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Individuality—its eternal presence

From the February 2001 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Some people who have lost loved ones have been deeply comforted—and even healed of grief—through realizing that every precious quality they cherished in their loved ones, they also, as children of God, fully and beautifully express. After all, each of God's sons and daughters reflects the wholeness of His nature, right here and now.

Yet in the midst of grief, even a recognition of this profound truth sometimes leaves people feeling that something is missing. And most people, if you asked them, would probably tell you that their suffering comes from the absence of their loved one; that the expression of the same spiritual God qualities in themselves and others—tenderness, humor, unselfishness, for example—simply doesn't substitute for that loved one's specific presence. But then, how could it? Identity isn't merely generic; it is marvelously and exquisitely individual. Individuality is the glorious art of our being, the original way in which each one of us expresses the universal spiritual qualities of God. In fact, because God is the incomparable One, all that He creates must reflect that oneness, must be incomparably, irreplaceably individual. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy explains, "The one Ego, the one Mind or Spirit called God, is infinite individuality, which supplies all form and comeliness and which reflects reality and divinity in individual spiritual man and things." Science and Health, p. 281.

What we actually love, and what we seem to miss when someone we hold dear passes from our sight, is that loved one's completely individual way of expressing the qualities of God. So what we may need to recognize when we are dealing with grief is the breathtaking truth of the specific presence of individuality.