“Ever beautiful and complete”

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John Kohler is a Christian Science practitioner, new to CLC this summer. He had been thinking about the summer metaphysical theme this past week. Here’s his share.

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Recently, when I read this passage from Science and Health,  “Man is God’s reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete.”(SH 527), I was reminded of a train of thought that came to me the first time I was going to work at a camp for Christian Science youth. You see I wasn’t brought up as a Christian Scientist and had never gone to one of these camps so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But I did grow up going to Sunday School, and had come into and made Christian Science my own years ago. This particular summer I was going to be working as the camp’s practitioner, and I had never done that before either.

So as I was driving there I was thinking about what my job might entail, and what makes these  camps so unique. And started to realize that the answer to both these questions was the same. It was all about seeing God’s goodness in everyone!  That’s when I realized this was a rather radical perspective. I recalled of being told a lot to “behave” as a kid, or “would you just be good.” But at these camps, it was all about making sure the kids, counselors, and all, knew that they were good right from the start! That they were nothing but good, all the time, through and through.That’s where the quote of Mrs Eddy’s comes in. It starts out with perfection, declaring that man is created in the image and likeness of God. There’s no imperfections in Life, Truth, and Love, and just like a mirror, we can only reflect what is in front of it. At camp we are simply reminded God is always right there in front of us. Therefore we need no cultivation. We don’t need to go out looking for happiness, health, harmony, those things are already ours! Say, like the first time you try the zip line or go water skiing, or even roll a kayak, it may seem scary at first, but then you realize God is right there with you, that you are surrounded by God’s love expressed by all those helping and caring and instructing you. Suddenly you realize the courage it takes, as well as the skill and the strength are right there. That you already have them. That’s when  you discover joy is right there with you too. And just like that mirror we simply reflect them. We might have to work at it a little to see the whole picture, or to get that full roll without help, but we simply are uncovering the possibilities of our being, it is who we are! Now that last phrase, “ever beautiful and complete”. At camp we are all there to rejoice in these wonderful qualities, to celebrate the uniqueness of each one of us. At camp we realize we are already perfectly formed children of God. We aren’t trying to add to an already complete idea, but simply love that idea so much that it grows more and more into full bloom.I realized early on, I had to start from that perspective of perfection. That’s what Jesus did. Mrs. Eddy said, “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.” (SH 477) I realized I wasn’t going to see each camper/counselor going out whole if I wasn’t seeing them coming into camp whole!What a great month it was for me at camp! I loved it so much I thought “hey why not take that perspective with you year round!”  I love just reveling in the goodness of God’s grace. To witness the beauty and strength, courage, joy, and health in everyone, knowing we each are complete, reflecting all of Love’s majesty.John Kohler, CS

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John outside his home in Brattleboro, Vermont.

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