It was late at night that November evening. I was in the process of moving my office from a public building to our home. As I came down the outside back steps, carrying some computer equipment, I noticed a police car on the far side of the empty parking lot. The officer inside was watching me, perhaps wondering if what I was doing was legitimate.
He slowly cruised over in his squad car, and I unhurriedly continued to load my car. I smiled and waved casually as he circled past me. I guess he realized that everything was fine, because he never even rolled down the window to ask me any questions. How differently I might have felt or acted if I'd been stealing that computer. But I was innocent, and I knew I could prove it.
This incident led me to ask myself if I was as concretely certain of my spiritual innocence. What would it be like to know myself as the very image and likeness of God and so as pure and sinless as God is? How would I act and think if I knew this spiritual innocence without a doubt? What would it be like to be certain that I could prove it as Jesus had done?
I thought of one particularly powerful healing of Jesus' that illustrated this. One day when he and his disciples were walking along, they saw a man who had been blind from birth. The disciples asked, "Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:2, 3).
If that man and his parents were anything like the rest of us, they probably had made mistakes or had done things that might have given them reasons to blame themselves for the man's blindness. But instead of getting stuck on that, Jesus had a way of seeing to a deeper level of identity.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, explains this capacity: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pgs. 476-477).
It wasn't as though he excused or ignored sin, but he clarified it just as the sun clears out mist on a foggy day. His conscious awareness of God's creation's inherent spiritual being acted as a radiant light. It dissolves sin and thereby transform the resulting physical conditions into health and harmony. That's what happened in the case of the blind man. He walked away from that encounter healed able to see and carry on freely.
Since the night of moving my office and the thoughts I had about innocence, I've had some opportunities to prove the power of knowing my spiritual innocence. In fact, just the other night, I drew upon these thoughts when I wakened from a sound sleep with excruciating internal pain that made breathing difficult and sleep impossible.
I crawled over to a chair where I could sit up more easily, and I began to pray. As I contemplated God as the very Principle of my being, I was filled with the awareness of my spiritual innocence and purity. I realized that everything in this perfect Principle must be innocent of flaws. The pain quickly began to melt away. Shortly, I got back into bed and slept soundly the rest of the night. I got up in the morning, took my normal walk, and was fully free.
Innocence is becoming for me not so much a goal but a starting point. And as it becomes a staying point, I begin to see that we can all heal with more dominion, as Jesus did.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.