OUR passports include a photograph and some key bits of information about us, but they don't have a place to record the way we think, and this is the most important key to distinguishing us from each other. It has a very great bearing on our whole experience, including our health and happiness. For all our apparent deficiencies, we can yield to a more spiritual state of thought and experience the well-being that accompanies it. Then we stop seeing ourselves as flawed mortal personalities, subject to ineradicable weaknesses and blemishes, both mental and physical. In absolute truth, we aren't mortals with some undefined element of spirituality mixed in. The Bible describes man as the image and likeness of God, and a likeness must exactly reflect the original. So our true selfhood is spiritual, expressing the attributes of the divine nature, including strength, wisdom, and that beauty which is infinitely more than physical attractiveness. This isn't just a pleasant theory; it's practical truth.
This was proved recently by a woman who had a blemish on her face. In fact, it was classified as a distinguishing mark on her passport. Then it began to enlarge, and the appearance wasn't pleasant. It seemed to her that she must get rid of it once and for all, and so she asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment through prayer.
She herself was a Christian Scientist, and she had experienced the effectiveness of spiritual healing on a number of occasions, so she was confident that this time too the healing would come quickly. She realized as well that she must stop constantly looking in the mirror to see how the growth was getting on.
She began to consider how she was really seeing herself -- whether as an imperfect mortal or as the spiritual reflection of God. And she remembered the promise Christ Jesus made to his disciples, ``Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.''1 She was quite sure that nothing ugly or diseased could ever be any part of God's creation, and this gave her new encouragement to expect healing. In a short time the growth began to diminish. Then it fell off, leaving the skin underneath smooth and clear.
Identifying ourselves -- and everyone else -- in a spiritual light gives us the incentive and the ability to do more justice to our true, God-derived potential in everything we do. Then we can progressively eradicate the less pleasing features we may have been willing to tolerate. This kind of spiritual perception needs to be cultivated with alertness and persistence, but the results are very rewarding -- not in terms of feeding personal vanity but as proof of the flawlessness of God's spiritual creation.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ``We do not see much of the real man here, for he is God's man; while ours is man's man.'' She continues: ``I do not deny, I maintain, the individuality and reality of man; but I do so on a divine Principle, not based on a human conception and birth. The scientific man and his Maker are here; and you would be none other than this man, if you would subordinate the fleshly perceptions to the spiritual sense and source of being.''2
This subordination is the passport to spiritual healing. This passport is available to everyone, regardless of nationality, background, or other human conditions. And it has no place for recording defects and deficiencies, only for identifying our true status as God's offspring.
1Matthew 15:13. 2Unity of Good, p. 46.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image form glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. II Corinthians 3:18