A few years ago one of my knees became painful; it was impossible to kneel without pain, and going up stairs was difficult. As I prayed, it became clear to me that this pain was not a material condition, as it seemed to be, but actually an imposition on my thought that stemmed from world beliefs claiming that people can experience problems as they age. I recognized that I needed to get rid of the material belief about myself as material and limited. Instead of thinking in terms of a surgical replacement of a body part, as others might choose to do, I needed to replace the belief that I was a mortal who had physical imperfections with the understanding of my true identity as the spiritual, eternal, perfect expression of my heavenly Father-Mother God.
In the first chapter of Genesis we read that God created man in His image and likeness (see verses 26, 27). In this account, which describes creation as wholly spiritual, it doesn’t say anything about God creating us as a combination of physical body parts. And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness” (p. 475).
I saw that I was not a mortal, subject to laws of matter that insist man is made up of material parts that could go bad or wear out with time. I saw myself instead as the whole, complete, perfect idea of God, infinite Spirit. I knew that I could stand firm on the law of God, the law of good, the fact of God’s love and power. And I knew that my understanding of this law of God would bring healing.
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