Shining by borrowed light

Mary Baker Eddy , who discovered Christian Science, explains one of its central points in her book Retrospection and Introspection: “Man shines by borrowed light. He reflects God as his Mind, and this reflection is substance,—the substance of good” (p. 57).

Recently, I was walking along a country road at night. In the darkness, I could just make out reflector poles every fifty feet or so along a curve in the road, intended to help motorists negotiate the turn at night. As a car approached from behind me, I watched as the reflectors lit up in the path of its headlights, then became dark again once the car passed. It struck me that without the reflectors, the car’s headlights would have fallen uselessly onto the surrounding fields; similarly, without headlights to illuminate them, the reflectors would have no purpose to fulfill. 

This felt like a good analogy to underscore a great spiritual fact: We’re just as important and necessary to God as He is to us. “God, without the image and likeness of Himself, would be a nonentity, or Mind unexpressed,” we read in Eddy’s book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science (p. 303). The passage continues, referring to God, “He would be without a witness or proof of His own nature. Spiritual man is the image or idea of God, an idea which cannot be lost nor separated from its divine Principle.” We can rejoice, then, in our spiritual raison d’être, the unique and vital role each of us plays in the divine—the only real—universe.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.