POP icons pervade our culture. From Elvis Presley to Marilyn Monroe to Kurt Cobain to Jerry Garcia, these symbols of certain ideals and ways of life have had an impact that exceeds the norm. But when something tragic happens to people's heroes, there is often great grief and shock. What can fill this sudden void?
Every instance of grief in our experience, however, can give us an opportunity to move beyond reliance on matter to reliance on Spirit, God. Christ Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount, ''Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted'' (Matthew 5:4). This comfort comes from the realization that nothing good is ever lost. Good is permanent and eternal because it is spiritual. A material symbol of good does not deserve our worship, but God, the ultimate and only source of all that is good, does.
Allowing public figures-or anyone-to have undue influence over our lives distracts us from learning what we need to know to truly satisfy our hunger for fulfillment and progress. When we rely on a physical symbol or human being for guidance or comfort, we can be disappointed. But this very disappointment can serve to show us a higher way.
God is the only God. There is no other god than God. When a material icon fails us through the nature of its own mortality, we have God, the divine Spirit, to turn to. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ''The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.'' She continues on the next page: ''Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,-this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony'' (pp. 322-324).