I had the flu. As the day wore on I felt worse and worse. By bedtime I was too miserable to sleep and too weak to move. By the wee hours of the morning I still couldn't sleep and could barely think straight.
I reached out to God. There was one thing I knew. God loves us. He never makes us sick or causes us to suffer. Through the Bible He assures us: "I am the Lord who heals you" (Ex. 15:26, New Revised Standard Version).
This comforting thought reminded me of who God is: The Bible calls Him the Almighty, Good, Father, Spirit. It was also comforting to remember that our heavenly Father mothers us, Her little ones, Her "image" and "likeness."
I then remembered this statement by Mary Baker Eddy: "... God is good, and ... man is His likeness, the forever reflection of goodness" ("Rudimental Divine Science," p. 11). The forever reflection of goodness.
As I lay there praying with these thoughts - yearning to see myself as something more than a sick body, longing to understand something of myself as the "forever reflection of goodness" - I noticed the moon hanging in the sky, just outside the skylight window. It was a full, fat, mango-colored moon. Moonlight streamed onto the bed. I suddenly remembered that what we call moonlight isn't really moonlight at all. The moon has no light, no mango color, no brightness of its own. Moonlight is really sunshine reflected in the moon.
This made me think more deeply about myself - about all of us - as God's own image and likeness, as God's forever reflection. As I lay there looking at the sunshine reflected as that gorgeous moon, I thought about where my "light" comes from. A definition of "light" that means a lot to me is "vital spark," describing the sparkle we see in a loved one's eyes or in a friend's smile.
That night it occurred to me that my "light," my "vital spark," my vitality isn't in me, physically, any more than light is in the moon. Our light, our vitality has its source in God, who the Bible describes as life itself: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of all people" (John 1:4, NRSV).
All the wonderful, vital qualities that we associate with life - energy, strength, health, beauty, poise - are qualities of God, who is Life. As His image and likeness, we are the forever reflection of these qualities. We shine with His goodness and divine energy in all its forms. At that moment, it was absolutely clear to me that I could stop looking for the missing health and vitality in my body because it was in God. This realization brought me a deep sense of peace, a feeling of relief.
In no time at all I was comfortably asleep. When I awoke, I felt fine ... until I tried to get out of bed. Then the force of the symptoms overcame me, and I had to lie back down. But then I remembered the sunshine reflected in the mango-colored moon, and God's vitality forever reflected in us.
As I deeply considered this once again, a sense of peace and happiness returned. I felt well. I got up, made myself something to eat, and that was the end of the flu.
That can be the end of the flu for each of us. We all reflect God's glorious light, and shine by it day and night. "The Lord make His face to shine upon you ... and give you peace" (Num. 6:25, 26, NRSV).
This then is the message
which we have heard of him, and declare unto you,
that God is light,
and in him
is no darkness at all.
I John 1:5