SOMETIMES darkness seems very impressive to us. As if we were looking at a starry sky, we accept that our lives contain only pinpricks of light breaking through a daunting night of sickness, fear, vulnerability, monotony. Then even religious conviction may be more like a moon than a sun--providing only a bright place in the darkness, rather than lighting up everything around it.
I recall a dark time. I was feeling gloomy about my identity and my prospects. Nothing promising seemed to be visible on--or beyond--the horizon. But this dark time turned into a time for spiritual learning that has changed my life!
I discovered that there is more than just human hope available for us--there is spiritual promise. From the Bible I learned that God made man in His image and likeness, and that God is Spirit. I began to see that God is truly the creator of spiritual man--my genuine identity. As I prayed, I progressively glimpsed more of the fact that a material man--happy or unhappy!--is not the intention or outcome of God's creative plan.
It began to dawn on me that an individual's preciousness is his very being, not his having or doing. That is, what man truly is, as the individual spiritual idea of God, is what makes him valuable. At one point, as though to reinforce this new recognition of my identity, my mother said to me, "We love you for what you are! And as I have deepened that realization, my whole life has improved.
The New Testament writer St. John assures us that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. God's being is unblemished spiritual light that can know no darkness. And, in reality, man's being is the outcome of God's being. This is the nature of man that the Messiah, Christ Jesus, evidenced for us. By his healing works and inspired words, the Master pointed to the truth that man's individual identity is constantly and wholly derived directly from divine Life, from God.
In reality, then, man is vital, radiant, beautiful, just as our heavenly creator, divine Spirit, is, whom we each fully exemplify. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Man, in the likeness of his Maker, reflects the central light of being, the invisible God.
An uninspired belief of life as wholly or partially material would seem to veil this wonderful view of the true nature of each and every one of us. To the degree that we accept a mortal, material view of existence as the reality, darkness can seem intimidating.
But we can break through personal doubts as we prayerfully perceive and demonstrate even a little of the divine reality. Then the human heart gets more and more used to the solid light of spiritual awareness. We no longer perceive hope and faith as minuscule pinpricks of light in a universe of darkness. Rather, by letting our thought be spiritualized and our lives be Christianized, we gain irrefutable evidence of the true universe of divine light, God's creation. And though we may not be able to prove it
all at once, nevertheless it's true that within that real, spiritual universe of unlimited light even pinpricks of darkness do not actually have a place!
The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.