Wiping the slate clean

THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA beach near my hotel was deserted that early weekday morning. I had a short time before the day's appointments to drink in the Pacific beauty and press my feet into the wet sand as I walked the surf's edge. Fifteen minutes later, when I turned to go back, my footprints had already vanished. It was the message I needed that day.

In my work as a practitioner of Christian Science healing, I regularly pray with people who struggle with imprints of bad memories and guilt. Often they fear they will never lose them. I'd been invited to talk later that day with women at an alcohol and drug recovery center on the subject of finding forgiveness and a new start. Some of them had been in and out of jail several times for crimes related to long-standing habits. That unmarked beach was a renewed promise to me that we ourselves are not the power that sweeps away unwanted thought-patterns from consciousness. A higher power—the infinite power of God, who is good—acts on us. All we need to do is keep walking close to the ocean, so to speak, close to the truth that no form of suffering can resist the healing action of God's love.

'Beauty for ashes of the vanished years'
July 18, 2005

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