Right now the world is in great need of a big dose of motherly love and a huge, comforting hug. Where could a loving embrace big enough to cover the whole earth and encircle all humanity come from?
It seems clear to me that this size hug and love could only come from God, “divine and eternal Principle; ... Love” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 592), whom I’ve come to understand through Christian Science as our Father as well as Mother. With the power of God behind it, such an embrace is more than just an expression of affection. It includes God’s protecting, healing power.
Leaning wholeheartedly on this divine Love has helped me navigate this period of widespread fear. I trust God, divine Mother, Love, to meet all my needs and to care for me as a loving parent would care for a child who was afraid. Each morning I pray that the whole world can also feel this healing Love hugging it and telling it not to be afraid.
The reason I feel so confident in divine Love is that I’ve experienced evidence of God’s protecting care for me and my family over the past 25 years. One message in particular that I have consistently been inspired by as a mother is a poem by Mary Baker Eddy titled “Mother’s Evening Prayer” (see “Poems,” pp. 4-5), which has been set to music in the “Christian Science Hymnal.” Its words help me better understand the message of God’s protecting power conveyed in the 91st Psalm in the Bible.
In raising my children in five countries over the years, in Africa and North America, I have sung this hymn hundreds of times. The mothering presence of divine Love that shines through the words has brought not only much-needed comfort in times of sickness or danger, but also healing. The hymn’s opening words, “O gentle presence, peace and joy and power,” point to qualities that God expresses and is the source of – qualities that are also expressed in each of us as God’s spiritual offspring.
Another line refers to God as “Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight,” and another speaks of being under God’s “mighty wing.” This echoes the 91st Psalm, which explains that God covers us “with [Her] feathers, and under [Her] wings shalt thou trust” (verse 4).
For me, this imagery depicts divine Love as a mother goose with her baby gosling peeking out from under her wing, safe in the refuge of its mother’s protection. It brings the sweet message that we are not alone. Divine Love is present – guarding, guiding, protecting us. As the children of God, the spiritual image of the Divine, we can never be separated from the tender care of this Love.
I know these are more than just comforting words and pleasant imagery because I have felt the palpable peace and healing presence of divine Love many times. Just a few examples, from a time when our young family lived in Ethiopia, include healings of hepatitis and recurring episodes of food poisoning. (To read more about these healings, check out “Healed of hepatitis” and “Spiritual insight ends bouts of food poisoning” on JSH-Online.com.) There was also abundant evidence of our divine Mother’s love and care when I really had to rely on God during pregnancy and childbirth during these years.
The dearest example of Love’s powerful mothering care came one night when I was awakened by the sound of my 6-month-old daughter gasping for breath. I went to her crib, and she was so congested she couldn’t get a breath. It was a very scary moment, and options for help were very limited where we lived.
But rather than giving in to the fear, I took a mental stand for the presence of divine Love, the only true power, which is always here, ready to heal. I started to say aloud the final verse of the poem mentioned earlier:
No snare, no fowler, pestilence or pain;
No night drops down upon the troubled breast,
When heaven’s aftersmile earth’s tear-drops gain,
And mother finds her home and heav’nly rest.
I felt the authority of God’s all-power behind the words. This broke the fear, and the most gentle and calm feeling came over me. Divine Love’s gentle presence and firm authority to meet the need were palpable. The baby coughed, expelling the blockage, and immediately started breathing normally. A wonderful keepsake is a picture taken of her the next day, smiling and completely well, unaffected by the events of the night before.
For these and countless other proofs of Love’s ever-presence and tender care, I am an eternally grateful mother. Truly, as Science and Health explains, “Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man” (p. 256).
This Mother-Love is free to all to know and feel this day and every day, in every corner of the earth.
Editor’s note: As a public service, all the Monitor’s coronavirus coverage is free, including articles from this column. There’s also a special free section of JSH-Online.com on a healing response to the coronavirus. There is no paywall for any of this coverage.