Receive!

A BLIND man was sitting by the wayside, begging, when someone told him that Jesus was passing by. He began to call to Jesus, and even though the people around him told him to be quiet, he persisted until the Master noticed him and asked what he wanted. The blind man said, ``Lord, that I may receive my sight.'' The account continues: ``And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God.''1 How did the man's faith suddenly save him? Did he have faith in God's goodness and power to destroy evil? The fact that he called on Jesus for help certainly points to that possibility, and we know he glorified God in gratitude for his healing. What faith he may have had in God up to the point when he cried out for help had not been sufficient to overcome his blindness. He needed some better understanding of his relationship to God. The necessary faith and spiritual vision must have been imparted to him, or dawned upon him, when he faced the healing love of Christ Jesus. Certainly he received what properly belonged to him as the child of God.

The immediate clearing of his vision can be seen as proof that sight is a spiritual faculty of God, forever expressed in man. To understand this -- to ``see'' this -- is to move forward toward the Christlike faith that opens our vision of God's presence and power.

What would stop us from receiving our sight, or from receiving any other faculty or quality of God, the inexhaustible source of all good? When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn't heal as he did, he said, ``Because of your unbelief.''2 To a materialized sense of existence, only evidence that the physical senses are able to detect and measure is considered real. All else is considered more or less speculative and doubtful. Because physical eyes and ears cannot detect or measure God, we all know where, to such sense, this leaves God, along with our true identity as His spiritual children!

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The ``carnal mind,'' referred to by St. Paul, would attempt to convince us that we are isolated physical beings, dependent for every aspect of our existence not on God, the Father-Mother of all, but on the physical machine -- the body -- we appear to inhabit. Our sight and every other faculty or facet of our existence is dependent, so this false sense claims, not only on the age and condition of the body but on its parentage, on the environment in which it lives, on the food it eats and on its ability to digest that food, and on the degree to which it has been able to avoid the accidents and illnesses dealt out by the ``law'' of probabilities.

To the degree we have allowed ourselves to become convinced by these arguments that we are separated from God, from perfect Spirit and its harmony, to that degree is our consciousness occupied with the unbelief that prevents healing. As in the case of the blind man, our faith in God may be sincere and heartfelt, but it's going to need that strengthening which only the Christ -- the divine, healing influence exemplified by Jesus -- can bring.

Through Christ we learn that the true and indestructible senses of man are spiritual, undetected by physical sense but nonetheless real and eternal. Incredible as it may seem to conventional material reasoning, the capability to see is neither given to us nor can it be taken away from us by the body. It is always within our consciousness, because God, the only and infinite Mind, the source of all discernment, is our true consciousness: the Mind of Christ. But we have to become conscious of this spiritual fact through prayer. We have to accept and receive it.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ``No faculty of Mind is lost. In Science, all being is eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action. Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness.''3

Having, or receiving, the Mind of Christ requires us to reject the arguments of material sense, which have no basis in truth because no basis in God. As we persistently do so, and turn trustingly in prayer to the only Mind there really is, we face the healing influence of Christ just as surely as did the blind man so long ago. We too can find in our spiritualized thought that extra faith, rooted in understanding, that makes us -- reveals us to be -- whole.

1See Luke 18:35-43. 2Matthew 17:20. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 407. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. Proverbs 20:12

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