While the “evidence” of Valentine’s Day has mostly come and gone, the love still remains.
Flowers have wilted, romantic meals have been eaten and sweets enjoyed. Perhaps there are still cards displayed and gifts of jewelry being worn and cherished. But was the love those things were meant to express ever actually in the things themselves?
No. The love that is motivated to give gifts is a powerful presence in our hearts, even after the gift has been given, and even though science is unable to measure it.
So does that mean our experience of Valentine’s Day love can’t be classified as “evidence-based”?
We can describe the love and how it made us feel. We could maybe even point to a transforming effect it had on us to give or receive it. And science can measure responses and reactions to love in the brain and body. Yet, because the love itself cannot be objectively measured, our “evidence” may not be considered proof of the power of love.
But as you and I know, the power and presence of love can be as tangible and distinct to us as the keys I’m tapping to write this. So why can’t we prove it?
Actually, we each can in our own lives. We’ve all seen how love is able to attract, inspire, enlighten and bring out the best in us. These effects, like the recently discovered gravitational waves, prove the existence of their unseen cause.
The Bible says that “God is love” (I John). From my experience as a Christian Scientist, I’ve seen the evidence of God’s love take the form of physical healing.
For instance, I was once struggling with a severe cold and eventually asked for help from a practitioner of Christian Science, experienced in the application of healing prayer – also something that eludes direct, quantitative measurement. Although I am used to praying for myself, he sensed my need and lovingly told me to just try and get some sleep that evening while he would pray for me.
When I woke up the next morning I truly felt loved. But it was much more than his loving attitude, as comforting as that had been. It was a powerful sense of the very presence of divine Love, God.
And all those cold symptoms had vanished without a trace.
Now one could say that there’s no way to conclusively link the curing of my cold with this experience of the Love that is God. It might be argued that this is just an anecdote and shouldn’t be considered “scientific” proof. But experiences in which I can say “I was there and felt the connection between God’s love and healing”, have continued to accumulate in my life over many years now.
And if you’ve actually witnessed or experienced such a result, that is evidence – at least in your own life – of a very viable force for good!
Admittedly, a single or even a few examples of healing wouldn’t classify as science in the conventional sense, where experiments are repeated and a large amount of data is gathered and sifted. But there is a collection of tens of thousands of similar, self-reported healing experiences that has been gathered over the past century in weekly and monthly Christian Science magazines.
I hope that sooner or later such thought-provoking evidence of Love’s healing potential will be increasingly explored. It can offer a valuable data set for those wishing to better understand the influence of spiritual thinking and prayer on physical health.
Einstein once said, “I want to know God’s thoughts. The rest are details.”
In science, the existence of a physically unseen force that can’t be directly measured, is verified by evidence of its effects. We can know love and even begin to know divine Love, through the evidence of good and healing in our lives.