The day after Joplin, Mo., was hit by a huge tornado, I was watching a news report of the damage and of the many lives lost. I heard a man from Joplin tell the reporter that all he felt was gratitude because people were driving from hundreds of miles away to come to help. He was so moved by this outpouring of brotherly love that it made him cry.
I am often moved to tears when all seems lost, and God is found to be right at hand, showing His uninterrupted love through every brave and generous expression of human love. Because God is Love, He never stops loving. It may not always be easy to be convinced of this when a big, bad thing happens. But it is the nature of God to give us the most help when it is most needed. All that is ever really lost is the fear that sometimes God seems like He has abandoned us. When all seems lost, God is found to be “a very present help in trouble,” as promised by the Bible (Ps. 46:1).
In 1992, I was living with my mom and son in south Florida when hurricane Andrew hit. Although our immediate neighborhood suffered minimal damage, just an hour south of us things had not gone so well. The storm turned out to be much stronger than expected.
Watching a television interview with a man whose house had been totally flattened, I got reassuring proof of God’s always present love. The man and his wife were standing in front of what used to be their house, crying. But through their tears, they expressed much gratitude that they had not been hurt. The house and its contents were just replaceable things that, now, seemed not nearly as important as their protection from injury and death.
“Ah,” I thought, “There it is.” There is the loving voice of God speaking louder than the storm. I knew that even though their house was gone, the idea of their true home could never be lost. All intelligence and right thinking come from God, the divine Mind, and are, therefore, indestructible. A house is a tangible representation of the spiritual idea that God’s love provides perpetual refuge, shelter, and comfort. Because all spiritual ideas are eternal, the expression of those ideas can be expected to be renewed as well.
Although it took a few years, that entire part of the town was rebuilt to a higher standard of safety than ever before. First, the love of God speaks to the human heart bringing comfort and hope. In this quieter mental state, people can hear more clearly the best steps to take to rebuild. This is one of the infinite ways that divinity proves its permanent loving presence through humanity.
In the movie “Starman,” released in the 1980s, an extraterrestrial is ready to return to his home planet. He tells the earthlings who have helped him his greatest impression of his visit to earth. “Shall I tell you what I find most beautiful about earth people?” he asks. “You are at your very best when things are at their very worst.”
And don’t we so often see this? Whenever there is an earthquake, hurricane, flood, people leave the safe comfort of their lives to run to the aid of others. This expression of human love is the direct outcome of the divine Love that never stops caring and leading and lending an all-powerful hand to raise us up to stand more strongly and surely against the winds of adversity.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, once posed this thought-provoking question: “How can the majesty and omnipotence of Spirit be lost?” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 78).
When all material comfort seems lost, Spirit is found in the here-and-now, revealing, each moment, His guarantee of ongoing good for us all. Even through the din of devastation, God will always have the last word. And that word is love.
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