A Christian Science perspective: Prayers for healing the grief brought on by mass shootings.

Hearing the news of mass shootings last week, I longed to take all the people of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Hesston, Kan., in my arms and in some way by some power remove any fear and grief they might feel. Physically this was impossible, but I took courage knowing I could embrace these communities in my prayers – affirming the power of God, who is Love (see I John 4:16), to bring relief and healing.

Speaking of the power of God’s love to meet the human need for comfort, care, and healing, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science and the founder of this newspaper, wrote: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 494).

Christ Jesus’ healing works give undeniable proof that God is Love and that this Love is ever present to minister to each of us. Through his understanding of the activity of God’s love to meet the needs of humanity, Jesus restored health to those who were sick and brought comfort and healing to those who were brokenhearted. His “humble prayers were deep and conscientious protests of Truth, – of man’s likeness to God and of man’s unity with Truth and Love,” Mrs. Eddy explained (Science and Health, p. 12).

Jesus was not affirming that a vicious or victimized mortal was God’s likeness. In his prayers, he looked beyond the human circumstances and protested in behalf of man’s pure spiritual identity as God’s likeness (see Genesis 1:26). His protests uplifted the human thought and freed it from sin, sickness, and sorrow.

When we make our mental protest that in our pure spiritual being we and our fellow men are one with God, Love, this brings to light Love’s ability to meet us right where we are and communicate with each of us in a way that we can understand. At times Love’s comforting messages come to us without words but bring peace to our hearts, gently removing our burdens and opening the way for Love’s healing warmth to stir within us and uplift our thought.

This is what happened to me when a dearly loved family member passed on unexpectedly. The burden of loss was a shock to me and other members of the family and we were deeply grieved. Struggling under the weight of sadness, I found a few free minutes to take a walk while my young children were at their piano lessons. On my walk I thought about how God’s love was infinite and realized that Love’s infinitude meant Love was big enough to meet everyone’s need, including my own. This inspiration transformed my thinking and the way I saw everything around me. As I walked on quietly, I noticed the sky was a deep, deep blue, and the sun shed its warm light all around me, bringing out the most brilliant colors in everything I saw. The view was so stunning that it stays in my thought even today, many years later. That day, I truly felt God’s wonderful, divine embrace giving me a perfect sense of assurance and comfort in the continuity of God’s love for me and everyone. My burden was lifted. This spiritual peace brought complete healing to my troubled heart.

As we continue to pray for the families and communities that have suffered tragedy, we can be assured that divine Love reaches everyone with its healing message. Love frees us from the burden of grief and lovingly guides us with wisdom as we work to establish a sense of peace and security, grounded in divine Love’s allness.

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