What Communicates?

FAXES and modems, car phones and computers. The speed and ease of communication these days are dazzling. But wouldn't the best -- the fullest -- communication be more than the mere exchange of information? Wouldn't it be communication of the best qualities of heart and mind -- compassionate intelligence, love, spiritual wisdom?

Whenever we find ourselves in the presence of such qualities, we're reminded again of how extremely important they are. They make us feel better about ourselves. They release us from fear and defensive maneuvering. In fact, we find the focus shifting away from self altogether. Goodness and truth may seem more concrete and at hand. It's a feeling of freedom.

We can all think of people who have made us feel this way. Occasionally, we meet someone for the first time, and there are so few barriers of self that there is instant communication. There is a generous, free readiness to recognize and bring out only the best in us. We just feel a love we know we can trust.

None of this can be faked. It arises from deep within, from the way someone's whole life is lived. Christ Jesus is the supreme example of someone who opened people up to a new, freer sense of themselves, of what they could know and be.

Suppose for a moment you found you could set aside all the fears and concerns about your own limitations and just go ahead and express the love and goodness you've sometimes known. You wouldn't be having to do it through a flawed, problematic self. That is actually a key part of the message of original Christianity. In the presence of Christ Jesus people felt they didn't have to think and act from the basis of a hopelessly flawed and mortal selfhood.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, quotes from the first chapter of John the statement that to as many as received Jesus -- in other words, accepted the truth of God and man he was teaching -- ``to them gave he power to become the sons of God.'' And she comments in her Miscellaneous Writings, ``The spiritualization of our sense of man opens the gates of paradise that the so-called material senses would close, and reveals man infinitely blessed, upright, pure, a nd free; having no need of statistics by which to learn his origin and age, or to measure his manhood, or to know how much of a man he ever has been: for, `as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.'''

The fact of our real being, as the image and likeness or man God makes, is always there to be recognized. That's why, when someone is pouring out nothing but unselfed goodness and love, we may suddenly feel a whole lot freer and better about ourselves. Our individuality simply doesn't have its origin and life in matter. It comes from God, Spirit. In the light of Christ, or Truth, we get to know ourselves much more accurately. We've only caught glimpses of our spiritual individuality made in His image, b ut we do experience more of it when someone loves us or knows our capacity to be God's man. It can happen anywhere -- in the midst of things. This kind of quiet, healing communication represents the last and greatest frontier, where people break through into new dimensions of experience, into a new understanding of who they are and of what God's man truly is.

This kind of communication makes strong demands on us. Christian discipleship is required -- we can't be passive and neutral bystanders. If we want to participate in the communication revolution, there is a lot to do.

This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the April 22 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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