HAVE you ever noticed that certain things are high on the scale of what motivates people to pray? In times of tragic illness, catastrophe, war, or other disasters, aren't we impelled to reach out to a source greater than ourselves?
Many aspects of everyday life tend to mirror the bad things going on. But prayer brings a clearer concept of God's goodness and of man as His perfect reflection. As our understanding grows that God is good only, never wrathful or changeable, we begin to see increasing evidence of the power of prayer to change our lives.
In a mirror we see the exact reflection of the object in front of it--unless there is a distortion in the mirror. Any belief that portrays God's creation, spiritual man, as a sinner subject to sickness is a distortion incapable of accurately mirroring man's perfect reflection of his Maker. Learning more of the omnipotence of good corrects the erroneous beliefs that lead to sickness and sin, thus restoring our undistorted view, which shows that the understanding of perfect God and perfect man is the basis
of health and harmony.
An incident in my life helped me understand more clearly what it means to be God's reflection. Negotiating the steps to the second floor of our townhouse was a many-times-a-day occurrence. This day, however, my hands were filled with laundry. When my slippers caught the top stair, I was unable to catch myself before I fell against the wall immediately in front of me. Because my nose, which took much of the impact, began bleeding profusely, I went into the bathroom. As I looked in the mirror over the sink , however, I found myself remembering a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She writes: "Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection. Then note how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original. As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The bleeding stopped immediately. I could see that because God, Spirit, is man 's original, I could mirror only the perfection and harmony of His creation. The swelling and cut on my lip soon disappeared as well.
Seeing ourselves as the perfect reflection of God impels us to strive to see our fellowman the same way. This spiritual view brings goodness to bear on human situations and events. And why? Because changes in thinking always precede concrete actions that may be needed. When we pray for the world, for example, we bring to bear on humanity's needs what Christ Jesus cited as the second commandment of all, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Right where mortality's assertions of sin, sickness, and sor row seem overwhelming, prayer calms the tumult. And prayer that affirms purity and goodness as man's inherent nature has a healing influence. As the book of Proverbs has it, "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
In her book The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy turns yearning hearts to God. She writes: "Stand by the limpid lake, sleeping amid willowy banks dyed with emerald. See therein the mirrored sky and the moon ablaze with her mild glory. This will stir your heart. Then, in speechless prayer, ask God to enable you to reflect God, to become His own image and likeness, even the calm, clear, radiant reflection of Christ's glory, healing the sick, bringing the sinner to repentance, an d raising the spiritually dead in trespasses and sins to life in God. Being lifted up to understand the true, spiritual identity of each individual as the reflection of God mirrors divine goodness.