“Mrs. Dunton is prejudiced” was written on the tiny scrap of paper scrunched in the bottom of the mailbox I kept on my desk as a third-grade teacher. I was puzzled and saddened by the note. Why did the two girls feel that way? We were of different races, but my goal was to treat every student lovingly and fairly.
Ever since college, I had been inspired by a statement I’d found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick” (pp. 476–477).
This became the definition of love to me. Through my study of Christian Science, I was learning that we are all made in the image and likeness of God, divine Love. Because God is perfect, so in reality is His spiritual creation, man. I was learning to turn away from human judgments about a person’s identity, and focus instead on loving the perfect idea of God’s creating. I found that this approach resulted in more harmonious relationships.