To be “a better transparency for Truth”

One day an urgent call for healing came to the home of Mary Baker Eddy. Mrs. Eddy asked one of her helpers, Emma A. Estes, to go to the man and pray and heal him. Emma’s initial hesitancy dissolved when Mrs. Eddy told her, “You have only to be a transparency for Truth” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Vol. II, p. 103). Emma obeyed, went to the man and prayed, and the man was healed.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy explains this concept of transparency in these words: “The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality—much error—in order to become a better transparency for Truth” (p. 295).

Students: Get
JSH-Online for
  • Every recent & archive issue

  • Podcasts & article audio

  • Mary Baker Eddy bios & audio


How do we lose materiality in order to become this transparency? Similar to washing a window so that we can see through it better, we need to “wash” our thinking. Whatever muddies it up—states of thought such as envy, hate, fascination with the body, selfishness, fear, doubt—needs to be faced and overcome. A spiritualization of thought needs to take place. How do we do this? By replacing each material emotion or trait with a spiritual quality. 

For instance, reflecting God’s love enables us to overcome hate, bigotry, and envy. Realizing our own and others’ spiritual individuality frees us not only from selfishness but also from either being fascinated by bodily pleasure or feeling victimized by pain. And as we understand God as our very Life, trust in God replaces doubt and fear. In other words, we wash away the dirt of materiality with spiritual understanding gained through prayer and study of the Bible and Science and Health. 

These books teach that man is not material but the image of God, divine Spirit—spiritual, loved, loving, strong, and pure. The knowledge gained from studying these books enables us to relinquish a material view of ourselves and others with its sin and sickness and obtain the true view of everyone as the spiritual expression of God.

Peter persevered, triumphed in the purification of his thinking, and became a successful healer.

Yielding to this truth, and thus purifying our thinking, may not be easy. But as we do it, we will experience more of the comforting, redeeming, energizing, and strengthening influence of Christ, the healing power of God so beautifully lived by Jesus. In regard to this purification, Mrs. Eddy comments, “It brings with it wonderful foresight, wisdom, and power; it unselfs the mortal purpose, gives steadiness to resolve, and success to endeavor” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 204). It enables us to be better healers.

Doing this spiritual cleansing is following Jesus’ teaching “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Even though complete purification doesn’t come all at once, striving to keep thought centered on God and our true identity as His child is the Christianly scientific way. Our persistent resolve to do this will bring more consistent results. It will become easier to turn away from anger, fear, and preoccupation with matter and stand with God as a representative of His healing love.

We are not alone in this endeavor. Jesus taught, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). We are never separated from the redeeming activity of the Christ. It is continually with us, always powerful enough to break through any material thinking and make us better transparencies for Truth.

The Bible provides a beautiful illustration of how this purification of thought heals. Jesus’ disciple Peter had many challenges in his efforts to follow Jesus. But he continued on, sometimes weak, sometimes strong, in his faithfulness. He persevered, progressed in the purification of his thinking, and became a successful healer. The book of Acts tells us that “they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. . . . And they were healed every one” (Acts 5:15, 16).

Readers of this magazine may be acquainted with the hesitancy Emma Estes felt—wondering if they are good enough to bring healing into their own and others’ lives. But our lives can also be a transparency through which God’s love and truth can be seen and felt. Like Emma, we can step aside from our doubts and become a “better transparency for Truth” and a better healer! 

Thomas Mitchinson, Guest Editorial Writer

“My best, my ever Friend”
March 27, 2023

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.