I was a long way from home when my grandmother passed on. An ocean and a continent away. When the news came, my heart sank. More than a special relative, she was a dear and treasured friend. If only I could have been there.
When I was little, my mother's arms held me close at times of sadness. Now I turned wholeheartedly to the one Mother of us all, the God my grandmother loved with all her heart. No words, just a reaching toward the divine source of comfort, solace, and love.
Then spiritual ideas came and began to wash away the anguish. That God, who is eternal, is surely continuous in His care of each loved child. That God, who is omnipresent, never abandons or forgets Her precious offspring. That God, who is divine Love, is actively loving this sweet relative and me every single minute.
I clung to each quiet assurance when emotion seemed about to send my thought reeling. I could feel the darkness receding, as though a gentle rescue was taking place in my consciousness. And soon all thoughts of grief dissipated, leaving my love for my grandmother pure and strong and uninterrupted. I made my way home with a full measure of peace in my heart.
In the days and weeks that followed, I remained free from sorrow. But a small ache lingered. I longed for the missed opportunity to tell my grandmother how very much I loved her. Feeling sure that God could answer this yearning, I silently nurtured the love I was feeling - keeping it free of regret and hopelessness.
I thought of some words of Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper: "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 1). My desire to express love was heartfelt and selfless, and I knew it could be "moulded and exalted" - raised above human longing to deep-settled contentment and joy.
My prayer was answered not long after, in a way that left no vestige of longing. The answer came as I slept, but I was as conscious of this response to prayer as if wide awake. As I dreamed one night, I found myself telling my grandmother that I loved her, just as I had so wanted to do. This time, I heard the words "I know." Immediately, an enveloping love flooded my consciousness with warmth and unspeakable peace. I awakened with the absolute certainty that Love, in its infinitude, was communicating itself to both of us. She knew I loved her, and I knew she loved me.
The love pouring through me brought a permanent feeling of oneness with my grandmother - and all of God's creation. Oneness that transcended mere physical nearness and fully satisfied my yearning. A strong statement from the Apostle Paul came alive for me: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38, 39).
That precious, all-encompassing feeling of God's love stayed with me for days, a benediction to the healing of heartache. Since then I have thought of my dear grandmother often - always with joy and confidence that she is well- cared for. She has the same Mother, Love, who answered my prayer with such tender, saving grace.
I will not leave
I will come to you.