|Subject: The Law of Joy, Goodness and Life|
|Christian Science Journal|
Law of Joy, Goodness and Life
by Michael Mooslin
When our daughter was a toddler we would play hide and seek. Not fully grasping the concept she would cover her own eyes, thinking she was hiding from me. She thought that if she could not see me I could not see her. Silly?
Well, don’t we do the same thing by covering our eyes to the true expression of the Christ, “the manifestation of God,” (​Science and Health 583) while all the time this Christ-like identity is completely visible to divine Love, God’s image? In the allegory in Genesis, when God asked Adam “Where art thou?”Adam replied that he hid himself because he was naked. God answered, “Who told thee that thou was’t naked?” (Genesis 3:9). Are we imitating Adam, hiding ourselves because we believe we are defenseless or have disobeyed? In the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is found the following, “This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death. The perfect man—governed by God, his perfect Principle—is sinless and eternal” (p. 304).
Originally, and without a more careful reading of the sentence, I always assumed that I could not be deprived of God’s expression. In an absolute sense that is true. But that is not how the sentence reads. I am not the subject of the sentence. God is! “Divine Love cannot be deprived…” It is a declaration that my creator cannot be deprived of His perfect manifestation—man, His image and likeness.
At that moment when this perfect manifestation is hidden—when we believe that sorrow can replace joy, or that evil can replace good, or death obliterate life, God knows differently. Love could never be deprived of our expression of loveliness, lovability, loving-kindness or of being loved. Truth can’t be deprived of our truthfulness and trustworthiness. Principle can’t be deprived of our principled actions. Nor can Mind be deprived of our expression of His intelligence; Life of our existence; Spirit of our inspiration; and Soul, of our beauty and harmony. It is not a statement about our inability to be deprived of divine influence and goodness but of God’s inseparability from the full expression of divinely inspired joy, goodness and vitality in us. And because God is infinite, this expression is ever renewing, forever unfolding.
Continuing our reading of the paragraph, we the see that we are not only the manifestation but also the object of divine Love. When we seem to be deprived of this viewpoint, it is only because we have closed our eyes to it. We read in Psalm 119: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me” (18, 19). The doctrine or law of Christian Science confirms the “wondrous things” we continually receive from God, and the good that is always known and visible to God. This beautiful petition admonishes us never to be comfortable in the earth (in matter), or in any self-imposed darkness. We remain forever the object of divine affection and care. Not only can we see this about ourselves but also about each other. In humility I ask myself the last time I looked deeply to see the “wondrous things of God” in a friend, a co-worker, a family member—or a stranger. It is all too tempting to see one another as susceptible, vulnerable, unloved or unloving. That is the exact time we need to assert our rights under the absolute law of God.
Recently I awoke in the middle of the night feeling ill. The pain was debilitating, and continued into the next day and evening. Instead of claiming my inseparability with God I allowed myself to accept a mortal condition as true. Instead of listening for the inspiration that would make plain what God knows about His reflection (which could never include illness), I listened to what the symptoms were suggesting to me. Making no progress, I finally turned to a practitioner of Christian Science for prayer support.
She said something that at first I didn’t fully grasp. She told me to surrender completely to God— like a jellyfish—and let myself be completely supported and cared for. Was I to be as helpless as a jellyfish? I quickly realized that my human will had to be replaced with a willingness to put everything into God’s hands. This included a current difficult business relationship as well as other personal responsibilities of concern to me. It was as though I was being held in God’s hand and within a relatively short time I was free of the suffering. Like Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, I could declare: “No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God good, is supreme” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 277).
In a preface to the doctrine of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy quotes Paul, “It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness. Understanding this, Paul said: "Neither death, nor life, . . . nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God”The marginal heading for the entire paragraph is “Man inseparable from Love.”
Such inseparability extends to every aspect of our lives and to the lives of those around us. This doctrine is the Christian Science practitioner’s basis for understanding the true source of man’s life. It provides the business person the confidence to stand on principled decisions; the parent to hold to their child’s original perfection, and the spouse to sanctify marriage in the beauty of holiness. It calls on all of us to start with what God knows, and to open our eyes and surrender completely to how God sees us.
We need only be the ever-faithful witness to what the one creator is manifesting, and let ourselves enjoy the benefits derived from being the object of His love.