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How would you have reacted?

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I'm a reporter at a large news organization in New York City. One day around noon, people were clustered together in our office, debating how we should cover the latest unfolding tragedy, a plane crash.

Should we do a short story in the front of our magazine or a longer piece in the middle? What would be the difference in our coverage if the victims lived or died? Should this be a cover story? Could we get a picture of the crash scene before our late-night deadline?

Engrossed in the conversation, I felt a sudden wave of emotion: How could I be wrapped up in such questions in the face of the horrific scene being shown on TV? Shouldn't I be thinking of the victims and their families, rather than figuring out which sources would give me scoops on piecing the story together?

I retreated to my office to pray. I considered these words from a poem written by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper: "Shepherd, show me how to go/ O'er the hillside steep,/ How to gather, how to sow, -/ How to feed Thy sheep" ("Retrospection and Introspection," pg. 46).

A gentle calm came over me. I felt at peace, and also inspired. I thought back to several Bible stories involving brave characters like David, Christ Jesus, Moses, and Noah, all of whom, through prayer and reliance on God, brought lasting peace and healing to chaotic situations. What stood out was the fact that they never ran from evil; they confronted it - and defeated it. I felt that I must confront the fear and odd fascination being bantered about, rather than succumb to them.

What was behind my uneasiness, really? The sense that we are simply mortals, subject to chance and danger, living a life that begins and ends, that is governed by forces out of our control. Through my spiritual study, I've learned that these propositions aren't accurate in regard to our true identity. On the contrary, we are spiritual beings - maintained by a God who is Love. God made us immortal. No, life on earth doesn't provide such evidence. But prayer reveals these facts.


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