. In whatever zone of life we may be functioning, if we can reach through environment and touch God, we can be healed. Having contacted God we can maintain health if we can maintain our contact with him.
It falls a little short of accuracy to say that we can be healed and that we can have health in the zone where we reach God and continue contact with him. Having attained that relationship, we shall be healed, and we shall have health. For health is God's relationship with environment, and we, having become compounded with God, shall share in his frictionless relationship with environment.
Can we reach God?
Jesus Christ stresses the desire of the Father for the return of the son, rather than the desire of the son to share the Father's presence. In the pains of suffering we turn to God. In the delights of sensation which precede and induce our pains, we think of ourselves; of how we can augment and prolong our pleasures. But our Father longs for us, even when we have no thought of the Father, no sense of needing him. This being the situation, the question of the possibility of healing admits of a second clause:
Can God reach us?
God, the Father, God the omnipotent, yearns for our return to the heavenly zone, where we shall come into a frictionless relationship with environment. Can the Father's voice, urging upon us the memories of a divine health, carry through the revel halls of sensation and catch the attention of the forgetful son? Can the hands of the Father, holding out "enough and to spare," beckon in dim-stirring visionings to the beggared one, fed and bedded with the swine? If any appeal of the Father's endless love has potency to drift along the golden cord that cables us to the Origin of life, then the two-clause question of our healing takes on a third clause:
Can man and God, searching for each other, find each other?
The words and the works of Jesus Christ assure the complete answer in the affirmative.
The healing works of Jesus Christ, done in the Holy Land, substantiated his declaration that he received his healing power from God. More pointedly, he has told us that the healing came from God; that the Father in him really did the work with which the astonished people persisted in accrediting him.
If it be said that the healings which Jesus Christ wrought were ameliorating, inadequate aids, as indicated by the subsequent death of each one so healed, the claim emphasizes the statement that to be healed permanently we must reach God.
By the word which controls manifestation, Jesus Christ healed and still heals physical ills. This healing is his temporal ministry. By opening to us the avenue of return to God, Jesus Christ heals us spiritually. This healing is his eternal ministry. After the spiritual healing is accomplished there will be no cry for physical healing. The body, for weal or for woe, is partaker of the soul's estate. The soul being restored to wholeness, the body will be restored to soundness. It will be the faultless instrument of the faultless operator.
As a man in earthy environment, Jesus Christ was health incarnate. He did not die, because he has always lived where life begins: in God. He changed from the physical to the superphysical environment. In the superphysical environment he now ministers to those who receive his spiritual healing as a means of reaching God.
Jesus Christ did not bestow eternal life in the flesh upon those who came under his ameliorating aid. Physical healing is an elementary demonstration of the eternal nature of life. By it we learn that release from illness may be had. Even if the release be but temporary we see in its miraculous character the possibility of eternal healing. The momentary union with God which gives momentary health, may, through the permanent ministry of the infallible Physician, be prolonged forever. So shall we be healed in the everlasting health of Jesus Christ.
To live eternally in any zone of life; to pass from one zone to another, by choice and in full consciousness of the transition, is possible when the soul reaches God and maintains eternal, conscious contact with him.
When Jesus Christ lived as a man in the earthy environment, he aroused the dormant life the sick who applied to him, and health resulted. His healing work was wrought by the use of sharp, swift-winging words which challenged the health consciousness, lying beneath the surface of the sickness-drugged conscious mind. He is now speaking the same words to those who seek him for healing. He did not produce the healing which he has introduced into the world. Healing comes when the soul contacts God. The Physician does not bestow health. He joins us to health. Jesus Christ never claims credit for results. The healing which crowns his ministry in our souls is God functioning through us in relationship to environment.
The word of the infallible Physician is never utterly forgotten by the one who receives it. Those who accepted the word from Jesus Christ in Galilee are becoming more conscious of its deepest import. They are learning that it is not meant merely as an ameliorating aid, but that it has an eternal work to perform. The process of thorough healing may seem slow, but consciously, patiently carried forward, it will be completed. For, though memory be deep-buried by the drift of centuries, it is also faithful to remind us of its jewels, gleaned through the ages. "He that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live." This Jesus Christ spoke to cheer us, for he knew that the periodicity of the death hypnosis had strong sway over humanity. But he came that we might have life without periodical exclusion from the zone of our necessary endeavors. If we make his word the avenue by which we travel to God, we shall cease to succumb to the death hypnosis.
"Whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die," he assures us. We shall, with him, dwell in the mansion of omnipresence, where lives our God —our health. "Where I am, there ye may be also."
No one is content with ameliorating, inadequate aids, because unconsciously or consciously every one asks for the perfectness invisible to become perfectness visible. Because of this, the healing word which Jesus Christ speaks is now finding listeners in great numbers. Even those who held themselves aloof twenty centuries ago, and those who were at that time far removed from the presence of the Man of Galilee, today are straining to catch his saving message of health. And for them, too, the bud of hope expands in vivid bloom. The healing which Jesus Christ offers to all men becomes the eternal consciousness of life in all men, by opening the way for all men to reach God, who is both health and life. "The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life," he tells us. We are learning the true value of this declaration.
If one would be healed, let him study the healing words of Jesus Christ. Let him take these words into his consciousness. Doing this, he will at once receive ameliorating aid. If he persist in the study, he will prosper in his search for God, and ultimately will be healed eternally.
As a part of the healing process, we must remember that we are not wholly what we appear to be. We must remember that we are not so weak as we assume to be; that we are more divine than we seem. The flesh and its eccentricities are no more the man than the star's rays are the body which transmits the rays. The flesh is the sign of the man; it is a herald announcing: Behold! I present God.
The flesh registers the thought. When thoughts false to God are made part of the flesh texture, friction with environment ensues. If the friction be prolonged or sufficiently accentuated, the body consciousness is reduced to a state of coma; it loses contact with its vehicle, the body. Exhausted by the strain put upon it, the body consciousness goes out from its house on a long vacation, and man "dies."
Because the flesh registers the thought, Jesus Christ saved his body from corruption and carried it into the heavenly zone. By following his method we shall do what he has done.
We are not what we appear to be. We are spirit, of the Spirit of God, intrinsically perfect in God's perfectness. A second essential to eternal healing is an ever conscious conviction that we are intrinsically that perfectness which, though ages have postponed and ignorance has obscured, insists upon manifesting itself.
When we contemplate the intrinsic perfectness we learn that it is as Jesus Christ said to the Father: "as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee." We are not to acknowledge this interidentity in a way which would lead the world to suppose that we speak of ourselves, as we appear. Our acknowledgments are made in secret; or if openly made, they are nonpersonal. "Tell no man," Jesus Christ warned some of those whom he had relieved. He knew that in the jubilation of our first hopes we are prone to challenge the atheism that haunts the human mind, and so provoke attacks by the phantoms of what we appear to be.
Healing is not done in the name of a practitioner; it is not done in the name of a school. Healing is opened to us through the name of Jesus Christ. The character of the healing accomplished makes known what power has been invoked. To be healed through a practitioner is to be healed to the practitioner's measure of understanding. To be healed through a school is to be healed to the measure of understanding which the organization, as a mass, has attained. To be healed through Jesus Christ is to be healed to the measure of the Jesus Christ understanding: "I and the Father are one."
The infallible Physician is never separated from us. He does not wait to be called to the bedside of suffering; he already is there, awaiting the sufferer's appeal to him. At the first call his soothing spirit flows out, a healing baptism for the needy one. With him no case is hopeless. He links us to the Source of health, and sickness vanishes. With him no case is chronic; for, quicker than the lightning's flash that bursts from east to west, he joins us to our God, who is our instant healing and our eternal health.
All may be healed. The measure of God's health is equaled by the measure of his love, the love that, generation by generation, has tried to give us everything that it possesses.
All must be healed. The Father has molded us in the matrix of his own perfectness. We shall know our perfectness, even as he knows our perfectness. "Wouldest thou be made whole?" — not patched or crutched or bandaged; not galvanized into a temporary exhibition of energy; not suggestionally anaesthetized into insensibility to body and its legitimate demands. " And straightway the man was made whole."
"Made whole," made complete; restored to God without reservation; God restored in us, without reservation. Such is the process of the eternal healing. Such is the work of the infallible Physician, who will accomplish his healing in us some day. He will accomplish it in that instant when, within and without, we surrender ourselves to the regenerating influences of the eternal health which flows through him to us, from the heart of our God.
O living Christ of the living God, bring me again to the place where wholeness begins and everlastingly, abides.