No dust on your halo

How can we stay awake to our pure, spiritual identity when we are feeling tempted to identify ourselves or others as tainted with dusty, unproductive ways of thinking?

Maybe you have seen paintings in art galleries or churches of angels with halos over their heads. When a friend emailed, thanking me for my detailed work on a church project, I jokingly responded that I was feeling very angelic and that I’d “dusted off my halo” that day. Her sweet reply was, “There’s no dust on your halo.” I smiled, but I also felt prompted to give this some deeper prayerful consideration. 

I’ve found in my study and practice of Christian Science that it’s important to strive to always identify myself correctly as spiritual and good. It’s easy to think that sometimes we’re “angelic”—perhaps having clear, spiritual insights or being kind to others—but that other times we don’t feel or act very spiritually minded or angelic at all. Then our “halo” feels a bit dusty! But identifying ourselves as dual-minded beings swinging between good and “not so good,” immortality and mortality, doesn’t get us very far.

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

  • Podcasts & article audio

  • Mary Baker Eddy bios & audio


The first chapter of Genesis in the Bible clearly explains that we are created in God’s image and likeness (see verses 26, 27). Logically then, the best way to start learning more about our true, spiritual nature is to learn more about God, who is divine Love. The Bible’s overall message is that God is one, is All, and that God is good. The book of Isaiah includes this revelation from God: “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” (45:5). And Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by the inspired spiritual writer Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, says this: “God is one. The allness of Deity is His oneness” (p. 267)

A parable Jesus told gives guidance about how to overcome any feeling that we are lacking in spiritual clarity.

Since we’re created in God’s image, each of us reflects this oneness of our Maker, divine Spirit, as a spiritually pure, wholly good idea. God’s perfect, immortal image can never become a mortal with separate, often contradictory, thoughts and actions. Nothing, then, can ever mar our spiritual, immortal status, because it is imparted by pure Spirit. 

So, how can we make this practical in our daily living? How can we stay awake to our pure, spiritual identity when we are feeling tempted to identify ourselves or others as tainted with dusty, unproductive ways of thinking?

One definition of dust includes “fine . . . powder consisting of tiny particles” ( This reminds me of how seemingly insignificant negative thoughts sometimes creep into consciousness, tempting us to believe that we’re not the pure, untainted image of God, but a struggling, sullied mortal instead. If we’re not alert, those “tiny particles,” or negative thoughts, may seem invisible. They slyly suggest, “I’m too busy to pray now; I’ll do it later,” or “I don’t like that person’s appearance,” or “I’m so discouraged or frustrated about . . . (fill in the blank).” If we let these types of thoughts settle in, they can linger and gradually build up into a lack of conviction about our true spiritual status or that of others.

There’s a parable that Jesus told that gives guidance about how to overcome any feeling that we’re lacking in spiritual clarity. A woman looking for a lost coin lights a candle and then sweeps the house until she finds it (see Luke 15:8–10). This indicates to me that we can start to cleanse our consciousness by sweeping the dust away. The point about the woman lighting a candle is helpful, too. Rather than trying to improve our thinking on our own, we can trust the light of Truth, God, to fully illuminate our consciousness with the reality of our spiritual being. This will reveal what we need to know and see at each moment and what we need to let go.

We can trust the light of Truth, God, to reveal what we need to know and what we need to let go.

Some years ago, a work colleague became unkind and uncooperative with others. I seemed to be a particular target and found it increasingly unpleasant to work with this person. Even though I was praying, day by day, I let dusty thoughts start to settle—“Oh, it’s that person’s problem, not mine.” “There they go again!” “Why won’t they just behave more professionally?” 

One day, after a particularly unhelpful encounter, I sincerely asked God in prayer what I needed to know about this situation. The answer quickly came, “That’s my child you’re talking about!” That wiped the dust off my thinking! My approach changed as I endeavored to see my coworker each day as the loved and loving child of God. Some weeks later, another colleague commented on the complete change in this person, who was once again kind and helpful and remained a valuable member of the team from then on.

We don’t need to let the dust settle. I’ve found that daily prayer for myself is a really effective way to keep wiping clean my thinking, dislodging and sweeping away unproductive thoughts and misperceptions that otherwise may build up. Affirming my oneness with my Maker, God, as Jesus taught, enables me to witness better to the clarity and pure brilliance of God’s ideas throughout my day. Science and Health explains this spiritual approach: “To divest thought of false trusts and material evidences in order that the spiritual facts of being may appear,—this is the great attainment by means of which we shall sweep away the false and give place to the true” (p. 428).

Another point that speaks to this is that dust doesn’t gather much on something that is frequently used. Harmful thoughts are much less likely to settle unnoticed when we are consistently bringing our consciousness into accord with what God is knowing. 

As we endeavor to see and actively live spiritual facts ever more fully in our experience, we’ll increasingly recognize that we don’t have dust on our halos. We will see more of the shining reality of our and others’ pure, spiritual status, forever untarnished.

Image and Inspiration
Image and Inspiration
March 8, 2021

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.