A Puzzle Picture

IN one of the Chicago evening papers there appears quite frequently what is called a puzzle picture. In a maze of intricate lines, oftentimes depicting a tree and shrubs, there is concealed somewhere the face of a man or a woman, or perhaps an entire figure. Only by holding the picture at a certain angle and searching diligently can the object be discerned among the twisted lines of the drawing.

Looking at one of these pictures, I was led to think how much they are like many of our own problems. In seeing our fellow men about us, how often the real man seems marred if not hidden by a myriad of lines. Selfishness, pride, hypocrisy, rudeness, dishonesty, injustice, self-righteousness, self-pity, — all these tend to obscure the manifestation of the real man, the true man, made in God's image and likeness; and it is the work of the genuine Christian Scientist to look beyond these obscuring phases of materiality, just as we look beyond the obscuring lines in the puzzle picture, and seek for the true concept. We do not need to examine each false feature to see what it represents ; it is enough to know that it is no part of the real man, and as such is entitled to no place in our consciousness.

On page 476 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says that "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals." It was with this in mind that I neared home one day, a few years ago, and saw some one sweeping the front steps. This man was taking the place of the regular janitor for a short time, and according to material sense was shiftless and sullen. A courteous request a few days before, that he attend to some work which he had neglected for several days, had only brought out an obstinate refusal. As I approached the building, however, I held steadfastly to the perfect concept of man, declaring that I would see this man only as God sees His own idea, expressing courtesy, justice, and kindness, and governed by Principle. In other words, I was trying to look through the maze of materiality to behold the real man. As I turned in at the walk the man looked up from his work, smiled, touched his hat, and stepping forward opened the door for me to enter the building.

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July 10, 1915

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