Opening our eyes to God’s light

The darkness of evil can sometimes feel overwhelming. But when we open our hearts to the healing light of God, good, it illuminates our path.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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I have my grandchildren over at my home, and it’s mealtime. We sit down to eat, then a sudden power outage plunges us into darkness. A cry sounds out in unison: “Ooh!” I calm this slight panic and hurry to find a candle and light it. I explain that we can still go on with our meal and that certainly power will be restored very quickly.

That is exactly what happens – and when it does, just as if a conductor had signaled for it, I hear all the children exclaim “Aah!” It contains joy and cheerfulness, and everything goes on as usual.

Those two little words have meaning here. “Ooh” indicated a problem, disappointment, darkness. “Ahh” represented a solution, joy, light.

That experience got me thinking. Which of these phrases, or ways of thinking, do we use most often?

When plunged into darkness, suddenly or not, we seek light. Nobody thinks of fighting the darkness with who knows what other strategy. Instead, we remain focused on the known solution: light.

We see this when reading the Bible, for instance. From the beginning, it teaches, “God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). Light is indispensable to life, an essential and vital necessity in all things. In the Gospel of John we read that in the Word, God, was “life; and the life was the light of men” (1:4). Without light there is no life. And wherever there is light, there is life.

We also read, “God is light” (I John 1:5). At first we may find ourselves in the uncomfortable darkness of ignorance concerning God and our divine origin. But as we come to understand God as All, everywhere, infinite Spirit, always present, we realize that nothing can ever erase divine light. It always accompanies us, illumining every moment of our lives. In fact, this light reveals our very nature as the reflection, or expression, of God.

When I first learned some of these Bible-based ideas, I glimpsed this light, and it dazzled my consciousness. Even today, when I dive into the Bible, I find a hope that opens my eyes to God’s light, and my heart says “Ahh!”

Yes, it sometimes seems the darkness of evil – including disease – wants to cover us, our society, the world. It can feel like a fight on all these levels. But there’s a more helpful approach than focusing on the darkness: searching for light.

One morning when I woke up, I felt strange pains, troubling sensations that made me lose my balance. “Ooh! What’s going on? Didn’t I sleep well? What did I do yesterday that would cause this?” These questions jumped out at me unwittingly as soon as my foot touched the floor.

But thanks to a heartfelt desire to keep my thoughts at one with God, good, and thanks to my daily study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the thought that came next was spiritual in nature. I remembered this passage from Science and Health: “If the eyes see no sun for a week, we still believe that there is solar light and heat. Science (in this instance named natural) raises the human thought above the cruder theories of the human mind, and casts out a fear” (p. 189).

Ahh! This was the light of Truth that illuminated my thinking. My thought was elevated to the realization that despite the circumstances and the unpleasant sensations, the spiritual reality was that God, good, was there, always present, and that I was His perfect and beloved child. Then, without hesitating, keeping the light of divine Truth at the forefront of my thinking, I was able to walk and began my day as usual.

I was happy to note a few hours later that all was completely well. The troubles and fears had been dispelled by the understanding that I could not – not even for a moment – be deprived of the gentle presence of divine Love nor of the luminous power of divine Life, God, ever-present good.

We can all be alert to the metaphorical interjections we’re using. If the perspective of the fearful, defeatist, limited material senses makes you say “Ooh!” about a situation, we can quickly appeal to spiritual sense. This lifts our thinking beyond the physical appearances to the spiritual fact that God, Life, good, is nevertheless here, always present. As the light of divine Truth becomes clearer to us, as we allow it to enlighten us rather than clinging to the darkness, we discern and experience more of the divine reality – we are able to say “Ahh!”

The Bible encourages us, “Now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). How good it is to know our true, spiritual, light-filled heritage!

Originally published with a different title on the website of The Herald of Christian Science, French Edition, Jan. 4, 2021.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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