A true reflection is a perfect likeness of the object it is reflecting. It has neither activity nor intelligence of itself. It is solely a manifestation of its cause. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, tells us, ''Man is, and forever has been, God's reflection.''n1
n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 471.
As a manifestation of God, then, our actual selfhood reflects God's qualities exclusively. Because God is perfect--never diseased, blemished, unloving--His reflection, man, must also be perfect--never diseased, blemished, unloving. An understanding of this fact, deeply felt through prayer and a perception of the Bible's spiritual message, corrects the belief that man could, even temporarily, be other than Godlike. It heals sin and disease.
Such healing is not, however, a matter of getting rid of something actual. It is a spiritual awakening, a realization that perfect God's reflection, man, has never lapsed from perfection.
Christ Jesus' life and works vividly illustrated this truth. His words ''I and my Father are one''n2 and ''I can of mine own self do nothing''n3 point to the eternal unity of God and man as perfect creator and perfect creation. The Master was about his Father's business, perceiving and obeying God's will--being His reflection. He manifested only God's qualities, and through his clear spiritual understanding of God's flawless nature, and of man as God's image, he healed others of suffering and sin.
n2 John 10:30.
Jesus was our Way-shower, but how frequently we overlook our own mission to be about our Father's business. We think of ourselves, or another, as a mortal person, separate from God, with a private mind and business. Yet how startling it would be to stand still in front of a mirror and see our reflection acting independently--perhaps combing its hair, shaving, or putting on makeup!
Often, though, we seem to act, or see others acting, quite independently of God. But this would indicate a separation between God and man, and a separation between a reflection and its source is impossible. A hymn reminds us: And as a mirror shows us
A likeness clear and bright, So God forever sees His child
Revealed in radiant light.n4
n4 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 15.
Christian Science can be likened to a mirror that enables us to see God's reflection. We see the loveliness of Love, the intelligence of Mind, the activity of Life, reflected in man and the universe. Such a view doesn't ignore evil but exposes its illegitimacy, its fraudulence, and shows our ability to overcome it.
However, if instead of looking into this scientifically flawless mirror we look into the mirror of human opinions for our view of man, we'll see the Adam man described in the second chapter of Genesis--in other words, sick, sinful mortals--and this will seem to us to be the reality of being. This so-called man believes he has a mind of his own and acts independently of his creator. Believing himself to be a material entity, separated from God, he often seems to lack.
But this isn't the truth of man, who always possesses all good as God's reflection. What a relief to be an effect instead of a cause!
An experience I had some years ago illustrates the practicality of viewing man as reflection. I had ordered a truckload of soil to be delivered on Monday. Inadvertently it was delivered Saturday afternoon. It completely blocked the driveway, and made it impassable for the family who shared the driveway as access to their weekend home. No one was available to help remove it.
Praying and listening for God's directing brought the clear realization that Life is the source of all activity. Life is omnipresent and never tires. Conscious of being a reflection of Life and not a corporeal ''senior citizen,'' I shoveled the driveway clear of the more than five tons of soil in less than three hours. I felt no fatigue, nor were there any aftereffects.
Viewing man in the flawless mirror of Christian Science, we see him as he is now and forever: the perfect reflection of God. And this understanding is practical. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do. John 5:19