Above the Scene

YEARS ago my husband became interested in stereo photography. One day he brought home a box of slides showing the beautiful buildings of a university campus taken with a stereo camera from an airplane. They were astounding. The buildings really seemed three-dimensional. There was a wonderful feeling of being able to enter the scene. One interesting detail was that the cars that were moving when the shutters were snapped appeared to be several feet off the ground! When the element of action was introduced into the geometry of the stereo optics, the moving objects appeared to be lifted above the surrounding area. While the specific laws that produced this unusual effect were unknown to me, I knew they were natural and consistent. It even seemed perfectly natural for those cars to be suspended above the pavement.

In much the same way the operation of divine law both surprises and satisfies by its naturalness and consistency. The teachings of Jesus are not a supernatural intervention by Deity in history but the revelation of the natural order that has been made universally available by our loving creator. When the harmony of divine law dawns on the human sense at times of intense need, we may think in amazement, ''Of course, that's the way it is, isn't it?'' And that is the world we actually live in.

Christ Jesus said, John's Gospel records, ''And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me'' (12:32). This promise assures us that the dominion he demonstrated in walking on the wave, feeding the crowds, healing the sick, was the effect of the movement of thought Spiritward and is available to all who are willing to lift their thought to a fuller understanding of God. Spiritual understanding, expressed, breaks up the static picture of mortal belief, purifies thought, and allows us to soar above the limiting claims of sin, disease, and death.

In the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, writes: ''Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth'' (p. 505). And in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, she points out: ''The spirit of Truth is the lever which elevates mankind'' (p. 130). When the elements of spiritual and moral progress are pursued, healing often occurs as well. Spiritual progress steadies us, even as a bicycle can be kept upright and directed more easily when it is moving at a reasonable pace than when it is stopped, or almost stopped.

Jesus' life and teaching show us clearly that the spiritual dimension is the real and that a progressive movement out of limiting beliefs is requisite. Healing plays an important role in this movement because it is the vehicle by which spiritual movement is demonstrated. The wonder that moves us today is that the understanding of the divine power that elevated Jesus has been made available to an aching world in a form that clearly presents Jesus' demands and shows us how to meet them. Christ is present today, drawing all who would be taught to live under God's government.

The surprise in the stereo slides came from three things: the cameraman's position above the subject, the addition of another dimension to a common viewing experience, and the element of movement.

Christian Science gives an instructive, and sometimes startling, point of view above human experience. And in the practice of spiritual healing also shows us the proof that we are making progress in understanding more of God's law and government.

This spiritual standpoint was gained for all time on the Day of Pentecost when the disciples, filled with awe at their Master's triumph over death and treasuring deeply his recent admonitions and instructions, were lifted up to a new measure and level of action. The disciples demonstrated the healing power of the Christ, Truth, they were sharing, and from that position above human, material belief they went forward to bring the uplifting power of Christianity to the world.

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