Blameless and harmless

A FRIEND of mine was crying tears of discouragement. A string of difficulties seemed almost overwhelming to her. In addition to heartaches and financial and relationship problems, painful growths on her feet made walking difficult. But, discouraged as she was, she knew she would find answers and release, because she was turning to God. She called a Christian Science practitioner for help through prayer in order to rise out of despair and to find peace. (She didn't even mention the problem with her feet.) The practitioner suggested she consider blamelessness as the condition of man. One of the basic Scriptural premises of Christian Science is that man is made in the image of God and therefore expresses His perfection and goodness. My friend had been through a difficult divorce followed by unhappy relationships. Hurt and blame seemed to go deep. However, she had grown to realize that these lingering feelings had to be dealt with through prayer. Experience had convinced her that not the passing of time but the understanding of man's real spiritual nature is what heals. She was able to glimpse something of man's blamelessness in relation to herself and others. And she began to see something else deeply significant to her. She exp lained, ``I was able to see that in reality, in God's sight, no one or no thing had ever harmed me.'' The power of God's love she felt that night had a transforming effect on her. Not only did the burden of despair lift, but the pain in her feet ceased, and all evidence of the growths quickly disappeared. She shared with me other beautiful indications as well of increased freedom and joy in her life. Sometimes we may wonder how we can accept the spiritual truth of man's blamelessness when there seems so much meanness in the world. Do we ignore or excuse it? No! As Christ Jesus taught, sin must be faced and overcome. But the reason it can and will be overcome is that man truly is God's image. This is everyone's actual selfhood. Each of us will, sooner or later, have to recognize the difference between good and evil and come to see the allness of God, or good, and the powerlessness of evil. All wrong actions and thoughts will have to give way to man's real nature as the eternal child of God. Step by step, we'll have to unwind snarled, mistaken thinking and see the true man of God in ourselves and others. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Keep in mind the verity of being,--that man is t he image and likeness of God, in whom all being is painless and permanent. Remember that man's perfection is real and unimpeachable, whereas imperfection is blameworthy, unreal, and is not brought about by divine Love.'' 1 Imperfections--the mistaken views and actions, selfishness, anger, and so forth--these are blameworthy. But they're not part of anyone's real nature. They can't harm, haunt, or plague us if we're willing to open up thought and grow Spiritward, to be transformed by divine Love. No matter how much prayerful yielding this takes, it's worth it. We can rejoice with John, who wrote in Revelation, ``I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.'' 2 1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 414. 2 Revelation 12:10.

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