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Comfort after the Montana plane crash

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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"I know you're from the area where those people are from," a man who witnessed the plane crash in Montana told the reporter covering the tragedy, "If you could somehow put in there that our prayers are with them, and that their family members didn't go unnoticed. There were people there [who witnessed the crash and who tried to help], and we are praying for them, and we care. I think that's important that they have that knowledge" (Los Angeles Times, March 23).

Elsewhere in the article, that witness, Harley Howard, told how he and a friend had run to the site, and seeing that nothing could be done for the victims, they felt helpless, but they turned and prayed. In their helplessness, they turned to a higher power, one they knew could comfort in the midst of sorrow, and who would care for those who were now beyond human aid.

As the Psalmist put it, speaking of his own life: "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Ps. 61:1, 2).

Prayer is the one power that each individual can turn to whenever circumstances are beyond personal efforts or there is no human help to be had. At its best, it recognizes the undiluted presence of God, the Love that knows no boundaries or limitations, that comforts in the face of tragedy.

It lifts people above a field of horror, out of great sorrow, to the understanding that even now that divine presence is with them and with those who have been lost. Jesus's resurrection proved that life continues – he said in fact that he had come to bring people eternal life – and we can trust that in some way the families that were lost are feeling God's presence.


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