This week’s cover story discusses paths forward to combat the epidemic of opioid abuse.
Like many others, I’ve needed to comfort those in my community who have lost loved ones from a drug overdose. I am moved to express kind words and offer a strong arm to lean on. But I want to do more – to bring the healing love that comes from “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.” As Christian healer and writer St. Paul wrote: God “comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:3, 4).
I came to learn something of this divine comfort in my own experience, dealing with the addiction of those close to me. In one case, when I was a teenager, my boyfriend had an addiction to illegal drugs. When I received a call from his friend that he had overdosed, I found myself instinctively praying to the “God of all comfort.” My humble prayer was focused on the knowledge that all of God’s creation – including my boyfriend – was loved by God, worthy of God’s love, and that God sustains all life. It was the touch of God’s love that inspired my prayer, and I thanked God with all my heart when my boyfriend pulled through. This experience is a microcosm of what many are facing but also shows the power that prayer holds for all.
I have come to understand that the divine grace is always reaching out to us, as the life of Christ Jesus revealed. Jesus reached out with love from the Father of all mercies and freed those who came to him who were trapped in pain and disease. When healing the sick and sinning, Jesus taught that we are God’s children, and that each one of us deserves to know and feel the powerful effect of our Father’s love, which cleanses and heals.
Jesus proved that the Christ is the activity of divine Love in our consciousness that reveals our true identity as God’s children – pure, whole, and loved. Christ shows man to be as incorruptible as his creator, divine good, and superior to material influences.
This divine fact inspires and brings healing – it restores the soul as the psalmist says: “[the Lord] restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (23:3). In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, brings out the nature of God as Love in this psalm by giving the psalm’s spiritual interpretation: “[Love] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense]: [love] leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (p. 578).
I pray to understand that Love purifies all desires and dissolves the pull of compulsive and destructive thoughts and actions. The love of our Father-Mother God is for all to feel, mentally and physically. It is this divine comfort that truly has power to heal.