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OF all the things we experience in life, perhaps nothing gives us as clear a glimpse of the nature of God as mother-love. Nothing on earth is quite like this love. Whether it's expressed by a man or a woman, or by a child, this desire to mother, to nurture, speaks to the deepest needs of the human heart. The qualities of mother-love -- such as purity, goodness, the most tender, loving care, selflessness, self-sacrifice -- transcend the human and approach the divine. In such love we see something of divine Love, our Father-Mother God. And yet, even maternal affection needs to be redeemed. Humanly, such affection seems to be vulnerable. It can be distorted into a smothering, possessive thing, aptly called ``smother love.'' It can seem to cause heartache, as when parents agonize over offspring who have gone astray. And it can even seem to lead to a feeling of uselessness and emptiness when the child finally ``leaves the nest'' and biology says we have fulfilled our genetic purpose for being.

These vulnerabilities all come from a sense of love that is limited by a material view of life and of man. For our mother-love to truly help and heal our children, it must literally become more Godlike, more spiritual, more like the healing love Christ expressed.

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Jesus' love was different. It wasn't merely a human feeling. It was a divine power, bearing witness to God's nature as divine Love, the eternal Father-Mother. His love was a revelation, bringing to light God's harmonious, spiritual universe, in which divine Love is supreme over all. In this peaceable kingdom, all are God's children, and sin, sickness, and death are unknown because Love's infinitude rules out even the possibility of evil.

Of course, if we only look at what the physical senses say is real, we may doubt that such a universe exists, or may think that if it does exist it has little relation to everyday life. But Jesus proved the universe of Love to be present and practical. He spoke of it as the kingdom of heaven, ``at hand'' and within us. He proved that love, uplifted by spiritual vision, is not helpless in the face of sickness and sin. His love was rooted in a vision of man so pure and so spiritual that disease and even death were defeated by it, proving them to be no part of God's reality.

In other words, Jesus saw man in his full promise, as he really is -- the veryimage of infinite Spirit -- not as a sick,sinning creation of biological and environmental forces. This spiritual understanding of man had divine power to bring human experience more in line with the kingdom of God.

Today, Christian Science shows us how our love can be more like Jesus' love, more Godlike in its vision of man, and therefore more healing. These words by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of divine Love, which she designated Christian Science, epitomize for this writer what this spiritual love knows and sees: ``In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being.''1

If we become fearful or worried about our children, we can lift our love higher through prayer. We can lift it to this spiritual vision of man, wherein is no fear, because we see that divine Love is in control, sustaining and taking care of our loved ones. Real love replaces worry with a calm sense of God's presence and healing power. Real love sees our children in a spiritual light, and this spiritual vision heals and protects as reliably now as it did in Jesus' time, because it is based in the very Principle of the universe, divine Love.

Trusting divine Love's healing power never means blindly ignoring human needs. Love gives us wisdom and shows us what to do. Love is reliable. Yielding our thought to God's control enables His reality and power to be manifested in healing effects. Prayer that recognizes God's tender care for His children, prayer that sees loved ones in a spiritual light, cannot fail to bring joy and to lift mother-love higher so that it truly blesses and heals those we love.

1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 63.

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You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

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