Asking the right question if tragedy strikes

A Christian Science perspective.

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When a tragedy of great magnitude comes before us and we see our fellow sisters and brothers suffer, often the first response is “I feel so helpless!” This is sometimes followed by guilt – as we take in events from the safety of our warm, well-lit surroundings. I know because I’ve been there.

But as a Christian Scientist I’ve been quickly humbled, because more and more I’m coming to see that the notion of feeling helpless is not a condition I want to establish for myself – or anybody else. Especially at times that require a spiritual – a healing – perspective.

The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, guides us when she says, “All God’s servants are minute men and women” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 158). But isn’t it interesting how sometimes we aren’t quite so alert in heeding the call of that instantaneous response that affirms God’s power and activity? Sometimes we allow our own limited sense of “self,” which obscures Spirit’s omnipresence, to try to rule the day. This brings the focus back to ourselves with feelings of helplessness.

How much more dynamic and healing it is to answer rightly the question she puts forth in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Are thoughts divine or human? That is the important question” (p. 462). When we nourish the divine in consciousness, she goes on, “It unfolds the hallowed influences of unselfishness, philanthropy, spiritual love.” This wide embrace lays claim to comfort and care for those in distress, those in need. We are then lovingly led to assist in whatever on-the-ground efforts are tender and effective – efforts that are inspired by and motivated by God, as this passage from the Bible describes: “Blessed be God ... the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:3, 4).

As we work out from the acknowledgment of divine Mind’s government, we refuse the suggestion that there is somewhere God is not, or that He is somehow helpless. Christian Science sheds light on the fact that God, Love, fills all space. This holy, inviolate space can never be stagnant, unproductive, or remote.

Consistently affirming this in our prayers, we are indeed “minute men and women.” As we nourish the divine in consciousness, our elevated thought becomes a force for good, blessing the world in ways we can’t possibly outline in the moment.

That’s the beauty of God’s grace, isn’t it? That even at times when we yearn so deeply to see and understand more of it, we can trust that it is assuredly at hand. For everyone.

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