Letting in the Light

LIGHT is an amazingly powerful thing. I realized this fact vividly one night when I was staying in a hotel room. I thought that when I turned out the lights it would be utterly dark in my room. To my surprise it wasn't. In fact, there was a great deal of light in the room. As I leaned over the edge of my bed and looked toward the door, I saw there was a crack under the door. It was letting in light from the corridor.

The large effect of such a small amount of light reminded me of a statement that Christ Jesus made in Matthew. He said to his followers: ''If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you'' (17:20). Even a small amount of faith or spiritual understanding and conviction accomplishes a great deal!

Since that night in the hotel, I have continued to ponder the power of spiritual understanding. Although the situation we are in may feel intensely dark, fear-inducing, confusing, oppressive, evil, and unsolvable, yet we can take heart in the assurance that any effort to turn to God is like finding a crack under the door. The spiritual light entering our thought allows us to see that God is always with us, for we are His children, His spiritual ideas. We can no more be separated from God, the source of spiritual understanding, than a sunbeam can be separated from the sun.

We all have had moments when we felt we were floundering in darkness, cut off from God, from good, from peace. What causes these moments? It is never a lack of God's care for us, but might be likened to a willful child who insists on closing his eyes and then complains that he can't see. Instead of shutting out spiritual understanding by believing that mortal thoughts, opinions, fears, and so forth have anything to do with us, we can begin to open our eyes by yielding to God. This at once, even if in the most incremental ways, lets light into our thoughts.

We hear God, and thereby receive spiritual light or understanding, through what the prophet Elijah perceived as ''a still small voice.'' Materiality would keep our thoughts imprisoned in the very mental darkness from which we need to escape. But the still small voice surely and safely frees us from this bondage. Listening for God's voice is not always easy, but every littlest bit of spiritual light that inspires us in prayer helps us hear Him. Such thoughts are like kindling to a bonfire. As we tend each small bit of flame in consciousness, we'll see the glimpses of inspiration mounting into the substantial realization of our God-derived harmony and perfection, until the light fills our consciousness.

These ideas helped me to find healing light when I faced a difficult situation in my life. One of our children, from early childhood, seemed to struggle with self-destructive and depressive thoughts. This concerned me a great deal. I prayed steadily, and held on to every glimpse I was getting of myself and this child as God's spiritual idea, safe and joyous in His care. At one point I was helped greatly by a statement the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, makes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She says there: ''The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each successive stage of progress'' (p. 506). I reasoned that I needed to allow spiritual apprehension, or knowing from God, to fill my consciousness. This would allow me to be at peace and to witness to the ''dawn of ideas . . . forming each successive stage of progress'' for this precious child.

Not long ago one of her high school teachers remarked on her exuberant and joyous disposition and said what a pleasure she was to have in class. I could see that this was indeed true. The light of Truth had guided us through the years of relative mental darkness until we were able to see the light dawn more fully to reveal the eternal freedom of this child.

The spiritual light God gives us is infinite. And whenever we feel in the dark, we can remember that any amount of light we perceive is more powerful than all the darkness on earth. This fact can rout fear, discouragement, and doubt and lead us to see more light.

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