in 2008, Claire Haser was diagnosed with cancer and told it would be fatal. Although in the past, she had used traditional medicine, she decided to skip the recommended surgery and chemotherapy. Instead, she decided that what she really needed to do was “change her relationship with fear.” In the process, she did some deep soul searching. Five years later, when she went back to the doctor for some unrelated tests, she discovered that she was cancer-free.
Some people may call this a miracle. Others, a fluke. Doctors call it spontaneous remission. But, according to Dr. Jeffrey Rediger, an instructor at Harvard Medical School who also holds a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, there is a common thread. “In my studies of more than 100 people with medical evidence for recovery from incurable illness,” says Rediger, “the similarity in their paths suggests to me identifiable mental and spiritual principles associated with their recoveries….Miracles only contradict what we know of nature at this point in time.” But he believes that they may be consistent with mental and spiritual laws we have yet to study more thoroughly.
One hundred and fifty years earlier, however, health researcher and theologian Mary Baker Eddy came to the same conclusion through first-hand experience. She had a quick recovery from a near-fatal accident when she turned to the Bible for the spiritual understanding she believed could heal her. She had read and loved the Bible her whole life, but after her healing, she made a three-year, in-depth study of it to find out what had happened. The Bible has numerous cases of people being healed of incurable diseases— such as deafness, blindness, and even death. Eddy believed there was a divine Principle that Jesus applied in his healing work and taught to his disciples. This enabled them to heal others repeatedly as he did.
Eddy also began to heal others, and taught them how to heal. Later, in 1875, she published Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to explain this method of healing. She re-defined miracle as “That which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science….Miracles are impossible in Science, and here Science takes issue with popular religions. The scientific manifestation of power is from the divine nature and is not supernatural, since Science is an explication of nature.”
Spiritual healing was the furthest thing from Karen Walsh’s mind when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. Karen was a cytotechnologist, who studied the cellular composition and the detection of cancer. Although she knew she’d have the best medical care, she also knew there was no real cure. Soon to be married, she saw her future as bleak.
But, months later, her outlook began to change. Although not religious, Karen had started reading testimonies of healing in the copies of the weekly Christian Science Sentinel her mother-in-law had given to her. These gave her hope. So on her way to a doctor’s appointment, she began to think about the ideas she had been reading. “My thoughts turned to the powerfulness and unconditional love of God,” she said. “I was beginning to comprehend my unbroken and pure relationship to God.” Weeks later a test came back with negative results.
Miracles, flukes, spontaneous remission, whatever they are called, deserve to be taken seriously because they hold great promise for anyone in need of healing. If they do point to divine laws that need only to be understood, perhaps it’s time to find that out and understand the healing Principle behind them.
Valerie Minard writes regularly on the connection between consciousness, spirituality, and health. She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in New Jersey. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @valerieminard.