The news out of Africa has touched me deeply. An AIDS epidemic, war and famine, and the great inequity between people's resources and opportunities. I am yearning to help. A check to a relief organization is an important contribution, but I've wanted to do more. And so I've been praying daily for all the people in Africa.
This may seem tiny. One person praying. And yet I'm sure others in Africa and elsewhere in the world are also praying. A Bible verse gives me confidence in this effort: "...with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). So the solution, the help, comes ultimately from God.
There's a rich history of God's power to heal and save people even in the most difficult situations. The children of Israel found manna and quail to eat in the wilderness when in flight from Egypt. Jesus fed 5,000 people gathered in a desert area without adequate food. Both the Old and New Testaments report healings of leprosy, a dreaded disease. There are accounts of protection when enemies threatened, and numerous instances of transformed lives. Paul, for example, had been persecuting others and was suddenly transformed into an individual who spread Jesus' message of love and healing to many other people. With God, all good really is possible.
Another Bible verse reminds me that "God is love" (I John 4:16). This is a promise to me that tenderness and mercy embrace each individual on the African continent.
And so I've been praying. I pray with gratitude that God's ever-presence fills Africa. He is there. His Christ is speaking to each person, one to one.
I'm grateful to Jesus for the healings he performed and his teachings about God. That healing and teaching is still going on because the Christ is still here. Christ is God's truth speaking to us, in our consciousness. It shows us spiritual reality, God's presence and power here, and our own spiritual Godlikeness. These messages heal sickness and destroy whatever is hateful or hurtful. Just as Jesus' words were for everyone, the Christ comes to everyone today.
The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, "Christ, as the spiritual or true idea of God, comes now as of old, preaching the gospel to the poor, healing the sick, and casting out evils" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 347).
Everyone has spiritual sense, the ability to hear those messages from God. God's words take away hatred and fear, whatever incapacitates us or makes us hurt people. His words are powerful with love. A love without inadequacy. Able to meet every human need. God's messages are universal, so no one is left out. They're unconditionally given, because God loves us unconditionally and sees us all as "good enough" to receive this word. I especially love knowing that God's messages to us are so powerful they can get our attention and transform our lives in whatever way is needed for our own good and for the good of others.
The Christ is really an activity. It's a powerful action in thought, which is then played out in life.
So I pray every day in different ways. Sometimes I like to think of what God might be saying to each individual in Africa (and all of the rest of us, too). "I am your Father-Mother, and I love you dearly. You are my loved child. I show you my love in ways you can understand and feel. I have made you infinitely worthy of all good. I give you everything you need. You are with me, and I keep you safe. Do not be afraid. I will care for you forever."
I the Lord thy
God will hold thy
right hand, saying
unto thee, Fear not;
I will help thee.
For information on relief programs assisting Africa, see www.savethechildren.org and www.wfp.org (the United Nations World Food Program).
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society