As for all of you, this question can be answered in numerous ways. For me, I could say, “I am a man, a human being, a husband, dad, son, brother, a thinker, a sports fan, an environmentalist, a CEO, a follower of Christ, a student of Christian Science.”
In The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded a worldwide church, wrote, “…may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing” (p. 165).
I’ve been thinking a lot about this during the past year filled with various challenges and heartbreaks. I’ve asked myself have I consistently and daily imparted truth, health and happiness? Sadly, no. Can I do better? Of course. Will I? Yes.
I believe this impartation is essential to my work at Wide Horizon – the only Christian Science nursing organization and religious nonmedical healthcare facility in Colorado. I know it’s imperative to do my work well that I impart these truths.
In 1970, The Christian Science Publishing Society, published a booklet titled, “Who am I?” In it are a number of articles and poems under headings such as, “Why am I here,” “Where am I going,” “Which way do I go,” “Can I change the world,” and “Who is my brother?” A few of these were written by teachers of Christian Science. One poem, “Face to Face,” by Godfrey John, includes:
“Under the same lens of Love there is no black nor white about the perfect man.
… you won’t see human races but the living sons of God, our Father.
… Our hearts beat the same rhythm, then.
In Love’s bright kingdom there is only one Race.
… ‘I know that voice, I know these words.
Here is light breaking through.
Let brother meet a brother face to face!’”
For me, this poem imparts truth, health or harmony, and happiness because it focuses on healing and seeing through the lens of Spirit, God. It focuses on seeing the true man of God’s making. The “light” is the eternal Christ within each of God’s ideas or children.
As you know there is a mountain of so-called self-help books, mostly written within the past several decades, but most don’t look at people as “living sons [children] of God.” Most look at people’s problems and personalities as so real that it’s challenging at best to solve and help them, much less to heal them. Most don’t look to God, divine Love, first and foremost. Yet a book written in 1875 does center on God, Love as our heavenly Father-Mother, and reveals generic man as Spirit’s image and likeness, as described in The Book of Genesis, chapter 1. This book is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
Like most of you, as a youth and young adult, I had many teachers. Some of these were Sunday School teachers, including my beloved mom. And, my Christian Science teacher was a lifelong Sunday School teacher too. One teacher who made a tremendous impact on my life was Glen C. Livezey, C.S. I recently reread two remarkable Christian Science lectures he gave years ago in a book titled The Spiritual Pathway to Freedom. They are “Let Your Basis be Love,” and “Who do You Think You Are?” (Mountaintop Publishing, 2013) The latter lecture includes:
“… reject anything that would obstruct our view of the completeness of God, good, and of man, His perfect expression. …We hear a lot these days about establishing priorities. The priority of knowing life spiritually, of turning to God as the spiritual reality of all being – of seeing a whole new view of man and the universe as Divinity unfolding itself, of seeing from the spiritual heights – shouldn’t this be our first priority? This will give us the courage and strength to wrestle with and overcome the old false sense of self whenever it tries to attach itself to us…Why not practice establishing your priority? … Be grateful for your right to be your Christly self and refuse to be anything else. … And as we establish our priority of putting God first, of identifying in divine Love, we see the purity of Love expressed in our lives” (p. 136-137).
Isn’t this a remarkable first priority? Doesn’t this help in wrestling with a false sense of self? Do you see how important gratitude is to progress and healing?
Apostle Paul wrote, “It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ – if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:16-17, NRSV)
So, what am I? Spirit’s image and likeness. What is my reason for existing? To impart truth, health, and happiness. Who am I? God’s child. Am I complete? Yes, as Love’s, Mind’s idea. What is my priority? To love God and my neighbor as God’s beloved idea. Can I see a whole new view of man? Yes, and be glorified with Christ! Can I see the purity of Love? Yes!
And you can too!
D. Brian Boettiger