Commentary A Christian Science Perspective

‘Up there’

A Christian Science perspective: On glimpsing something of where we find God.

  • Mark Swinney

Pointing my finger in the air. That was my answer to the teacher’s question, “Where is God?”

She didn’t have a great poker face, and I could tell that on the topic of God’s locality, she had some seriously important news for me. It was my first Sunday school class, and it ended up opening a world of knowledge about God – knowledge that steered everything I ever did from then on.

To help our class learn about God, the teacher introduced us to the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” On page 473 of Science and Health, it says, “God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power.”

God, as the Bible shows us, is “very good” (Genesis 1:31). He is infinite, divine Spirit (John 4:24), which means that God is everywhere present. I learned in the Christian Science Sunday School that since there are no material aspects to Spirit, everything God created – including every one of us – is entirely spiritual and completely good. Also, God isn’t only unconditionally loving; God actually is Love, as the Bible reveals (see I John 4:16). As my teacher explained all of this, it opened me up to the spiritual reality that can be experienced here and now in spite of how solid and final material cause and effect are thought to be.

In the following weeks, little by little, I began deductively to sense God’s love, presence, and power. I say deductively because it was first through the effects of God that I actually detected God’s existence. Similar to how we know the wind’s presence by the way it moves a tree’s leaves and branches, I detected God’s presence by the way God’s love moved me.

One of the first times I recognized this was in the first grade. After school one cold winter day, while I was playing with some friends, I suddenly stopped what I was doing, feeling prompted to think gratefully about our school’s custodian.

This surprised me, but I’ve come to understand that this sort of prompting is the spirit of divine Love. And I was feeling a deep sense of love – big time. I’d never even talked to our custodian, but I got the idea to thank him for his daily hard work by bringing him a sweater to keep him warm, especially when he was working outside. I asked an adult for one to give away and took it to school.

I found him and, handing him the sweater, I said, “This is for you.” After that I couldn’t speak, because as he was thanking me, I was overcome with a tremendous, life-changing, thoroughly enveloping feeling of God’s love. I’d never loved unselfishly like that before, and I realized that this desire to express love had come from God, divine Love.

From that moment, the answer to “Where is God?” has gradually become more clear to me. God can’t be limited to a particular time and place because God is unlimited Spirit and ever-present Love. God isn’t just “Up there,” but everywhere!

Recognizing this, even in small ways, inspires us to be more loving and discover more of God’s love in our lives – even where we may not see it at first. In the decades since, I have experienced over and over again how learning more about God and ourselves can transform lives and bring healing. Through prayer and inspiration, we find that we are made to be the very expression of God – not only unselfish, but expressing the full nature of Love – which is spiritual and limitless.

I learned in that Sunday school class that we’re each spiritually created, and that means that every single one of us can feel the presence and power of Spirit. As we love doing so, we will see and experience more of the spiritual good that is present everywhere.

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