Opening our eyes to good
How much good do you expect to experience today? How much beauty do you plan to see? Are your eyes really open to all the goodness, beauty, kindness, intelligence, and love there is around you?
I once joined a beginners' of art class. The first assignments was to sketch a boathouse with a mountain backdrop. The drawing was not too difficult, but when it came to the coloring I was at a loss. The boathouse was easy -- a white wall and a red roof. But that masive face of distant rock, what colors were in it?
At this point the instructor looked over my shoulder and said, "Now don't forget, that white wall reflects the green grass, and the red roof the blue sky." Well, so they did! I'd never noticed it before. But what about that mountain? "First, I'd put on a wash of light red," said the instructor. A red mountain!My eyes were being opened. I was losing my colorblindness.
How much do we really see of what we're looking at? Not only in nature but in our neighbor and in ourselves? Do we perceive and appreciate all the good that is there? The Psalmist sang, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold woundrous things out of they law." n1 What a rich prayer to begin every day!
n1 Psalms 119:18.
Christ Jesus' provided us a wonderful example of man's God-given capacity to see good. And he illustrated the power of such seeing.
Where others saw sinners and lepers, Jesus saw the man of God's creating -- perfect, whole, and free. This spiritual seeing resulted in healing. Explaining Jesus' healing method, Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes: "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." n3
n2 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m pp. 476-477.
With what sense did Jesus perceive the ever-presence of God's goodness? Certainly not through the five physical senses. It was through spiritual sense that Jesus discerned perfect spiritual reality. "Spiritual sense is a conscious , constant capacity to understand God," n4 writes Mrs. Eddy.
n4 Ibid., p. 209.
Though we may not have recognized it, or often exercised it, we are all endowed with an active spiritual sense. Every time we discern the potential or presence of good in any situation or individual we are using spiritual sense. We are discerning more of the reality of creation as God sees it. Such discernment always results in some measure of progress and healing.
The prayer, or pure desire, that our eyes may be opened more and more to see "wondrous things out of thy law," is really a prayer to discover and utilize the spiritual sense with which God has endowed us. The artist doesn't have to invent beauty and color, or add them to some gray landscape that lacks them. They are already there awaiting his recognition. In like manner, we don't have to add something to God's creation that isn't already there. His work is perfect and complete. It is our task to see it as it is, and to make it manifest in our daily experience.
As only regular and persistent practice makes a skilled artist, so our ability to exercise spiritual sense, and thus discern and make manifest more good in our life, requires daily effort. We can start by loving and magnifying every evidence of good we see, whether in art, in nature, or in people. Every kindly deed, every wise thought, is an expression of the infinite goodness that has its source in God.
In learning to discern the good in others, we are discovering and developing the good in ourselves. We are opening our eyes to the great healing fact that God is reflected in all His creation. We are beginning to practice the highest form of artistry. DAILY BIBLE VERSE He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil. I Peter 3:10