In the early reports about the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti yesterday afternoon, the word "catastrophe" appeared again and again. Of the five aftershocks – with more expected – the worst two were of 5.9 and 5.2 magnitude. Even many solidly constructed buildings have been damaged, including a hospital, and there is great fear that the casualty toll will be high. This small island nation, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, needs our prayers.
One passage in the Bible that has helped me many times is from Psalms: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof” (Ps. 46:1–3).
“God is our refuge and strength”
Whatever may be happening on the ground, our refuge, and Haiti’s, is in God, divine Love. Right now, each individual can be comforted and protected by infinite, all-powerful Love. There is no place in Haiti or in the world where this Love cannot reach. Even in the deepest ravine or mountain valley, Love is providing stability, security, and peace.
Love wipes out fear because the two are opposites, and Love is all powerful. Speaking of God, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, “Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896,” p. 152). Under Love’s care, no mental darkness or other element can arouse fearful thoughts. Right reasoning, based on the fact of Spirit’s presence and power, enhances the ability to make wise decisions.
Rescue operations demand much of the people involved – both the rescuers and those in need. In prayer, we can claim patience and courage for those waiting for help, and intelligent guidance for rescuers trying to reach the trapped and desperate, especially in dangerous places. Divine strength empowers each one’s mental and physical abilities.
“[A] very present help in trouble”
Even with today’s technology, it takes time to mount a rescue operation, transport supplies, and access areas that are severely damaged. Our prayers can insist that even before the rescue teams arrive, God is already present in a way that comforts, protects, and guides each individual. At the same time, divine intelligence and inspiration can be expressed by those who are working to get supplies and equipment to the site or to use what is already there.
All teams can be of one mind in their efforts to save lives. Turf wars and the like don’t need to arise. Everyone can express the unity of spirit that comes from loving one’s fellow man and woman.
"Therefore will not we fear "
The need for protection from disease arising through water contamination and so forth also requires our prayers. Such conditions would argue strongly that man – meaning both men and women – is material and at the mercy of material conditions.
The spiritual reality is, however, just the opposite. Creation is made in God’s likeness – perfect, spiritual, uncontaminated. Even in the midst of distressing human conditions, the divine fact is that each of us lives in God, divine Mind, as His spiritual idea. There is no alternative universe where sickness and death are inevitable or where disaster can cast people outside God’s care and into mental darkness. Health is the natural state because God’s purity defines us and everyone. Claiming this divine law in our prayers will help uplift thought and protect all involved in the rescue operation.
The coming days and weeks may pose many challenges, as structures are renewed and people put their lives back together. But supportive prayer can help transform this time of trouble and sorrow into one of progress that is sustained and directed by Mind. The people of Haiti deserve this because they are dearly loved by their Father-Mother God.