Letting in the light

HAVE you ever put a plant on a windowsill and watched the tight little buds uncurl and open up as they turned to the light? Tight, inhibited, self-centered thought behaves like this too when it's exposed to the light of spiritual understanding. Then our experience is changed and enlivened. Sunlight may come only intermittently, but the spiritual illumination that opens thought is always available because it comes from the one omnipresent divine Mind, or God. Coming to recognize man as the expression of divine Mind and not a limited material thinker helps to improve everything we're conscious of--our work, our relationships, and our health as well. Spiritual understanding that comes from God shines through in foresight and wisdom, in harmony and strength.

A book called A Century of Christian Science Healing records some of the outstanding healings accomplished through spiritual means during the first one hundred years of Christian Science, and it explains: ``To a Christian Scientist the real importance of a healing is the light it lets through. The change in physical condition or personal circumstance is only the outward and visible evidence of an inward and spiritual grace--a hint of a perceived spiritual fact. In looking back on a healing, the Christian Scientist is likely to think, not `That was the time I was healed of pneumonia,' but `That was the time I learned what real humility is,' or `That was the time I saw so clearly that all power belongs to God.'''1

Looking back on a healing of my own that took place a number of years ago, I can say, ``That was the time I realized the power of Mind to open thought to spiritual good.'' For some time I suffered recurring attacks of asthma. I was able to overcome these episodes through understanding something of what Christian Science teaches about the divine Mind's control of man, but I didn't seem able to stop them altogether. And as they usually came on when I was under pressure, I became anxious about accepting commitments, and this compounded the problem.

Then I began to see that it was really my thinking that was restricted, not my breathing. I remembered that several other members of my family had suffered similarly at different times, so I began to open my thought to accept more of the freedom and poise of my true spiritual being as God's likeness. I saw too that we were all, in truth, governed by divine Mind and not by the shared limitations of our human background. This brought a great sense of release, and from then on the attacks gradually became less frequent until they stopped altogether.

The Apostle Paul had his own experience of exposure to spiritual light when he was on his way to Damascus to persecute the followers of Christ Jesus. After his conversion to Christianity he wrote to the Corinthians: ``We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.'' And further, ``God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.''2

Paul healed others of physical troubles, following Jesus' example. He also devoted much of his time to healing misunderstandings, dissension, and general darkness of thought induced by ignorance, fear, and resistance to Christ Jesus' teachings. He relied on the same light that he himself had experienced to shine for everyone else. And this spiritual light is still everywhere, ready to open thought and lead it out of its self-imposed limitations and conflicts--out of its narrow, worldly conception of man and his potential--to new solutions and greater unity.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, referring to God: ``Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud.''3 Letting this light do its work of opening thought, of spiritualizing and purifying it, brings healing and fulfillment.

1A Century of Christian Science Healing (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1966), p. 237. 2II Corinthians 3:18; 4:6. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 518. DAILY BIBLE VERSE God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light . . . O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good. Psalms 118:27,29

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