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Don't Fear Your Face

(Written especially for young people)

I WOKE up one morning to discover that a huge pimple was forming on the end of my nose. It looked like a headlight to me. To make matters worse, I was having lunch that day with someone who was always critical of my appearance! I thought of postponing our lunch, but as I headed for the telephone I realized that would be letting fear control me. Even way back then I understood enough of Christian Science to realize that running away never heals anything.

I was a brand-new student of Christian Science, and had been praying to heal the complexion problem that had flared up in the morning. As I prayed that morning I came across a quotation in the Bible that has become one of my favorites. It's from Jeremiah: ``Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord'' (1:8). I saw right away that it was written just for me. And I added to it myself, ``I don't have to be afraid of my own face!''

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There is never anything real to fear, because God, good, controls every event in our lives. In fact, He made everything, since He is the only cause and creator, and the Bible assures us He made us in His own image.

God not only created everything, but as the book of Genesis also tells us, ``God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good (1:31). And Habakkuk, the Old Testament prophet, points out that God is ``of purer eyes than to behold evil'' (1:13). I reasoned that I, as God's reflection, must be like Him, must be as pure as He made me. So I could be ``of purer eyes'' than to see anything ugly on my face. And I began to see that what was true of me was also true of everyone else, so my friend couldn't see anything to be critical of either! It was an hour's train ride into the city where I was to meet her, and I prayed every minute of it.

I did my best to understand that because God's creation is pure, perfect, and holy, that's all either of us could be--or see. I refused to criticize her by expecting her to be critical of me. I closed my eyes and prayed to do a better job of seeing both my friend and myself as we truly are--as God's perfect, spiritual crea-tion, which is always beautiful. In our real, spiritual selfhood we are all perfectly beautiful. And we can demonstrate this fact here and now.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, speaks of how Christ Jesus healed. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she tells us specifically: ``Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.'' And she goes on to say, ``Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy (pp. 476-477). Jesus healed many people who were suffering from a dreadfully disfiguring disease called leprosy. So certain was he of man's spiritual purity and wholeness that he even touched lepers without fear or disgust.

My friend greeted me affectionately, and her only comment on my appearance was, ``My! I've never seen your complexion so beautiful. Living in the country certainly agrees with you!''

The next time I looked in a mirror, there was only a faint pink spot on the tip of my nose, and it soon disappeared. So if you awake on the morning of the big dance with a rash on your face, don't panic. You can know, without a doubt or fear, that it never was, isn't now, and never could be part of you, because God didn't create it. Never be afraid of anyone's face--certainly not your own!

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