Our hearts sank when we looked at the field of winter wheat that we had plowed, harrowed, soil-tested, fertilized, and planted. The weeds were something fierce!
My husband said, "I'm afraid the farmer who's agreed to harvest this crop will take one look at those weeds, turn around, and go back home." To our glad surprise, however, the farmer simply said, "The weeds don't matter." As he went to work with his powerful combine, we watched it pull through the kernels of wheat and strew the chaff and the weeds behind.
Sometimes when we survey consciousness, it seems that in spite of our best efforts and most diligent study, ungodlike thoughts and emotions are springing up as fast as good thoughts. Christian Science brings us the comforting understanding that divine Truth separates the weeds from the wheat—quickly and efficiently. The realization that weedlike thoughts don't matter because actually they're no part of one should lift us out of discouragement.
One reason a combine can readily separate the wheat and the weeds, or tares, is that they are separate to start with. Christian Science shows that Truth can separate good and evil in human consciousness because evil thoughts, all sinful and sickly ones, are already separate from one's true being as God's idea. This Science then goes on to expose undesirable thoughts as unreal and in this way destroy them.
Jeremiah said: "What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"1
How vital it is to see the clear-cut separateness of mortal mind and the one Mind, or God, the Mind that was in Christ Jesus! When Jesus looked compassionately at the multitudes, there appeared to be mortals with many types of diseases and, within each individual, unholy thoughts mixed with good ones. But Jesus beheld God's man. His understanding of God, Truth, and of God's power to destroy the tares of sickness and sin was so incisive that he healed the multitudes.
Mrs. Eddy's power to heal grew as her understanding progressed. For example, in the year 1872 she wrote to her friend Sarah Bagley, "I have never since my first perceptions of God in science gained the understanding I have this year past and been able to so sift the tares from the wheat."2
All sickly and sinful thoughts, including false emotions, have to be seen as separate from God's kingdom and His spiritual, compound idea, man, and consequently unreal. It requires constant prayer and study to do this and to prove our separateness, but such work done thoroughly results in the certain reward of healing, or harvest.
Mrs. Eddy writes: "The Christian Scientist cannot heal the sick, and take error along with Truth, either in the recognition or approbation of it. This would prevent the possibility of destroying the tares: they must be separated from the wheat before they can be burned, and Jesus foretold the harvest hour and the final destruction of error through this very process,—the sifting and the fire."3
A student of Christian Science had struggled fearfully for some time with what was called an incurable skin disease. Her dread stemmed from the fact that someone else in the family had suffered from it. The practitioner pointed out that no fear she had had in the past about this malady had ever been a part of her real consciousness. After that powerful first glimpse of the separateness of all such diseased thinking, she stopped condemning herself for past thoughts. By her persistent denial of material sense and affirmation of her spiritual nature, those thought-weeds were eradicated, and soon her skin became clear.
It used to baffle me how, through prayer in Christian Science, one can heal another. I could see how one can treat his own consciousness and gradually destroy the tares. When it became clearer that everyone's real, spiritual consciousness is separate from all evil, sickly thoughts, I saw how the one who understands this separateness, as well as the unreality of such thoughts, can destroy the evil and bring out true health, true consciousness, in another.
What if the weeds in our mentality seem terribly intertwined? False emotions, fear, and memories sometimes seem to interlace themselves into a complex, unhealthy state. Christian Science shows that because God is Love, the planter of all thoughts is good. Evil may disguise itself as good and say that it is a part of our thought, but sickly, sinful complexities are no part of one's real consciousness, which stems from the one and only Mind, God.
The weeds—regardless of how many kinds there are or how intertwined—don't matter to the combine. Evil is one, and this one is nothing. Saying that evil doesn't matter, however, doesn't mean we can go around blindly ignoring or indulging it. Evil must be exposed, separated from identity, nothingized, and so destroyed.
Divine Truth's power to handle evil and our reflection of this power are fully adequate to do this.
1 Jer. 23:28, 29;↑
2 Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1966), pp. 271-272;↑
3 Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 214-215.↑