"We shall see him as he is"

Students of Christian Science early learn the truth of their beloved Leader's declaration in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 225), "Love is the liberator;" but it often becomes necessary to seek a deeper understanding of the inspiring statement of John, "God is love." Recently a student gained a clearer understanding of Love from the study of the parable of the prodigal son. At all times the first part of the parable had been appreciated: the decision to leave the father's house; the journey into the "far country;" the spending of his all in the mazes of materiality and sin, followed by famine; the coming to himself; the arising and going to the father; the love which saw him while "yet a great way off" and ran to meet him,—often these had blessed and comforted. Many times the younger son's awakening had called this student to arise and go to the Father; and always had those returning footsteps found the same loving welcome.

A closer study of the father's dealing with the elder son, however, has revealed still more of the true relationship between God and His child. The wonderful words, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine," were addressed to one who at the time was allowing himself to be the victim of anger, jealousy, and self-righteousness, three of the ugliest phases of human belief. Nevertheless, the father replied with that tender word "son," instantly recognizing the only true relationship, untouched by what seemed to be expressed. "Thou art ever with me,"—the real, faithful, loving self was always with the Father, always in His presence, never separated or divided from Him, but ever abiding in His love. "All that I have is thine,"—all the intelligence, all the wisdom, all the joy. This declaration unfolds the fact of spiritual being and the impossibility of anything else; indeed, a full statement of the relation of God and man is here. It is a profound declaration of Truth.

This parable further portrays the impartiality of the Father's love. The younger son, deliberately choosing to leave his father's house to experiment with the beliefs of sinful sense, might be adversely judged by the worldly onlooker; while the other, remaining at home and serving his father, might be kept clear of censure. Both of these phases, however, are but different beliefs, unknown to the father, to whom each was ever and always "son." How secure and safe we feel, how happy in such a sense of the Father's love! How it dries the tear with the tender assurance that only the real is true, until a song sings in our erstwhile heavy heart, and in humble gratitude we say in the beautiful words of Mrs. Eddy, to be found on page 13 of her Poems:—

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God is Reflected in Good
November 15, 1924

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