Prayer for Nepal
A Christian Science perspective: How can we prayerfully aid those affected by the earthquake in Nepal?
From the Kathmandu valley, one region at the center of the massive earthquake in Nepal on April 25, comes a story of hope. Twenty young women from a group home for underprivileged girls are cooking rice and lentils for thousands of displaced earthquake survivors (see “Nepalese Girls in Group Home Cook for Over 3,000 Earthquake Survivors,” People.com). That’s right: thousands. Their cooking efforts are feeding approximately 3,500 people a day. And the girls are finding a new sense of purpose in helping their community.
In the face of the destruction and despair brought about by the earthquake, is it foolish – even naïve – to focus on evidence of good? Actually, humanitarian good hints at our true nature – a nature of divine goodness that belongs to us all.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of The Christian Science Monitor, began publishing this very newspaper to, as she articulated it, “spread undivided the Science that operates unspent” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 353). She saw the Monitor’s reporting as an opportunity to bear witness to the Science of God, good – the presence, power, and laws of divine good – and to magnify this benevolent, healing influence in human thought and life.
Mrs. Eddy wasn’t some relentless optimist. Instead, through decades of studying the Bible and putting its teachings into practice, she discovered spiritual laws of good that undergird our existence and operate on our behalf, consistently and reliably. She named this discovery “Christian Science,” and the healings that have followed in the many years since show that we all dwell in God as God’s children, and that God protects, loves, and cares for His creation.
We can take heart that Mrs. Eddy’s steadfast commitment to witnessing and proving the allness of good, as she followed the example of Christ Jesus, enabled her to leave behind a remarkable legacy of healing. And not just in her own life. Mrs. Eddy’s work also set in motion a growing record of healing among those who follow her teachings – showing that the understanding of good does conquer evil. That same commitment today, by anyone reading this column, is a powerful prayer that can shed the loving light of Truth on the people of Nepal, and help to bring comfort, safety, and regeneration.
As I’ve prayed in the days following the earthquake, I’ve been drawn to understand more deeply that the divine Principle of good, which is God, is always in operation. And because God is Spirit, the good He creates and upholds must be spiritual and incapable of being destroyed. It takes a deep, earnest commitment to this spiritual perspective to bring genuine healing – especially when the hypnotic images of destruction would try to reinforce the lie that God isn’t present. But we can trust that our prayers do bring God’s presence to light as we understand more of God and His blessed creation. This understanding is supported by, and comes to us through, Christ, which Mrs. Eddy defined as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332).
Christ Jesus, who expressed and represented the Christ, offered countless proofs of the power of understanding and leaning on the divine Principle. Once, he was faced with the needs of thousands of hungry people in the middle of a barren landscape. Even with only a few loaves of bread and several small fish, he wasn’t daunted. Instead, Jesus fed the multitude, thereby proving that a commitment to embracing good as the only reality lifts us out of the belief of wilderness or want (see Matthew 15:32-38).
That same animating, saving Christ that revealed the fullness of God – and God’s unwavering care for each of His children – on that biblical mountainside is still in operation today, even in Nepal. It’s restoring. Saving. Ministering to hungry and broken hearts. And there’s healing to be found in affirming this for the people of Nepal – healing that comes through the power of Christ, revealing God’s kingdom as present, universal, and indestructible.
I love what the girls of Kathmandu valley are doing to contribute to their community’s well-being. We can each do our part, too. Our consecrated prayer, and spiritual sense of life that sees beyond the images of destruction to the present spiritual reality, bring healing to those near and far. As we lift our thoughts to a higher sense of what God is and what He’s doing for His creation, we’ll discover a universe in which God’s goodness isn’t just present, but eternally intact.