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Standing on holy ground

From the May 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal


It’s been happening more and more frequently. I’m going about a normal day when a small spiritual insight, barely discernible, comes to me. It’s usually connected with something I’ve been thinking about, perhaps some problem I’ve been trying to solve or something I’ve read. I find that in that moment, if I stop what I’m doing and listen quietly to the thought, the thought starts to become more solid and clear. I begin to understand it in the light that Christian Science sheds—that God, divine Spirit, is all good and the only power; and God creates man, His spiritual image, to reflect that goodness and power without limit, imperfection, or material element. Through this lens, I am able to move forward on the problem or understand what I’ve read in a new and helpful light.

I see these times of spiritual insight as my burning bushes (see Exodus 3:1–5). As the Bible relates, when Moses was tending the sheep of his father-in-law, he spotted a bush that was burning but not burning up. He didn’t, however, shake his head in disbelief, run away in alarm, or get frustrated with something he couldn’t understand. He asked why it was happening. When God saw that Moses had “turned aside to see,” He called to Moses and told him that right there, on the humble land where he stood, he was actually on holy ground. It was an incredibly powerful insight, and it turned out to be the impetus for Moses’ world-shaking mission. 

I’m convinced that these burning bushes are there for everyone. Here’s an example of when one appeared for me: One Saturday recently, as I was walking into the kitchen of my apartment to make myself some lunch, the thought came to me that when I’m conscious, even just a bit, of the presence of God, then reflecting His nature becomes my reality. Not a vague, otherworldly sense of reality, or a temporary, imperfect human version of it, but the actual thing—the solid, harmonious, spiritual, indestructible reality of God expressed in my experience. I was confident that I could claim my spiritual reality, right there, because, as the Bible says, I am made in God’s likeness (see Genesis 1:26). God is Spirit; therefore I am spiritual. God is Truth; so I naturally express integrity. God is Mind; therefore I reflect intelligence at every moment. God is Love; I mirror His love without limit or precondition. 

This insight had a very practical effect on me that Saturday. For the rest of the day I held to it, and I found I was freer of the burdens of time and was able to do all that I needed to do without meaningful distraction. I could see my priorities more clearly, and the order in which I needed to do things became more evident. The day went more smoothly than I had ever expected. As my thought had become more spiritual, seeded with ideas from Mind, my experience reflected that Mind in greater intelligence, harmony, and substance. 

I said this has been happening more and more frequently for me, and here’s why: I’m finally paying attention. The ideas have always been coming—they are always coming to everyone. It’s just that before, I had let them pass like gnats flying by me on a summer day. As Moses showed us with the burning bush, now I was turning aside—toward the ideas Mind was supplying to receive and understand them. 

For Christ Jesus, his unparalleled healing works indicated that these “burning bush” ideas were a permanent part of his experience. He was consistently conscious of the fact that reality is spiritual and that man reflects God—that every individual is a spiritual manifestation of the wholly perfect God. He didn’t see partially developed, wandering material beings liable to physical ills and imperfections, but healthy, perfect, deeply loved, spiritual ideas of the one divine creator, God. He bore witness to this truth of God and man everywhere, and it enabled him to see through the fallacy of mortal existence and heal the ills of the flesh. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science describes this powerful mental state of the Savior in simple terms: “It was the consummate naturalness of Truth in the mind of Jesus, that made his healing easy and instantaneous” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 200).

When I turn aside to look at some burning bush of a spiritual idea—in my kitchen, in the street, or wherever I happen to be—I’ve learned that this is God communicating His love to me. When I see it, I know I’m on holy ground. I feel my own purpose in life open up a bit more, and my dominion over human limitations becomes more apparent. It’s part of the veritable fountain of divine ideas that is always there for everyone—the healing Christ here and now, forever new, never exhausted. 

Every moment of every day around the world, bushes are burning. How many of us are turning aside from our preoccupied thinking and looking? There is a lot of holy ground waiting to be explored.

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