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Seeing through mirages

From The Christian Science Journal - December 18, 2013

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Ahead of us on the highway, we saw a car in trouble. It had been raining that week, and we slowed down when we saw the car drive straight into a flooded area of the highway. “What do we have in the trunk to help them?” I anxiously said to my husband. “Do we have tow ropes?”

I immediately began to devise a plan of towing the car to safety with our little Volkswagen. Then I began to laugh. My husband and I shook our heads at how daft it was that we had not recognized the “flooding” ahead as simply a mirage. There was no water on the highway—no matter how many ropes I pictured we’d need.

Mirage is a useful concept to keep in mind when our eyes are telling us something evil exists and has power.

One definition of mirage is, something that appears real but is not. This is a useful concept to keep in mind when our eyes are telling us something evil exists and has power. We learn in the Bible, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). But what about sickness, pain, fear, lack? Are they part of God’s “very good” creation? They certainly appear real to our senses. But Christian Science teaches that these ills, like all evils, are illusions. They can’t be real because God, who is wholly good, did not create evil of any sort.

What gives a mirage its seeming reality is a belief in it. Forgetting the spiritual facts, we may get swept up in a false scenario and experience the belief as if it were real. I’ve been grateful that as I study Christian Science, I learn more and more about challenging the validity of evil in whatever form it appears, rather than going along with the false belief, because the outcome of seeing through the illusion is healing.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts” (p. 86). Later in the book, she instructs: “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” (p. 392).

As we “stand porter,” we see that healing in Christian Science is characterized by faith in God’s goodness, and the assurance that man exists now in His divine presence, under His all-powerful law.

Because Christian Science is based on the Bible, we become familiar with the examples Christ Jesus gave us as guidance for what we can accomplish—right here, right now.

Once, in Capernaum, a military commander humbly asked Jesus to heal his suffering servant. Jesus told him, “Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee” (Matthew 8:13). The text goes on to say that the servant was healed in that very hour. It’s likely that the centurion asked for Jesus’ help because he believed Jesus could, in fact, help his servant.

When we face challenges of any sort, we can learn to see God’s presence right where evil seems to be, and healing can follow.

When we face challenges of any sort, we can learn to see God’s presence right where evil seems to be, and healing can follow. For example, years ago, when my daughter was eight, she came to me one evening, and holding her hands out in front of her, she showed me that they were covered with warts. The warts had been an issue for a period of years, and now my daughter didn’t want to look at her hands anymore. We spent some time declaring her freedom from any blemish, and talked together about her clear, pure, beautiful being—her true being. We addressed the situation decisively through prayer.

It was summertime, and we were at a summer camp for Christian Scientists. When it was time for my daughter to go back to her cabin, we parted by saying that we’d each pray to know God’s work is perfect, and that included her as an idea of God. The next morning at breakfast, she came bounding up to me with her hands held out in front of her again. Only this time, there was not one wart on them. She was demonstrating her God-given freedom, her true, lovely self. She was experiencing what she believed. She had undoubtedly, in her own sweet, childlike way, been firm in her faith that “Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies,” as Mrs. Eddy promised (Science and Health, p. 162).

As we become stronger in our conviction that God alone is always present and governs our lives, we can trust that mirages—whether they’re beliefs in the absence of Truth or patches of “flooding” on a stretch of highway—are not real. No tow ropes needed!

Cate Vincent is a Christian Science practitioner Devon, England.

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