What is the nature of our true spiritual being, which is always at hand for us to discern and demonstrate?
Whenever I delve into thinking about this, about what we truly are, I just get blown away. (I’m not new to this kind of thinking, either!) My amazement must be similar to the wonder and awe the Psalmist felt when he asked the same basic question and then received his answer:
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.… When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psalms 8:1, 3–6).
Think of that: We are made (in other words, created) to have dominion over the works of God’s hands. This is our actual nature and purpose: to manifest the existence and presence of the Almighty God. As God’s image and likeness, we are no more God than our reflection in the mirror is who we are; but as God’s reflection we serve as evidence of God’s supreme control and authority over His own creation.
This scientific sense of our relation to God is a far cry from the materialistic sense of things that tempts us all daily. But by following after Christ Jesus in the understanding of our spiritual nature, we can begin to glimpse the power and authority we each have in Truth.
Some years ago my mom became desperately ill. My dad called me one night to pray for her. I did so, but by early morning she had slipped into a coma. For a time there was no indication of life at all. Unwilling to admit, even to himself, that she had passed on, my dad called his workplace and said simply that he would not come in to work that day because his wife was unconscious.
Although I was fully aware that, as God’s reflection, we all manifest the infinite nature of God, I was imagining this meant that each one of us individually manifests a small part of God’s nature, while all of us combined reflect God’s complete nature. In other words, I thought that each of us individually would express some aspect of God’s authority, but that it would take all of us collectively for God’s full divine authority to be expressed.
But that morning I came to be corrected on this misunderstanding about God’s reality. As I was mentally declaring the truth of eternal Life in regard to my mom, I had a revelation beyond any I had ever experienced before.
I valued and cherished the divine sovereignty and omnipotent power behind the Christian Science treatment I had already given.
I suddenly realized that a reflection reflects the whole nature of its original, not just part of it. Therefore I, as the unique, individual reflection of God, reflected not merely a portion of divine authority to, for instance, reason scientifically about life as spiritual; but I reflected all of God’s authority—in my individual God-caused way. And that supreme authority of God surely gave me, by reflection, the power to deny existence to disease and death and overcome them.
With an awe I had never known before, I valued and cherished the divine sovereignty and omnipotent power behind the Christian Science treatment I had already given during the night, and I expected, without reservation, a healing effect. I even said out loud, “Why, Father, as Your image and likeness, I differ from You only as effect differs from cause.”
A little later my dad called his employer to say that he would be coming in to work after all. The employer gasped, “But what about your wife?”
A man of few words, my dad answered, “Oh, she’s fine. She’s in the kitchen fixing breakfast.” And she was! She was fully well; there was no period of recuperation whatsoever.
God’s supremacy does not have limited or hit-or-miss expression in single individuals. Each one of us represents the whole of God’s being in an individual way. And when we know a spiritual truth, we know that it is true for all of God’s creation and that it has all the authority of God behind it. While God does need all of us to express Him fully, we each reflect His infinite power.
Just consider the following passage taken from the answer to the question “What is man?” in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker” (p. 475).
And elsewhere Mrs. Eddy’s writings add: “Each of Christ’s little ones reflects the infinite One, and therefore is the seer’s declaration true, that ‘one on God’s side is a majority’ ” (Pulpit and Press, p. 4).
So when we are praying for ourselves or for another, we can realize that each of us in our unique fashion reflects not merely a small part but actually the full authority of God. This realization can open us up to perceive the uncontested divine authority that we actually manifest in our real spiritual nature, an authority which we can demonstrate in healing.