A Christian Science perspective.
This week, there has been continuing news coverage of Jiverly Voong, the man who killed 13 people and wounded others before shooting himself in Binghamton, N.Y. There also have been reports about the hundreds killed and thousands displaced by the earthquake in Italy, and a host of other situations around the world. Behind all these sad events is a similar question: In the face of darkness, is good possible? Or even there?
It's a question Jesus could have asked in the garden of Gethsemane on the night when he would soon be betrayed by Judas and later face crucifixion. Instead of doubting God's presence, he prayed, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39).
After a lifetime of proving God's healing power in so many different ways, Jesus stood alone before the greatest darkness of all: betrayal of the innocent and a hideous death. Yet, he still could affirm trust in his divine Father.
If that trust had been misplaced, Jesus would be unknown or a footnote in history. Instead his trust in good did more than resurrect him from the tomb. As Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, put it: "His three days' work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 44).
We can begin to follow Jesus' lead – in a degree – as we pray about situations in our lives or about world events. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus yielded to the divine will and trusted God fully. Similarly, in the face of sorrow and loss, trusting God with the outcome may take genuine self-surrender.