Christ: friend of the friendless

A Christian Science perspective.

From the shores of Libya, where thousands of people risk their lives in unsafe boats to get to Italy and a new life, to hungry families in inner cities or in Syria and other war-torn countries, there comes a cry for deliverance from hopelessness and suffering. While many humanitarian efforts are in place, and some governments are able to help, conditions in those countries sometimes delay or even prevent the aid from arriving.

There is help, however, that is already present. It is the Christ – the spiritual idea of God, which Jesus taught and lived. In her poem titled “Communion Hymn,” Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points to Christ as the help that will reach and satisfy all needs. She writes, “Strongest deliverer, friend of the friendless,/ Life of all being divine” (“Poems,” p. 75).

The saving power of Christ, Truth, can heal all people at all times in all nations. Under Christ’s care, hope is more than an option – it opens the door to perceiving spiritual reality as a power alive and well in each circumstance.

Christ Jesus’ life and ministry provide ample proof of this reality. He healed hopeless cases, even brought people back from death. He was fearless before the gravest ills and most corrupt conditions. He was also compassionate toward those with doubts about his Christly ministry. Even to his disciple Thomas, who doubted the resurrection, Jesus said, “Be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).

The Master Christian’s proof of God’s ever-presence speaks to us through the centuries. We know from the Gospel accounts that his ministry went beyond people of his own culture and background. Matthew’s Gospel recounts the story of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was “grievously vexed with a devil.”

Jesus’ disciples said, “Send her away; for she crieth after us.” In other words, “We’re too busy to deal with this woman whose views are foreign to our own.” But Jesus, after talking to the woman, healed her daughter (see Matthew 15:21-28). He understood that God provides for all of His children, and all are under His care, whether or not they know it. This promise of healing is just as real for people today, no matter what their circumstances.

How this healing comes about in our own time isn’t ours to define or to outline. But when we hear reports of great need, we can take a moment to pause and declare mentally that right there the “friend of the friendless” is present. Right there is the power of Christ, strengthening those in need, revealing help they can understand and receive. And also right there are open hearts and hands willing to work with them toward solutions that help and heal.

From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.

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