The comfort always in our midst

Whether we are giving comfort to others, or feeling the need for comfort ourselves, each of us can feel the presence of the Christ – the healing message of God, divine Love – caring for us and strengthening us.

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A few months ago, the husband of a very dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. These friends have always been two of the most kind-hearted people I have known, and the news was hard to take in.

My friend and her family are not especially religious, but because I often find peace by praying, it was natural for me, as I traveled to their home, to pray to know that she and her two children could feel God’s love palpably.

As I arrived, pretty shaken myself, I expected my friend to be bereft, and I figured I was there to lend needed comfort. Instead, what I saw was in line with what I had been affirming in prayer, a palpable sense that Love was already present.

My friend answered the door with a warm smile, put her arm around me, and ushered me into their family room telling me how supported she had felt all week and how grateful she was for all the lovingkindness that had been expressed. The room was filled with friends and neighbors, and each of her daughters was tucked up next to someone, listening to some happy memory that was being shared. There was nothing sorrowful. The room was just filled with love – a strengthening love whose purpose was to lift up those who were mourning.

I recognized this as the presence of the Christ. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and of this news organization, wrote, “Christ is 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 most clearly discerned this Christ message, said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Jesus wasn’t claiming to be humanly present at every gathering. But the Christ, that divine message of God that Jesus so beautifully expressed, is always present, speaking to each of God’s children and embracing humanity with the fullness of God’s love.

So that day, right where folks were gathered in need of comfort, the divine idea was bringing a palpable sense of God’s all-powerful love to everyone – better than any words I could offer.

God represents the sum total of all goodness and love, and because God is ever-present Spirit, there is no place or situation or person unreachable by God. Divinity’s lovingkindness is always with us to strengthen us and care for us, even in the most difficult times.

In the Bible story of Daniel, we see an example of this powerful, ever-present help. Daniel was a good and righteous man, who faithfully prayed to God, and yet he found himself thrown into a lions’ den because of his commitment to God (see Daniel 6). Daniel didn’t waver in his steady recognition of God’s power. God is Love itself, and because God is everywhere, Love goes before us into any situation. It was this Love that protected Daniel and stilled the lions so that they didn’t harm him. Washed over as he was by the power and presence of God, the terror of that trial dissipated, proving that no matter how dire the circumstance, God’s help is with us.

Mrs. Eddy witnessed on many occasions the unfailing comfort of divine Love for each of God’s children, and the blessings that can come from that Love. She said, “Their God will not let them be lost; and if they fall they shall rise again, stronger than before the stumble. The good cannot lose their God, their help in times of trouble” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 10).

While I recognized what a difficult time this was for my friend and her family, and that there could be days when comfort might not be as easy to find, the Christ – the presence of God’s love – will remain in the midst of them, and keep turning their hearts back to goodness and hope.

Seeing the Christ in action at my friend’s house reminded me that what humanity is truly yearning for is the consciousness of divine Love’s ever-present embrace, which blesses and strengthens. Whether we are giving comfort to another, or feeling the need for comfort ourselves, each of us, blessed with the presence of the Christ, can be ever aware of the abundance of God’s goodness, right here in our midst.

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