A joyful homecoming turns tragic in Pakistan
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
When former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto stepped off the plane in Karachi, Pakistan, last week – ending eight years of self-imposed exile – she wept with joy. "It's a historic and very emotional moment for me," she told reporters. "...we want to isolate extremists and build a better Pakistan" ((Karachi) Daily Times, Oct. 19).
Surrounded by thousands of joyful supporters, her motorcade drove slowly into the city. Then, shortly after midnight, two explosions about a minute apart went off, killing over 100 people and injuring possibly as many as 250 others. Bhutto was moved to a safe place very quickly, but those left behind had to deal with the sorrow and horror that such evil attacks bring in their wake.
Dismayed by the ongoing terrorist activity in Pakistan, my thoughts turned to the book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Truth was an important concept to its author, Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper because she wanted reporting that was honest and true.
In Science and Health she wrote: "Truth, through her eternal laws, unveils error" (p. 542). This statement means to me that during this time of confusion, danger, and fear, our prayers for divine Truth's supremacy are greatly needed because only divine Truth can guide Pakistan and its people to peace and stability. Understanding God as Truth is vital to the elimination of terrorism and to gaining the stability that Pakistan is striving for.
Pakistan is in the midst of sustained political upheaval. Many people are attempting to manipulate events for their own advantage. This manipulation, if unchecked, would lead to more fear, uncertainty, and confusion. Relying on personality politics instead of focusing on who has the spiritual qualities to help the nation is another area of vulnerability.
Truth frees people from manipulation because it brings to light the spiritual reality that each of us is truly at one with God, and with Him alone. To be free of manipulation, we can ask, "What is divine Love telling me about this?" As we turn our thoughts to God, we receive more inspired answers about who is trustworthy and who isn't. And because God sees all of us as His spiritual ideas, filled with goodness, a direct appeal to that goodness in our prayers may be life-transforming.
For example, Jesus chose to have a meal with Zacchaeus, a corrupt tax collector, despite the murmurings of the crowd that he had chosen to eat with a sinner. As a result, Jesus redeemed this man's life and sent it in a more honest direction. This is one reason why it's important to accept the thought that the Christ, Truth, that Jesus lived can redeem even the most hardened sinner today just as it did in his day.
Freedom from terrorism can also be a focus for our prayers. No one should have to be subjected to such horror and grief, or even just the fear of an attack. For me, prayer that entrusts one's life to God in the morning and in the evening – and in between times – is strengthening. And it applies to leaders of nations. As the Psalmist eloquently puts it, "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore" (121:8).
Each of us is safe in God's hands because God is infinite Love – meaning Love that is ever present, everlasting. And we can pray for government leaders and others who are part of this electoral process, that they also be kept safe from harm.
There is much to pray about as Pakistan moves forward and as candidates prepare for the January parliamentary elections. Through our prayers, we can affirm that divine Truth and Love are available to nations as well as to people, and that they are at the helm, guiding all of us to a better life.