Is a Mirror The Place to Look?

THE neighborhood track is open to the public until late afternoon when the high school takes over. I was jogging on it well within the allotted time, but one of the high-school boys had come early. As I ran by him, he threw a soccer ball at my feet and called out to his friend, ''I'll be there as soon as I get rid of this old woman.'' I easily dodged the ball, but the words hit their mark. I was hurt-so much so that I did a foolish thing. I looked in the mirror later to find the old woman the boy had seen. I sought justification for my appearance. And I wasted time going over and over the occurrence. Finally, I recalled another incident when I had been badly treated by a stranger. I hadn't been able to put the matter to rest until I recalled some lines from a poem by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science. They're the last two lines of her poem ''Satisfied'': ''Who doth His will-His likeness still- / Is satisfied'' (Poems, p. 79). On that occasion, I saw that I had sincerely tried to do God's will in resolving the incident. I could be at peace-satisfied. And I was. This time, however, as I thought about the poem, it wasn't so much the idea of doing God's will that drew my attention as it was the phrase ''His likeness still.'' Just what is that ''likeness,'' I asked myself? In discussing man, Mrs. Eddy writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique'' (p. 475). What more ageless, what more attractive likeness could there be than ''the image, of Love''? What more could anyone desire? That likeness, I could see, was my identity-right then and always-to claim and to express. Surely, my identity was not in a young body or an old body-it was spiritual, created by God, by infinite Spirit. Ageless qualities of vitality and energy emanate from an understanding of man's Godlikeness. Holding to one's Godlike identity frees one from whatever would suggest that one is anything other than the child of God. Knowing that God's child is never youthful, aging, or aged but always agelessly spiritual, one need not be restricted by the belief of a material aging process. This so-called process of aging has nothing to do with the law of Spirit but is a mortal belief based on the view that man is material. But man-each of us-is God's eternal, spiritual likeness. In God's kingdom, where we live, there is no aging. Man is the ageless reflection of God, divine Life itself. What is spiritual cannot age. Mortal, aging, declining theories are not God-ordained. One's genuine selfhood is made, maintained, and sustained by God. Gaining even a glimpse of God and His ageless reflection, man, brings renewal to one's life. It is not a young body one seeks, but an awareness of our God-created and God-maintained individuality. This identity is ours to claim and demonstrate. It comes from knowing, as the beloved Master, Christ Jesus, knew, ''I and my Father are one'' (John 10:30). At first I had longed to see that high-school boy at the jogging track again so that I could scold him for his behavior. But now that I've taken a better look at myself, I'd like to thank him for impelling a wonderful time of self-discovery. What more ageless, attractive self can I have than that given to me by my heavenly Father? What is man, that thou art mindful of him? . . . Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Psalms 8:4, 5

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