There may be a few isolated places on this planet that have been unaffected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. But for most of us, things are very, very different. I live several thousand miles from the Pentagon, the Pennsylvania crash site, and what used to be the World Trade Center. I didn't know anyone personally who was lost in any of these places. But life is not the same for me.
Yes, there are the little changes like longer waits at the airport, no parking around the state capitol building, a whole new world of subjects when I click on CNN. But for many of us, everything is different in a much deeper way. I feel a stronger commitment to helping my fellow men and women through prayer; a deepening love of God and desire to know Him, to know Her, better; a firmer conviction that hatred, all evil, can be rooted out of human consciousness and replaced with the power of divine Love.
And yet, in a certain sense, I feel nothing has changed since Sept. 11. Everything's the same. Let me explain what I mean and how it has helped me progress.
God's love for every individual is just as real and true, just as powerful and present today as it was Sept. 10. It hasn't changed even slightly. It was always infinite. We may have shifted dramatically in our efforts to understand this ever-present Love, but divine Love itself has uninterrupted continuity. This Love is now and forever, now and for eternity.
God's capacity to meet every human need - whether for someone in the hijacked plane in Pennsylvania, someone lost at the Pentagon or the towers, someone fearful now of a chemical or biological attack - is changeless. God is answering the need of those here as well as those who have gone on. God is blessing as always, nurturing as always, leading us forward as always. God's reality is constant. Stable. Unwavering. Perpetual. All of God's goodness is right at hand. Our limited personal view of God may have received a life-changing jar. But God is just the same. Right here, caring, uplifting, preserving our true, spiritual nature.
The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote about the Comforter, divine Science, that Christ Jesus promised would come to everyone: "Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle, - is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 306). God's unfolding of good is universal - true on this side of the grave, true on the other side. I have felt great reassurance in the midst of dramatic events by prayerfully and intelligently acknowledging the changeless nature of God - Life and Love. As we feel more of this stabilizing truth, we'll move forward, learning lessons, discovering how divine justice is best forged, finding the ability to forgive, better understanding how to prevent the harshness of mortality from disrupting our deepening conviction of God's allness and goodness.
God's reality does not change. We may need to change profoundly to come more into accord with His perfection, yielding more to what He always causes us to be. But God is unchanging, immutable. As one Bible figure saw it, "...whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it .... That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been" (Eccl. 3:14,15).
It is true that, in a way, things may never be the same. But in the midst of startling events, don't forget the eternal truth of your being, the truth that will give you the courage to move forward and better your world. That truth: Nothing real has changed. God is just as caring as ever. His creation of spiritual good continues intact, undiminished. We are just as loved and sustained as we always were.
In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?
Christian Science Hymnal