Vanishing act

THE magician was amazing. Right before the eyes of a vast televisionaudience he made an elephant disappear! It didn't really vanish, of course, and in due time the clever illusionist made the elephant reappear before our gaze in the same spot where it had been all along. Sometimes we may find ourselves wishing we could make some large -- or even small -- trouble confronting us disappear with the snap of a finger or the waving of a wand. But magic can't help us, even temporarily. Powerful, reliable help is, however, available through an understanding of God's allness and goodness,as Christ Jesus illustrated in his healing works. Jesus' healings weren't magical; they were the natural outcome of divine law, understood and practiced. Evil is proved fraudulent when confrontedwith the law of God's, Truth's, absolutesupremacy.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``If evil is real, Truth must make it so; but error, not Truth, is the author of the unreal, and the unreal vanishes, while all that is real is eternal.''1

``The unreal vanishes.'' To find our freedom through spiritual means, then, it's important that we acknowledge the powerlessness of evil, its fundamental unreality in the face of God's allness, even if from our current perspective things look bleak. Instead of dwelling on the problem -- no matter how big and insurmountable it may seem to our frightened sense -- we need to turn to God in prayer, as Jesus did. To acknowledge God's power and nearness, and man's spiritual perfection in His likeness, is to move toward establishing in our understanding -- and therefore in our experience -- the reality of God's good governing us. Accepting as unequivocal truth the Biblical declaration ``And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good,''2 one can side with the totality of good and prove, even if by degrees, the fleeting, bogus nature of evil. This is not always an easy stand to take, considering the evidence to thecontrary reported by the five physical senses. But are they totally reliable witnesses? Does the sun, for example, really rise and set? Are desert mirages real? Did the elephant truly disappear?

Like the magician's act, evil in every form is recognized in Christian Science as a gross deception. Truth can always destroy a lie because a lie is never true. A clear perception of the eternal truth that God, Spirit, is the only creator and that His creation, man, is spiritual and perfect destroys the evidence of evil in our lives on the basis that evil was never true.

Referring to her discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy writes: ``This Science rebukes sin with its own nothingness, and thus destroys sin quickly and utterly. It makes disease unreal, and this heals it.''3

Insisting on the unreality of that which looks real and may feel real requires a radical trust in God, a spiritual understanding of Him gained through prayer and through study of the Bible's inspired message. It requires a willingness to follow Jesus all the way. As his disciples discovered, the path of Truth is not always easy, but the spiritual growth and healing rewards make it all worthwhile.

When an elephant appears to vanish through a magician's illusion, that's a clever, entertaining act deserving applause. But when Christ, Truth, causes the illusion of disease to vanish, that's God's healing law in action -- a real ``vanishing act,'' deserving heartfelt praise and gratitude.

1Science and Health, p. 474. 2Genesis 1:31. 3No and Yes, p. 13.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10

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