The light that makes all things new
Some years ago, I got the idea to sit quietly by a window before dawn and write down when and how light first appeared outside our home. Each morning I took care to notice the precise instant a tree took form, the sky blushed pink, the iris turned lavender. Documenting these moments, I came to recognize how gently and inevitably the features of the landscape assumed their true color and shape. The trees, the woodshed, the rocks, the field, were complete already. But as dawn unveiled them, I witnessed them—not as old and dark, but as vibrant, finished, and beautiful.
Through studying Christian Science, I’ve seen something similar—but much more profound. I’ve learned how dedicated watching for spiritual light makes all things new. I’ve seen how an understanding of God, the source of all light, lifts shadowy material beliefs about me and others, revealing radiant, pure, spiritual views. The Bible identifies this spiritual light as the Christ—the Truth that Jesus embodied and reflected, by which one’s identity and existence are illuminated as limitless, safe, loved, and purely good.
The Christ calls us to look beyond the perception of human existence as a bleak, destined-for-death experience and recognize that we actually live in a larger sense of life—divine, infinite Life, or God, which is always lovely, fresh, continuous, and new.
John the Elder, also known as John of Patmos, certainly got a grand glimpse of spiritual reality as revealed by the Christ light. He documented his vision faithfully in the book of Revelation: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away” (21:1 ).
Whenever it seems as though “the world is sad with dreams of death” (Elizabeth C. Adams, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 188 ), it’s an especially important time to take this deeply spiritual Christ-illumined watching to heart. And the teachings of Christian Science are foundational to this work.
The Christ calls us to look beyond the perception of human existence as a bleak, destined-for-death experience and recognize Life, God, as lovely, fresh, continuous, and new.
Why? To put it simply, the Science of Christ reveals unequivocally that God is all good—only good. Evil is therefore no part of God’s creation, and each one of us, as the child of God, is solely the expression of good. That means disease, contagion, lost opportunity, depression, lack, etc., are not truly part of us. They are dark, fear-fraught beliefs that we can prayerfully confront and overcome with the law and light of divine Science. As the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, puts it, “Sickness, sin and death are the vague realities of human conclusions” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 297–298 ).
Mrs. Eddy also explains, “Tumors, ulcers, tubercles, inflammation, pain, deformed joints, are waking dream-shadows, dark images of mortal thought, which flee before the light of Truth” (Science and Health, p. 418 ). It takes dedication and courage to deny the reality of dark, matter-based “images of mortal thought” and affirm the continuity and presence of spiritual Truth, especially when those forms look scowling and scary. It takes vigilance, yes. But it’s invigorating work when we know it’s the Christ doing the illuminating. And it brings physical healing, today as in Jesus’ day.
Here’s a modest example. At one point, dazed by media reports and caught up in the sorrows of the world, I was feeling ill and feverish. Instead of diligently watching for the Christ light, I’d pray for a while and wait hopefully for the prayer to take effect. But the truth is, I hadn’t surrendered to the all-embracing light of Love, God.
So I mentally got down on my knees next to what seemed like a very dark thought-window and watched for the Christ light to arrive. I reread that week’s Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly, even though I’d already read it that morning. I got very still. I listened. I watched. As I did, radiant Christ light came pouring into my thought. That Bible Lesson was so full of strong, unequivocal, and comforting spiritual ideas that by the time I finished, it was absolutely clear to me that God, Love, is the only power, and that sickness, sadness, hate, and even death are only supposed manifestations of a flawed, material collective imagination—“the vague realities of human conclusions.”
I wasn’t voicing and illuminating Truth; Truth was voicing me, illuminating me—and I no longer felt separate from it. Even the word God, which before this experience had begun to feel stale and overused to me, started to ring true beyond any human concept. It was a new awareness of my oneness with an all-good God. It lifted the sadness, and before long the symptoms of illness were completely gone. I was already perfect, safe, and new. The Christ light simply showed me so.
Every moment, this pure spiritual light is pouring over you and me and our precious, beautiful world. The Christ light we diligently watch for is the evidence of that one and only good, God, dawning right now where it has always dawned—in consciousness. “Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight” (Science and Health, p. 246 ).
I mentally got down on my knees next to what seemed like a very dark thought-window and watched for the Christ light to arrive.
You and I are not stuck, sick, too young or too old, dull, sad, isolated, or cut off. We don’t represent tired beliefs and “dark images of mortal thought.” As spiritual ideas of God, revealed by the Christ as complete, we don’t have to wait for more of anything. We are already perfect and finished. The light of Truth is here right now, shaping every hope and desire, outlining and defining each right idea, and filling every human need with warmth and radiance. Divine Love is always present, and man has the spiritual sense to watch for it, recognize it, and be helped by it.
So go and sit by your own thought-window. Go early. Go often. Take your humble heart, your Bible, and your Science and Health, and spend expectant, quiet, prayerful time witnessing that very first, unmistakable blush of divine comfort; that first hint of holy joy. Recognize and feel it for yourself and for the whole world. Then step out into the full light of Christ that reveals man complete, perfect, safe, and forever new.