YouTube: Omnipresent Healing Light
[Notice: We will be opening the Church for services on June 7.]
When you go outside on a sunny day, you can look around and see countless plants and many animals going about their business. You see grass, trees, bushes and flowers. You’ll likely see or hear birds and insects visiting flowers or just buzzing through the air. All of these life forms depend on a single source of energy – sunlight.
When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing how one source of energy can power so many expressions of life. It’s no wonder that many ancient cultures worshipped the sun as a god. We’re told that one of the jobs of the ancient Egyptian priest was to keep the sun moving across the sky. From what we know today, their job was pretty secure. And the occasional solar eclipse could actually be used as a warning that the people weren’t keeping up with their religious duties. If they wanted the sun to return, they’d better replenish the coffers.
Our earth orbits the sun in what science calls the Goldilocks Zone. We’re in a position where it’s not too hot, not too cold, not too near, not too far – but just the right distance from our star. Because of this, we can’t say the sun’s life-giving energy is omnipresent. To be omnipresent is to be everywhere present, equally, at the same time.
Maybe you have a solar-powered toy sitting in your window. By day it does it’s little dance, but at night it stops. Sunlight is always hitting half the earth, while the other half is in darkness.
When we think of the omnipresence of God, we can use sunlight as an illustration, but with the understanding that sunlight waxes and wanes, while the presence of God never fluctuates. Many people have been trained to believe that the action and attitude of God can change in response to human behavior. But I think Jesus was trying to make clear that this wasn’t the case.
- “… for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45
Human behavior doesn’t affect the sun. One person can demonstrate hurtful behavior while another is loving. Unlike the cartoons we’ve seen, the sun shines the same for them both. Likewise, God is no more present for the loving person than for the one who’s displaying hurtful behavior. Both types of behavior will likely spark a completely different set of consequences, but neither will alter the behavior of God. Again, many have been trained to think that God behaves like a human being – favorably toward the righteous and unfavorably toward the unrighteous. If we’re open to rethinking our understanding of God in a way put forth by Jesus, the parable of the prodigal son can help us put that myth to rest.
The sun and God are similar in that they’re both unaffected by human behavior. As the sun fuels all the many life-forms we see, so God is incorporated as the life, love, power, and intelligence of every living creature.
When we say, “wherever I am, God is,” we’re saying that wherever I am in understanding, wherever I am in physical health, wherever I am in my level of prosperity demonstration – God is there. The full power of God is active and present in me, and in all that concerns me, right now. I’m not required to do anything to win God’s favor. I’m already the focus of God expressing uniquely as me.
This is a very important concept to grasp, as people are too often thinking they’re not deserving because they haven’t lived up to God’s expectations. Maybe they haven’t prayed enough, or they haven’t studied the Bible or been to church since Christmas or Easter. Turning to God for help may seem hypocritical. You might just assume God has better things to do than help someone who has paid little or no attention to spiritual matters.
Well, maybe you could benefit from delving into spiritual studies. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to see what happens in church between the birth and death of Jesus. But will God punish or reward you because you do or don’t do these things?
Imagine you’ve worked hard to plant a garden. Everything begins to sprout and it looks as if you’re going to have a great garden. You decide to take a little trip. You have your irrigation water set to automatic, so everything will get all the water it needs while you’re gone. But when you get home, you discover that something happened to your watering system, and the sun burned up your garden. All your hard work has gone to waste. You could shake your fist at the sun and curse it for hours if you want. But even if you do, you’ll notice that the sun doesn’t treat you any differently than your neighbor, who has been praising the sun for all the good it does.
You can change how you relate to the sun – you can bless it or curse it – but the sun doesn’t change how it relates to you. You can plant your garden in the shade or refuse to give it water. But nothing you think, say or do, or neglect to think, say or do, will change the sun’s behavior.
We should have this same attitude toward God. I think it was Meister Eckhart who said, “I never thank God for loving me. He can’t help Himself.” Eckhart recognized the changeless nature of God. He wanted to remind his congregation that the hardships we encounter in life are not punishments from God.
God is fully active in each new moment. In God there is no past or future. There is only this now moment. If you think you sinned badly enough to offend God, then you’re the one living in the past. Your garden wasn’t scorched because you’ve sinned, and this is God’s way of saying a little repentance is in order. Your garden burned up because of a mechanical failure.
I know some spiritual teachers who insist that every calamity we experience comes about as the result of something we do wrong in our thinking. This is really nothing more than a spruced-up version of the old sin and punishment system that many of us have left behind. It’s an answer to the book of Job that raises the question: Why do the righteous suffer? The book itself doesn’t answer the question, so people have been trying to fill in that blank with their own understanding, their own spiritual logic. They insist that we experience calamity because of our sins, or because we’ve engaged in some negative thinking.
A man blind from birth was brought to Jesus with the question: Who sinned, this man or his parents? (John 9:2). Jesus took the spiritual high road by saying it didn’t matter who sinned, that this was an opportunity to demonstrate the omnipresent healing light of God. The man was healed of blindness because someone recognized the changeless power of God and called it forth.
James referred to God as,
- “… the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)
It’s just another way of saying the changeless power of God is present now and is acting on your behalf – bestowing every good and perfect gift, as James says. We have not and cannot diminish it in any way. We can turn our attention to the question of who sinned. We can put ourselves in a dark cellar of guilt, or fear, or any of the countless negative visualizations we can imagine. But it doesn’t matter who sinned. It only matters that we are fully immersed in the omnipresent healing light of God. Like the prodigal son, we can come to ourselves – come to our spiritual senses at any moment and take the first step toward our spiritual homecoming.
And what is that first step? It’s the realization that I am in God and God is in me, and that which is in me is greater than that which is in the world. This is not true because I say it’s true. It’s just true. Just as the full power of the sun shines in all its glory on the other side of that closed cellar door, so the full power of God shines in all its glory on the other side of that mental door that we’ve momentarily pulled shut.
It’s very important to remember that the healing power of God is bias toward the establishment of wholeness. This may not seem true when we’re dealing with a healing challenge. But this is where we have to push past appearances, even when these appearances are causing pain.
It’s the nature of the Creative Life Force to expand, to express the life, love, power, and intelligence that it is. You and I, and all living things are channels through which this power expresses. It would be counter-productive for God to punish us for locking ourselves in some cellar. In the same way the sunlight will flood and dry out the dank cellar if the door is thrown open, so God floods us with refreshing, healing energy when we throw open the door of guilt and fear.
If you have a healing need – and this can include a healing of mind, body, finances, relationships, and any other area that may now be affected – begin this moment to throw open the door of spiritual ignorance by declaring your absolute freedom from all past mistakes. You’re not being punished. You’re not being tested. You’re not having to work out some kind of karmic debt. Lay all these kinds of thoughts aside.
Just as the sun offers its empowering energy to the dandelion, the beetle, the rabbit, and even the house fly – so God offers each one of us the healing, balancing, and prospering energy that can lift us to new heights, that shines light on our path, that establishes peace where there was chaos, and strength where there was weakness and fear.
A good practice is to sit quietly, with eyes closed, and envision the presence of God as healing light, permeating every aspect of your being. Let yourself totally relax in this light, just knowing it’s doing its perfect healing work in you and in every area of your life. Feel the peace of this quiet activity, knowing that divine intelligence is smoothing out the rough spots, bringing light to the unknown, making straight the crooked places. As you go through your day, bring this picture back often, reminding yourself that you are permanently immersed in the omnipresent, healing light of God.
How we think of God, how we think of ourselves and how we think of our relationship with God influences the way we live our lives – maybe more than we realize. It’s good to have reminders that God is always present and working for your highest good. It’s true that things don’t always work out as we hope, or as we think they should. Things can happen that, for the moment, don’t seem to be for our highest good or for the highest good of anyone involved. We may be tempted to fall back on our old beliefs that God is behaving like the vindictive old man in the sky, that harsh taskmaster that’s doing something to get our attention.
The simple observation of how the sun is giving its energy to all living forms – freely, and without condition – is a good reminder of the truth of God. It’s a living affirmation. Jesus pointed to the birds of the air, the lilies of the field and even the grass as reminders that God takes care of the simplest expressions of life. He also reminded us that if we ask for bread, God won’t give a stone. And we won’t get a serpent when we ask for a fish. What did he mean by this? For me, this is another fiber of the mystical thread, the reminder that God is the willing and able source of our good.
We’ll have setbacks because things happen that don’t always make a lot of sense. We try to put them in some kind of spiritual context, as if the universe has a message for us and we need to pay attention. In nature, violent storms are seasonal in certain parts of the country, and they can do a lot of damage. I grew up in the Midwest, where tornados are a part of life. But these aren’t sparked by bad human behavior. They would occur even if there were no people around. One of the biggest storms in our solar system is happening on Jupiter. As far as we know, there’s nobody up there doing bad things to cause that.
But there always seems to be someone who tries to make that connection. Certainly, the Bible is full of examples of bad things happening to people because they did something wrong. They get struck down by plagues, natural disasters, or some enemy as punishment from God because they strayed away from their religious values.
But again, there’s an interesting passage in Luke, which I’ve modified slightly, where Jesus seems to refute this idea:
- There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No… Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo’am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No…” (Luke 13:1-5)
The point is, we need to make sure that we’re letting go of all thought that God is punishing us when things go wrong. Sometimes it just takes a little time to get everything back in a balanced perspective.
The fact that we have a physical body means that we’re subject to environmental conditions that can become harsh. Earth is a living planet with ever-changing weather patterns, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, blizzards and the occasional tsunami. And of course we can’t forget the meteor impacts that can easily dwarf the destructive force of multiple nuclear bombs. Meteor Crater in Arizona was created by an iron meteor that was only 150 feet wide. The one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was about 6 miles wide. At the physical level, there are plenty of things that can happen to us.
And through all time, certain people have believed that God was behind these things as attention-getting wakeup calls. This is where science shines a better light. It helps demystify naturally occurring events and remove any unwarranted sense of personal responsibility that we may heap on ourselves. We might be asking for trouble if we put a house at the foot of a volcano, in tornado alley or in the known path of hurricanes. But any harm or damage we suffer is not personal. It’s just a simple fact that when we get in the way of nature’s powerful forces, we usually lose.
You and I are eternal beings. Our bodies have gone through much, and they’ll probably go through a few more things. But we will never be separate from God. Our life, our unfolding experience will never end. We want to grasp this larger context and remind ourselves often that we’re just passing through, that this thing we call our life is like one chapter of a very grand book. Success and failure is not measured by how well we manage to dodge catastrophe. It’s measured by how well and how free we live our life.
I believe that every one of us is here by choice. If this is true, then I don’t think any of us chose to come here to cower in fear. It is in God that we live and move and have our being. This is, as Jesus said, another in the many rooms of our Father’s house. Earth is not our final home. It’s a spot that’s not too hot, not too cold, not too near and not too far. It’s a Goldilocks Zone, just right for these bodies we currently inhabit. It’s a great day to affirm the omnipresent, healing light of God is shining through each one of us at this very moment.
Thank you for watching, friends and know that you are in God and God is in you. So I’ll leave you once again with our prayer for protection.