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Healing the pain of parting

From the window we watched as a mother robin encouraged her fledglings to hop far out along the branch of the old spruce tree where they had their nest. One by one they took their first fluttering flight to the grass below. Was it trust or instinct that enabled the parent bird to let her youngsters go, apparently without anxiety? Over the next few days all left the nest to begin lives of their own.

Human life appears to be punctuated by partings. We may have to leave a home we love; children go away to college or to start a career; friends move from the area. Perhaps the most difficult kind of parting occurs when relative or friends pass on as the years go by.

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Challenging as these events are, it is possible to overcome the pain of parting. Because God is always present, nothing in His creation, including man, can ever be outside His presence. We and the ones we love are forever together in God's love. He is Love itself, and He cares for us wherever we are, whatever we may be doing. We can trust our Father-Mother God to care for our loved ones when, for any reason, they are away from us.

Many people over the centuries have turned to the Bible, the inspired Word of God, for strength when partings occur in their lives. I remember being much comforted by finding this Bible verse when a colleague at work died: "The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another."n1 It reminded me that my friend continued to be in the watchful care of God, safe in His presence. Even though I could not be personally with him, I drew strength from the fact that our mutual divine Father, God, held both of us in His loving care. n1. Genesis 31:49.

When Chirst Jesus was parted from his family by the crucifixion, he placed his mother in the care of a loved disciple, who from that time on took her into his home as though she were his own mother. Jesus knew that the love of God never leaves us. It may be expressed through a relative or friend, but it is really the love of God always appearing in ways that are practical to our needs.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, knew many partings in her life. A brother of whom she was especially fond died when she was still young. After only a brief marriage, her first husband succumbed to yellow fever. Yet she could write later, "Where God is we can meet, and where God is we can never part."n2 n2. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 131.

When someone close to use leaves, we cannot truly be separated from all that he or she expresses -- from the love, goodness, and joy that are qualities of God. These God continues to give to His children, often in wonderful and unexpected ways.

IT is not always easy to heal the grief that descends when someone we love appears to die. If only we had some tangible assurance of his continuing existence and happiness| Rising from the tomb, Jesus proved for us the eternality of life, rejoinging his disciples alive and well.

Christian Science, in accord with the Biblical record, teaches that man is the image of God, who is Life itself. And because God is eternal, His likeness, man, has the joy of everlasting life. Even though we no longer see those who have passed beyond our present comprehension, Jesus' example assures us that they continue the experience of life, strengthened by the understanding that there is no death. Wherever they are and whatever they are doing, they are in God's loving care, just as certainly as we are this very moment. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up.... O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thos hast healed me....Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.... Weeping may endure for a night, but you cometh in the morning....Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. Psalms 30:1, 2, 4, 5, 11, 12

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