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The darkest hour is before the break of day.




From the November 3, 1956 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

There is always a way out of human problems, an open door to harmony, health, and peace. There can be no situation so hopeless, no physical condition so frightening, no barrier so formidable, that divine Love cannot provide a way of escape. No night can be so dark that the dawn does not inevitably follow. And yet how many times one is tempted to give up in despair, thinking that there is no solution of his particular problem, no way out!

The Bible holds the answer to every riddle of human affairs. If we follow its teachings as spiritually interpreted by Christian Science, we find the way to true health and harmony. Thus is fulfilled the promise in the book of Revelation ( 3:8), “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.”

What is this open door to security and salvation, and how can it be found? Our Way-shower, Christ Jesus, referring to the Christ, his spiritual nature and individuality, saw that he was the way, and we can find the way by following in his steps. In her book “No and Yes” Mary Baker Eddy says (p. 36): “The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, of good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being,— holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real. It was this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuperated him for triumph over sin, sickness, and death.”

Through the teachings of Christian Science many thousands of people have found that they too can learn of their higher, or spiritual, selfhood and its unity with the Father and thus find refuge from the trials of material existence. Is not this glorious truth of man’s spiritual royalty the open door to eternal joy?

The difficulty is that men have sought escape in every way except the one demonstrated by Jesus. They have looked to materiality or to the inside of the problem for its solution. When apparently trapped in a seemingly hopeless situation, they have revolved within it, like squirrels in a cage, unable to see beyond the limiting evidence of material sense.

Christian Science teaches us that the answer is never to be found within the problem, but always in God and the facts regarding His perfect and infinite creation. In cases of illness, this Science teaches us to look away from the body to spiritual substance and the functions of true being. Where sin, lack, or inharmony of any kind seems to be present, one is taught to reject this false evidence and replace it with the truth of what God knows of man. One learns to turn to divine Mind and to listen for its direction, telling him what is true and what to do to bring the truth to light.

A few years ago the writer had a simple illustration of looking outside the problem for deliverance. She was driving in the mountains with some friends when they came upon a beautiful little chapel nestled in the hills. Since the door was invitingly open, they went in to view the lovely stained glass windows. As they entered they saw a small bird flying wildly around among the rafters. Around and around he went, beating his wings wildly, but in his panic flying right past the open door. Suddenly a clear high note of another bird sounded from outside the chapel. Apparently it was the mother bird calling, for instantly the frightened bird answered the call and flew directly out of the door into the brilliant sunshine. Side by side the two birds soared up and away into the freedom and safety of treetops and sky.

“What a parallel to many human problems!” thought the student. The door had been open all the time, but the fear and panic gripping the baby bird had prevented him from finding the way out. Yet when he heard the mother’s call, he was able to reach freedom.

The experience brought to mind a time many years ago when the writer was gripped by fear and panic, because walls of limitation, frustration, illness, and family responsibility were apparently closing in upon her, and she saw no way of deliverance. She had searched in vain for a way out by grappling with the human difficulties. Then, through the open door of Christian Science, she was able to hear her Father’s voice, telling her to come out from the darkness of the mortal mind lies confronting her into the “conscious reality and royalty” of her real being, with its infinite abundance and provision of good. During this testing period, the words of Hymn No. 148 from the Christian Science Hymnal were her constant companions, especially the lines.

In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear.

As she resolutely denied the seeming actuality of a selfhood apart from God, fidelity and obedience led her in the path of the Christ. She found the open door of spiritual vision and went through it. Then immediate needs were met, and increased blessings appeared.

It is not necessary to wait for advanced spiritual progress to recognize this open door of spiritual understanding. Right where one is, even when seemingly engulfed in misfortune, God’s love and guidance are at hand. In Isaiah we read ( 43:2), “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.” And Mrs. Eddy assures us in her book “The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany” (pp. 149, 150), “Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee.” Right through the din of mortal mind, if we will but listen, our Father’s voice can be heard telling us: “Peace, be still. All is well.”

As we walk through the door of Life and gain a greater knowledge of the heavenly kingdom, we find that man is really never in any problem at all. Only a false concept of God’s man can seem to have a struggle. A spiritual idea can never descend into mortality or be conditioned by human frailty. In Science, man has never left the “reality and royalty” of his being; he has never lost his way in the wilderness of human hopes. Unfallen, untempted and untouched by false beliefs of life in matter, he is never more or less than the son of God. He needs no open doors to pass from human trials to divine bliss. He is already there! Where God’s man is, there are no problems to solve, no dead-end streets to spiritual progress. He dwells forever in the holy city of spiritual consciousness and divine harmony.

Today the Christ stands at the door of human consciousness, pointing the way to man’s divine heritage, bidding mankind to awake and claim it. Humanity can answer in the words of a hymn (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 64),

I reach Mind’s open door, and at its portal
I know that where I stand is holy
I feel the calm and joy of things immortal,
The loveliness of Love is all around.