Even when our lives are OK, gloom and despair often seem to be lurking just around the corner. Sometimes even the smallest things can trigger depression. And when we are facing some life-changing crisis -- loss of a loved one, major changes in the family, the prospect of living alone -- we might wonder if we will ever be able to find light and comfort again.
During such times I've found that a change of thought does more to preserve light and joy in my life than a change in situation. How can this be, you might ask, when the depressing circumstances seem so overwhelming? First, this isn't just a superficial exchange of bad thoughts for good thoughts, dark thoughts for bright, happy ones. We must be willing to accept a new view of who we are in spiritual terms -- to deepen our understanding of God and His Christ. And I know that such a change can be made, even when I have cried out, ``Why me?'' or ``I don't want to change!''
The freedom that Christ gives is illustrated in the Bible's account of Jesus' encounter with the man ``who had his dwelling among the tombs'' and was ``always, night and day,'' in obvious despair. Christ Jesus con-fronted this man. And through the power of Christ, the man was healed, ``and in his right mind.''1
This healing Christ is with us today to cast out anguish that would make us feel vulnerable to darkness and gloom. We can feel the presence of this tender, healing compassion. God, who sent His Son to save us from sin, sickness, and loss, certainly doesn't intend that we should dwell in depression and despair. As Christ Jesus tells us, ``I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.''2
As we are willing to look to the light -- to open our heart to Christ -- healing warmth and comfort flood in. We begin to find that we are truly God's loved, spiritual child, made in His image, cared for by His love. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, tells us: ``Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs. Christ illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle, which gives man dominion over all the earth.''3
And isn't this the dominion we yearn for amid the difficulties that trouble us? Such dominion isn't subject to the darkness of limitation and debility. It is a spiritual dominion, available as we claim our sonship with God. As we understand more of the ``indestructible man'' that Christ Jesus embodied so fully, we find lasting peace. And through Christ we begin to see that God's children, the offspring of divine Spirit, have never truly dwelt apart from God, divine Love. We turn from earth to Spirit and gain a clearer understanding of our true being -- of man constantly provided for and protected by the Father.
I love the hymn that reaches out to Christ in these words: Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief; Fill me, radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief; More and more thyself display, Shining to the perfect day.4 Opening our hearts to God and His Christ brings peace and joy into our lives. This opening to a renewed life is for all of us.
1 See Mark 5:1-15.
2 John 12:46.
3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 316.
4 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 35.