The 'still small voice' after the earthquake in Turkey

A Christian Science perspective.

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The minute I heard the news on television about a magnitude-7.2 earthquake leveling the town of Ercis in eastern Turkey and shaking areas in Van Province, I knew it was time to pray. Since I live in Turkey, while far from the quake, naturally my heart went out to the people affected.

I remembered a Bible verse that tells about God not being in the wind, earthquake, or the fire, but in “a still small voice” (see I Kings 19:11, 12). I thought, What good is God’s voice if it’s still and small in the midst of such devastation? It was difficult not to be cynical because every local news channel was busy broadcasting images of hopeless destruction.

I quickly realized that if I were going to help the situation in any way, I needed to change my perspective. I asked myself: Who could be hearing the still, small voice? For sure, the rescuers were listening for even the tiniest sound of life coming from under the rubble. But they were also listening to their intuition about where the best place to search for survivors would be. Their intuition, together with experience gained from past search and rescue operations, was guiding them as they wisely used the precious window of time to save lives.

The source of intuition is God, the divine Mind. You could call an intuition the still, small voice, speaking to your consciousness. Nobody hears your intuitions except you – they’re still! But at the same time they’re loud enough for you to hear them. Mary Baker Eddy noted in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” that “the ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth.’ It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear” (p. 559).

So, I thought, who else at this moment would be hearing the inaudibly roaring voice of Truth? Prison inmates! Just then it was reported that the walls of a prison had collapsed during the earthquake and that 200 inmates had fled. It was also reported that 50 of the inmates had returned to the prison after having short visits with their families. Those who returned to prison on their own must have actually heard the still, small voice; listened to its guidance; and followed through – they had done the right thing, the thing that Truth, divine Love, had told them to do. They love their families, but they are also learning to love to do what’s right, which is so natural. We can pray that the remaining fugitives will heed the still, small voice and voluntarily return to prison without causing any harm to themselves or to others. God, divine Love, is speaking to everyone, all the time!

The tender, silent voice of divine Love is speaking now, as I write, to those who may be trapped under the debris, waiting to be rescued. God is comforting them, telling them not to be afraid because He loves them so much. God’s still, small voice is strengthening them, giving them courage and patience. As the Psalmist promises: “He will spread his wings over you and keep you secure” (Ps. 91:4, Contemporary English Version). The one all-loving God sees everyone at the scene as safe under His wings, not in danger under rubble.

We can pray for those affected by this earthquake, their families, the rescuers, and those providing on-the-ground care. It’s the best help we can give them, whether we’re near or far. God’s still small voice is not in the earthquake but in our heartfelt prayers as we affirm His presence and power over all. Prayer can make a difference, save a life, and restore peace and harmony.

For a French, Indonesian, Japanese, or Spanish translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

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