Comfort and strength when life has been lost

Whether we’re taking a moment to honor those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, honoring the life of a public figure, mourning a personal loss, or praying for others caught up in tragic events, a spiritual view of life in God brings healing strength and comfort – as a couple experienced after their daughter was killed in a car accident.

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When tragic events occur and life is lost, is there any comfort to be found? I’ve found that an understanding of God as Life itself can be a powerful comfort. This is no Pollyanna-esque blind hope, but a deep-rooted spiritual conviction that no matter what circumstances may seem to be, all of God’s children are safely upheld in His all-encompassing love – that life is forever intact and continues on beyond the limited human view of life. Glimpsing this truth unfolds strength and peace that can’t be shaken and heals grief.

My husband and I found this to be true when our teenage daughter was killed in a car accident by someone apparently under the influence. Christ Jesus’ example was a comfort and a strength to us at this time. Jesus came to prove the eternality of life, and even while on the cross he asked God’s forgiveness for those crucifying him. His resurrection and ascension proved that death was not the finality it appears to be. And he promised us that the peace of Christ would be with us forever.

The same love of God that sustained Jesus is still here, embracing everyone. Psalm 91 assures, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ... He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (verses 1, 11). Even in the face of the most tragic situations, God is lovingly holding all in the great heart of His love. God’s tender messages, or angels, feed those mourning a great loss with spiritual inspiration. Tenaciously holding to these comforting messages is strengthening.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, wrote of God’s man, meaning all of us as God’s offspring, “Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 63). Man, created in God’s, Spirit’s, image, is spiritual. Our true life was never in matter to be lost. We reflect divine Life eternally.

We all have an innate ability to behold the spiritual facts of life, even where the material evidence of death is broadcasting the loudest.

As my husband and I prayerfully and reverently embraced these truths, we realized that our daughter was safe in God’s care, where she had always been. Soon the wrenching heartbreak and feeling of being separated from her vanished, and we found our joy and peace again. Eventually forgiveness filled our hearts as well.

Beyond what we are able to perceive with our eyes, there is a greater present spiritual reality: God, divine Love itself, always embracing and holding His children. Life is more than we know, and we can find peace and rest in this truth.

Whether we’re grieving a personal loss or praying for others who have been caught up in traumatic events, we can all take a moment to celebrate the eternal life of all. We can rest in the certainty that everyone is forever blessed and upheld in the love and comfort of our dear Father-Mother God.

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