"All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of one small candle." Beautifully engraved tiles with inspiring ideas such as this one, written by an 18-year-old, decorate the wall of a shopping mall near my home. Pondering the idea of the candle, I asked myself what it means to be a light in the world.
The answer to this question is in the teaching of Christ Jesus, found in the Holy Bible. According to the book of Matthew, Jesus said to his followers: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (5:14-16).
How do we let our light shine? We can begin by praying, learning to know that God, who is Love, gives us unlimited opportunities to express love to our fellow men and women. Examples of this include our comforting someone who is fearful and letting someone know of God's care for all of us as His beloved children. Being patient, honest, and unselfish in our relationships with family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and strangers-even when this might not seem easy-is another example. So is showing compassion through words or deeds, as Jesus taught others to do by his own example. This brings out God's power to heal.
Actions like these are natural to us, showing our spiritual nature as God's sons and daughters. God is the Parent, the Father and Mother, of all, and we let our light shine when we express His love for us, which is unchanging, constant, ever present.
My husband and I witnessed such an expression of love when a little child's action let God's light shine naturally for all to see. We were on an airplane that was on the runway getting ready for takeoff. A little girl, maybe about five years old, gently put both arms around her younger brother to comfort him as the plane accelerated. They spoke a different language than we do, so we could not understand what she was saying to him. But the expressions on the children's faces, and the obvious care of this little girl for her brother, were an inspiration to me.
Then, as soon as we were in the air, both children giggled with delight. This was further evidence to me of God's light and love being shown through His children. I felt assured that all of us are capable of shining with the love of God, just as this little child had done. Every right action, every honest action, every unselfish action, has its source in God, in Love.
The textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, shows how we can, through healing, let our light shine by following the instruction of Jesus. The author of this book, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote this, referring to God as divine Truth and Love: "Truth and Love enlighten the understanding, in whose 'light shall we see light;' and this illumination is reflected spiritually by all who walk in the light and turn away from a false material sense" (p. 510).
It is because you are God's child, and you walk in His light, that you are spiritual, reflecting the nature of God. It is because God loves you dearly that you already have the ability to shine. It is because you are made in His image and likeness that it is natural for you to radiate His love in all that you say and do.
Our radiation of God's love to our fellow men and women lifts our thoughts to heaven. It blesses, heals, encourages, and comforts.
Ye are all the children
of light, and the children
of the day: we are not
of the night, nor of darkness. . . . Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another,
even as also ye do.
I Thessalonians 5:5, 11
In a weekly magazine called the Christian Science Sentinel, you can read more about letting your light shine.