A way around the pit of grief

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

When my father passed away, I didn't really deal with my feelings until several months later. There was so much going on, and there were so many details to tend to.

One day, I finally was still. I prayed by listening. I wanted to know if my father was OK, and I listened to God for an answer.

In a very tender way, in my heart, I heard God say, "Your father will always be with Me." A powerful feeling of good welled up in me, and then all of a sudden I saw something very wonderful: Everything I love about my father, I get to keep.

I felt that God was showing me that my father didn't create any of the qualities I loved in him; he actually reflected those qualities. Just as the moon doesn't create light on its own but only reflects the sun's light, our family members and friends don't create love; they each reflect the Love that is God. The love that they loved us with was actually God's reflected love. So, God and that love are still enveloping us because God hasn't gone anywhere. God is always with me and you and everyone, and all of the goodness and love expressed in His creation are ours forever.

A person who has passed from our sight still exists and is moving forward, although we can't see him or her. There is a good, clear basis for why we are immortal. It's because God is the foundation of our being. Life is a biblically based name for God, as are Love, Soul, and Father. Just as there is just one God, there is actually only one Life. That's important to see. We are not alone on our own, maintaining our own little lives; we're individualized expressions of God, the only Life. There isn't divine Life and also your life. There is just Life. God doesn't just give you life; God is your Life.

After Jesus' crucifixion, his ascension was an inspiring victory over mortality and death. It revealed a higher view of man, who is always maintained as divine Life's expression. "His three days' work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate," wrote Mary Baker Eddy in her main work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 44).

I believe that someone for whom you may be grieving doesn't want you to shed even one more tear. That feeling of sadness is like a big pit, a big hole in the ground. Be still and pray and let God show you a way to walk around the pit altogether.

The Bible has beautiful ideas about this, such as "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10), and "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord" (Ex. 14:13). To "be still, and know that I am God" is to be quiet and open to the messages that heal us and help us move forward. Just as water in a lake reflects objects best when it's still, we're able to reflect on God's messages for us when our thoughts are calm and quiet.

There is only one Life, and it can't die. And you can't go from being spiritual to becoming a mortal, and then go back to being spiritual. You just stay spiritual. All of our loved relatives and friends are always tenderly cared for. Forever, God cherishes them and each of us, with a love that is so pure, so caring and nurturing.

I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. Psalms 40:1, 2

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