Volunteer rescue effort in China
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
In the last several days, heartwarming reports have been emerging in the media of survivors of the earthquake in China. In such a vast disaster it seems normal for much of the world to feel some security in the fact that people can find recovery and comfort in their faith in God. In China, though, this is somewhat unclear territory.
Yet, in one story, on the front page of The New York Times, a woman who survived a long and agonizing ordeal spoke of God sustaining her and her husband (May 19). In another report, a professor wrote that many of his university students have dropped everything and driven over 1,000 miles to help with relief and cleanup. Citizens all over China are donating time, food, and money to aid their fellows. An unprecedented grass-roots movement of volunteerism has swept over China.
Where does this impulsion to help come from? Some might say love for their neighbors or for their country, and these are totally legitimate reasons. But at the heart of loving acts, even by people who aren't religious, there is a higher source. According to the Apostle Paul, such deeds come straight from the God who is Love. "The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men" (I Thess. 3:12). The irresistible urge to go to another's aid comes into our hearts because it is instilled in us by our Maker. The God who is Love naturally makes His child loving.
While outward symbols of religious devotion may not be apparent, and the term God may not be commonly used, nevertheless, the activity of infinite Love cannot be suppressed. Infinity knows no borders, walls, or boundaries. It doesn't depend on church structures to contain it or distribute it. Divine Love is an unstoppable force, stronger than any material opposition, including physical disasters, and fills the need for comfort, hope, and renewal wherever the need appears.
This is encouraging news to all who are daily praying for the situation in China, in Burma (Myanmar), and in other areas of the world that are in distress. Supportive prayer for those "on the ground" with willing hands can energize, animate, and streamline those very efforts. The sustaining infinite, or God, can indeed provide the needed strength and creativity to renovate and heal.
In a paragraph on the topic "Assistance in brotherhood," Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote in her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good. Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud. All the varied expressions of God reflect health, holiness, immortality – infinite Life, Truth, and Love" (p. 518).
God is unchanging good. In all circumstances, including one such as this where the landscape is literally altered, God remains a sure dwelling place for all. We can never be separated from His love and tangible care.
For the mountains shall depart,
and the hills be removed;
but my kindness shall not depart from thee,
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.