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From the April 18, 2005 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

"As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: 'For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.'"

—Mary Baker Eddy Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 361

Tending his father-in-law's sheep must have been a quiet life, but maybe a welcome change from all the upheaval in Egypt. It was at least a secure way to spend the rest of his days. Or so he thought.

Of course, once Moses had investigated that burning bush, things would never be the same for him. In a flash he was yanked from his comfort zone into what seemed a very shaky place.

At first, Moses balked at God's demand to lead the Hebrew people out of captivity into "the Promised Land." Who was he to do such a thing? But the Lord assured him, "Certainly I will be with thee" (Ex. 3:12). Moses consented, and in doing so, entered into an extraordinary partnership with his Maker. The Bible explains that during the Exodus, "The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend" (Ex. 33:11).

That marvel of intimate friendship resulted in nothing less than the liberation of the Israelites—and Moses himself. And as he left behind self-imposed isolation, the patriarch's latent talents as communicator, leader, and lawgiver emerged.

That divine promise, "Certainly I will be with thee," also held true for other Old Testament luminaries. The prophets Elijah and Elisha, for example, closely companioned with God and tapped newfound abilities as they proved the power of Deity, overcoming such challenges as starvation, drought, fatal illness, and poisoned food.

Capping all of these remarkable relationships with the Divine, of course, was the sublime union between Jesus and his heavenly Parent. When he declared, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), Jesus was identifying the source of authority for his healing, saving works. Jesus' proof of unity with God fills many a Bible reader with awe.

A devoted 19th-century follower of Christ discovered that this saving oneness with God was not exclusive to Jesus, but extends to all of God's children. As Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:" 'I and my Father are one,'—that is, one in quality, not in quantity. As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being" (p. 361).

"Me, one with God?" you may be asking at this point. "Moses, the prophets, and Jesus, yes. But how can an ordinary, flawed person be at one with the Almighty?"

A young friend of mine had no such concerns. Not long ago I asked my Sunday School students to learn the Lord's Prayer, and the following week one of the four-year-olds recited, "Our Father, which art in heaven; hallowed be my name." She may have been off the mark literally, but not in truth.

If our divine source is holy, surely we're holy, too—because we're "one in quality" with God—spiritual not by choice or inclination, but because our Maker is divine Spirit. So we have every right to treat with reverence our name—our sacred nature. Not to talk it down in self-depreciation, nor up in egotism, but to value and love our identity just as it is, perfect and spiritual in every dimension.

That may seem a tall order if we're feeling far from holy at the moment. Yet the Bible states that every man and woman is made in the Creator's image, in His likeness (see Gen. 1:26,27). And a reflection is always faithful to its original. At times we may need to revisit or rediscover the God we reflect. Think about it: If a smudge on the mirror makes it look as if you have a mark on your face, it doesn't help to scold the image or shrug your shoulders in defeat. But clean the mirror, and the reflection is just what you expect to see.

Likewise, if we're unhappy with, say, a tendency to be critical, it's not going to help if we beat ourselves up about it. But it will help to wipe away any misconceptions that might hide or distort one's spiritual originality. I've found that as I gain a fuller grasp of God as unconditional divine Love, I see more clearly that it's in everyone's nature to reflect Him in kindness and respect. Because God is all-wise, so we must be naturally wise. As He is patient, pure, full of health, so are we. By following that line of thought in our daily prayers, we begin to feel deserving of that divine partnership, that oneness.

At one time I was pulled off my regular job to join a team of employees preparing for a special event. At first, I welcomed this change of activity. But not long into it, I longed for my old position. In this new venue, I was surrounded by colleagues who seemed to be powerhouses of smarts and confidence. In comparison to them, I felt out of my depth, a fact I was sure couldn't have been more obvious than if I'd hung a "failure" sign around my neck. I was so afraid of making mistakes that I dreaded going to work, and returned home every night feeling a mixture of relief and remorse.

One morning I mentally pleaded with God for some sign that it really was right to be in this position. At once came an almost-audible reply with an authority not my own: "I need you." Tears sprang to my eyes. I thrilled at the thought that God needed me! Not only that, He needed me! I realized that I possessed, by reflection, a special blend of qualities just right for that assignment—and God was their source. In fact, no one was any more right for the job than I.

A feeling of calm washed over me, followed by a now-unburied self-respect. I felt a tangible closeness to God, an intimacy that I recognized from having reached out to Him in other tough times.

I may not have returned to the office with immediate, super-competence. But gone were the fear and burden of inferiority. Present was the joy of my importance as a unique expression of my Maker. Also present was a feeling of unity with my fellow workers, who I now knew to be companioning in their unique ways with our Father-Mother.

My work performance improved. And when preparations were completed and event time arrived, my role shifted into one in which I was extremely well suited. In fact, I remember glowing in the work—feeling I was shining forth from God as a ray beams out from the sun.

Oneness with God means being inseparable from His goodness, which includes His guidance, provision for every need, health, peace, love.

The Apostle Paul wrote to his fellow Roman citizens: "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God" (Rom. 8:38, 39). It's well worth being persuaded that nothing can come between us and God. Oneness with Him means being inseparable from His goodness, which includes His guidance, provision for every need, health, peace, love. What is God's, God freely gives, because God is Love, and we're the object of God's affection.

Best of all, being one with divine good means we are good, we are worthy, we are glorious. And if this is true for us, it's true for every one of God's children, no matter what their situation. That's a message everyone would like to hear. ♦

Bev Peake is a Christian Science practitioner. She lives in Coral Gables, Florida.

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