Da Vinci had a hand in my stand for truth

I sat in the National Gallery in London gazing with appreciation at Madonna and child with Saint Anne and Infant St. John the Baptist. The promise of joy and love that the baby Jesus brought to the world is so beautifully evident in this sketch by Leonardo da Vinci.

Then a curator came by with a study group, and I overhead him mention that years earlier, someone had shot this sketch with a gun. The picture had been almost fully restored, however. And as I sat there, it was clear and comforting to me that whatever the motivation behind such an act of vandalism, nothing could actually harm what Jesus represented—the Christ-idea of "God with us." From the attempts of Herod to kill the infant Jesus, to those of Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate to betray and crucify the Saviour, nothing could stop Jesus' mission to bring healing and salvation to the world.

Science and Health elucidates the permanent, incorruptible, and eternal nature of the Christ, something that even da Vinci's sketch only hints at. The Glossary of that book contains a description of Christ as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (p. 583). Practically speaking, a growing understanding of the Christ-message works in us to bring peace, comfort, healing, to all areas of daily living. At one point, I had an opportunity to prove an element of this healing presence in my own experience as an elementary school teacher.

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March 5, 2007

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