Embraced and employed
Each of us has some quality of God that's distinctly ours and that shines through us.
Throughout my professional life, I've been asked to do things that I never thought I could do – things that I would worry about, thinking I wasn't adequate. I was asked to hold positions that I felt I wasn't trained for.
One thing that has helped me face these challenges is a verse I've always loved in the Bible: "He [the Lord] performeth the thing that is appointed for me" (Job 23:14). To me this means that when we put our hands in God's – when we put our hands in that spiritual sense of who and what we are as the reflection of God and move beyond the limiting human point of view – we find that God prospers our work.
This past winter I had a marvelous illustration of what it means for all of us to be the reflection of God.
I got up early one morning to catch the sunrise. There had been some freezing rain overnight, which coated all the trees with ice. It was breathtakingly beautiful. As the sun rose higher and higher in the sky, the trees sparkled with that reflected light.
When I looked to the north of the house where the sun hadn't yet hit, the trees looked so ordinary. But when I turned back to where the sun shined, the trees were extraordinarily beautiful.
To me this was a glimpse of what it means to be the reflection of God. There's a divine dimension of life that makes us beautiful and good and kind, both inside and out. That life link with God's light takes us beyond human limitations and lifts us into that spiritual point of view where things become possible that we didn't think were possible.
Another idea that's been helpful is a statement in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" where Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "This Christ, or divinity of the man Jesus, was his divine nature, the godliness which animated him" (p. 26).
The Christ was illustrated by Jesus, who expressed more than anyone God's spiritual, eternal nature. As the reflection of God, we all have a divine nature. We have a godliness, those spiritual qualities, that animates us. "Animate" means endowed with the qualities of life such as vigor and zest. It also means to give spirit and support to, to encourage, to move to action. So it's that spiritual understanding that moves us to action, moves us beyond human limitations that keep us stuck in a rut.
These concepts meant even more to me when my daughter suddenly became unemployed and she asked me if I would pray for her.
As I started, I wanted to better understand what "employ" really means. I was amazed to find that it comes from the root word "enfold." And enfold is a synonym for embrace.
Embrace reminded me of a statement in Science and Health about how our spiritual identity is embraced by God because we are His sons and daughters. I realized that because my daughter was embraced by God, she was employed by God. And because her identity was that of God's daughter, then being employed or embraced by God meant her employment had to be an outcome of her identity.
A short time later, I answered the phone and heard, "Hi, Mom, this is your employed daughter." She'd found a job that she loved. Not long after that, she said to me, "I finally know what I'm good at." Her sense of her identity had grown while she was employed – embraced – by God. That job gave my daughter the opportunity to go to graduate school and then on to a satisfying career.
Someone said to me years ago, "Everyone has a divine spark and it's up to you to find it and fan the flame." Each of us has some quality of God that's distinctly ours, that shines through us and makes us the special individuals that we are.