NEARLY every passenger on the commuter train was scanning or reading the news, absorbing messages that we're all familiar with -- economic problems, the heart-rending struggles of the homeless, and more than enough deception. The daily patchwork of messages occasionally includes a triumph or a breakthrough, but the emphasis is on the world's troubles. Clearly, we need to face those troubles and find solutions. But an essential step in doing that is to be more receptive, individually and collectively, to divine messages -- those guiding, restoring, healing messages from God.
A good starting point in this work is the Bible. It's filled with messages from God to men and women. Messages of light -- spiritual light -- eliminating darkness. Messages of great promise, replacing faltering hope. Messages of right direction, overcoming doubt and aimlessness. Messages of health, renewal, strength, and unconditional love, bringing comfort to lost and struggling hearts. But what about today? How close is God to us right now? Can we really expect to receive divine guidance and comfort?
If we are feeling apart from God -- empty, messageless -- we may want to examine how we view ourselves in relation to Him. Feelings of separation from our creator spring from the prevalent belief that we're descendants of Adam, victims of a hands-off creator -- changeable and often unresponsive -- who has left His creation to go it alone. They spring from the false sense that man is a creature of the flesh, a suffering, sinful mortal at the mercy of forces outside his control. But this is not true of man, because his creator is the one God, who is infinite Love, indestructible Spirit. Turning to the true relationship we have to our Father-Mother enables us to begin proving how truly close to God we always are and what that can mean to us.
It was this closeness -- this coexistence with God -- that Christ Jesus understood and put into daily practice. He maintained, ``I and my Father are one.''1
The healing, saving Christ, exemplified so completely in Jesus' life, is present today and always to show us our unity with Love. Christ dissolves the depression and discouragement that result from the image of man as helpless and apart from his Maker. It's not difficult to feel the presence of Christ if we're earnest in prayer and expectant. We're not creating this presence; it's with us! It's the divine influence, revealing our Godlikeness, what we really are.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, ``Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.''2 This message of good is forever within, never outside of or beyond, human consciousness. Christ's healing presence is the very influence that can and does uplift humanity, that points to the resolution of its problems. And the power of Christ brings physical healing.
One night, for example, I found myself itching from head to toe. Having had many experiences in which, through prayer, a corrected view of my relationship to God brought healing, I immediately began to pray.
After a time, a couple of thoughts came to mind. First, the recollection that I had been using a very strong cleaning solvent earlier that day and had noticed that the label cautioned against getting any solvent on the skin. I remembered, too, that some of it had splattered onto my hands. Yet I realized that the words on the label, however helpful and necessary as a preventive measure, could not overrule God's eternal message to me that I am always as He made me, spiritual and perfect. This Christly message from divine Truth corrected the situation. I no longer felt like a helpless victim but likeGod's loved offspring, conscious of His goodness.
The itching stopped, the rash disappeared, and I was able to return to a restful night's sleep. The physical change was the direct result of a change in consciousness, of the healing influence of Christ. This divine message, providing a glimpse of man as he really is, Godlike and perfect, exposed the falsity of what he is not -- in this case, a careless victim. Is God speaking to us? Absolutely! Is it a significant message? It is nothing less than His Christ, telling us of our unity with Him and our perfection in His care.
1John 10:30. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 332. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I will hear what God the Lord will speak. Psalms 85:8