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Look Up!
NORAH L. M. FOSTER

 
         A soldier in the great war was one day sitting at noon in his tent in the desert. The heat was intense, and the burning sand lay shimmering under the scorching rays of the Egyptian sun. Innumerable other tents were there, too, but not a sound broke the hot stillness. The soldier was weary and heavy-laden, alone in the wilderness of despair. He had, he told himself rather bitterly, done his best: he had not a great knowledge of Christian Science, but such as he had, he had faithfully applied to his problem; and yet failure seemed the outcome of all his striving and wrestling. He bowed his head on his hands and felt as if he must give up the struggle. Suddenly he looked up and out across the sand, whence a small piece of paper came blowing towards him. A little puff of hot wind caught it up and whirled it through the tent door to his feet! He picked it up and examined it curiously. It was a shabby little page from Hebrews, torn out of a small Bible. One verse, which was heavily underlined, read: "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." A message of hope and comfort had come to him straight out of the unknown! He folded the paper reverently and went on his way rejoicing.

         Long ago, another sat in his tent door in the heat of the day in the plains of Mamre. Perhaps Abraham, too, was feeling discouraged and sad. Perhaps, after all, the promises made to him by God were too good to be true! It is stated that "he lift up his eyes;" and we recall how he saw the three messengers from God, and what a wonderful message of hope and fulfillment they brought to him. Had he kept his eyes downcast, his thought fixed on false beliefs and false laws, he would never have seen these angels, never have attained to the proof of the truth which Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, thus declares in the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pp. 380, 381): "Every law of matter or the body, supposed to govern man, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God."

         When Joshua, having safely accomplished the crossing of Jordan and led the children of Israel as far as Jericho, saw the massive walls of what seemed an impregnable fortress looming up before him, might not he have felt depressed and hopeless about ever entering such a city as this seemed to be? But "he lift up his eyes;" and what did he see? No less a power than the "captain of the host of the Lord" come to help him!

         David was once mesmerized by the false belief that strength lay in numbers, and in consequence of his sin great punishment fell on his people. It was not until he lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord, that he recognized the unreality of his error and was enabled to make atonement by realizing that God is our help at all times.

         Nebuchadnezzar, too, was obsessed by a false sense of pride and possession; but "at the end of the days" he lifted up his eyes and "understanding returned" to him, the understanding of God's omnipotence and of the nothingness of matter.

         Mrs. Eddy tells us in the Glossary to Science and Health (p. 586) that "eyes" mean "spiritual discernment, — not material but mental." In the light of this definition we can more easily understand the Biblical expression, "Lift up your eyes, and look." Jesus said to his disciples, "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." May not his words be interpreted, Use your spiritual discernment and perceive the omnipresence of good, and how a hungry, waiting world needs laborers to gather in the harvest for the Lord of the harvest?

         When we look away from all material manifestations, lifting our thoughts to see ourselves and others as in reality spiritual ideas of God, the mists and shadows of matter disappear. As we lift up our eyes, we discern the spiritual substance of true being; we see health instead of the dream of sickness; joy instead of the dream of sorrow; abundance instead of poverty; holiness instead of impurity; good everywhere instead of the illusion of evil. As we lift our understanding yet higher and higher, sickness, sin, sorrow, pain, suffering, and lack vanish before Truth spiritually discerned, and healing results. But to be able continually to lift up our eyes, we must purify our thinking, live nearer to divine Love, follow humbly in the footsteps of our great Way-shower, and endeavor perpetually to have that Mind in us "which was also in Christ Jesus;" to think as he thought; to act as he acted; to live as he lived; and to triumph as he triumphed.

         Glancing back along life's highway, cannot we all remember dark and stormy places, rough, steep, difficult, where upon looking up we discerned the presence of an angel, an intuition sent to us by our loving Father, ready to cheer and strengthen us and to aid our halting footsteps? These "angels of His presence — the spiritual intuitions that tell us when 'the night is far spent, the day is at hand' — are our guardians in the gloom," our Leader tells us (Science and Health, p. 174); but we need to look up to see them. We are too prone to fasten our gaze on matter, often too busy laboriously picking our way amid the rubble of material beliefs to see and rejoice in the ever present spiritual glories. Often we do not hear the glad voices of the angels, cheering, consoling us, so filled are our ears with the clang of material sense.

         Let us then look up all the way! Let us strive to perceive all the radiance of the glorious spiritual creation everywhere. Let us try to discern in our brothers and sisters the qualities which reflect the Father, and so see them as they in reality are, the children of God. Let us endeavor to see them as God sees them. In this way, as Isaiah declares, "Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off."

 

"Look Up!" by Norah L. M. Foster
Christian Science Sentinel, November 2, 1929


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