The other night I found myself enveloped in darkness. All the lights had gone out. As I looked out the window, I realized that the entire street was pitch-black. I was upstairs in our home and carefully made my way down the winding stairway - holding onto the railing tightly - until I finally found a flashlight. In its dim light I located candles and matches. Soon, the entire first floor was filled with a soft, glowing light that guided me as I prepared to get dressed to go out that evening. And, sure enough, just as I was almost completely ready to leave the house, the electricity came on.
This reminded me of a spiritual healing I had several years ago when I felt engulfed by darkness every day - unable and unwilling even to grope for a dim light.
For a period of about three months, I would awake every morning, dreading the day ahead. I had just begun a new job, too, and enjoyed the work. But I felt a powerful pull to stay in bed and just sleep. I didn't want to get up, get dressed, or step out of the house. For about a week, I slept through most of every day.
The lack of enthusiasm or willingness to get on with the day really bothered me. I had always been an upbeat, happy person, and loved being with others. But this darkness was overwhelming. I couldn't see where to look for the light.
In church one Sunday we sang this hymn:
Arise, arise and shine,
On thee hath dawned the day;
God is thy sun, and Christ thy light,
Be thou a steadfast ray.
Christian Science Hymnal, No. 14
The following morning, as I awoke, the words of this hymn came to mind. As I thought of each word and idea, I felt comforted. Though I did not spring up from bed at this point, I knew that these ideas about God were going to be the "candles" that would light my way to finding that pure sense of happiness I wanted to reclaim. I wanted to be the "steadfast ray" - expressing freedom, hope, and joy.
So, from that day forward, I made a conscious effort to begin my day - as I was lying in bed - thinking of ways that God was present right that very moment. My husband expressing patience, the garden blooming, the comforts of our home, were all examples of God's all-encompassing love and care. These were the little lights that began to replace the dark, gloomy dread I had been harboring.
With this hope in my heart, I yearned to remove anything that was unlike God from my life. Some of my prayers and answers came from two books - the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by the founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy. These two books have brought inspiration and healing to many people in need. These are some verses and ideas that I worked with:
"To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." (pg. vii)
"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalms 118:24)
"When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress. The struggle for Truth makes one strong instead of weak, resting instead of wearying one." (pg. 426)
Letting these ideas of infinite possibilities and proofs of God's presence replace the depression and unhappiness illuminated the way to complete freedom. I'm not sure when the lights all came on again - blazing in their glory - but I do know that I now awake every morning eager to arise and see evidence of God's love.
Answers do shine through the fog. When we reach out with a pure heart, we will be directed by God each step of the way until we see the full radiance of joy, freedom, and hope in our lives.
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