A Christian Science perspective.
A precious family friend called after the earthquake hit Haiti. Her father was missing in Port-au-Prince. His home is very near the National Palace that crumbled, and she was beyond worried. She and her siblings had endeavored to use every form of connection to contact him. Nothing.
Earlier in the day, when I heard of the earthquake and resulting devastation, I’d turned to God in prayer, “What would You have me know right now?” I’d been praying with the concept of “stationary power and stillness” for a few days. This comes from a quotation by Mary Baker Eddy, and it was helping me feel settled and able to pray effectively. She wrote, “The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 93). So it was not a surprise to hear a similar angel message, “ ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Ps. 46:10) I am there and everywhere.”
So I was obedient and listened. Grim news reports throughout the day prompted me to look for glimmers of hope within the news coverage as I considered what God is. The power of God as Love lifted me to know that everyone could feel this Love – the protection, the comfort, the healing presence, the intelligence, the purity of God’s tangible presence pouring on each and all.
And so when my friend called, prayer and contemplation had already prepared me to speak to her with calm dominion and compassion.
My most human side just wanted to hug her and somehow take all the fear and angst and pain away, to dry her tears and give her the freedom to do the same for her siblings and friends who have family in Haiti.
While there would have been nothing wrong with hugging, loving, and encouraging her, I knew that what she was really asking for was prayer based on spiritual conviction. The spiritual conviction that it is always and only God, as Mother-Father, who was bringing her and her family, and all Haitians, support and help.
In the initial call, and in other calls since, we discussed some of the following ideas: God unequivocally loves her and her family. God loves her dad. God loves each and all of the Haitian people. This earthquake was not of God. God’s love is more powerful than any earthquake of any magnitude. God is present with each family member, including her dad and all people, giving each the messages he or she needs in exactly the terms they can feel and hear. Everyone is receptive to God’s messages of love and dominion and courage, and then obedient and responsive to the specific thoughts and ideas being poured forth.
The divine Comforter Jesus promised, the Christ, is here. My friend knew it, and we knew that her family, friends, and all others could feel this Christly strength and power, too; each would be directed to move or do what was necessary or corrective in this presence of the divine Comforter. The Comforter is with each individual who is hurting, grieving, in need of elevating, encouraging.
Praying with the 91st Psalm, we recognized that each of God’s ideas, each person, was and is held in “the secret place of the most High.” This true position and care of the divine Parent, God, would encourage us to pray through the news reports and pictures to know that each of God’s children is truly being cared for no matter how bad the scenes and dramas looked on the ground.
We considered Jesus’ statement, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”
(John 8:32). The people in need could accept the truths that God was pouring upon them. Truth’s presence was right by their side, removing offensive and threatening conditions.
I’ve also been touched with a spiritual message reminding me that every prayer affirming God’s power, presence, and love for His children is having an impact each moment and for days to come. Jesus’ prayers were not only effective but they were for all time. He healed and blessed his generation, but his instruction, prayers, healings, and example are still lifting and healing us today. He encouraged us to follow his example. This sets the tone and the standard for our prayers.
Yesterday, my friend called to tell me that her father had been found. He was staying on the family’s home property. Although the house was broken in half and taken off its foundation, he was OK and had sustained just a few minor injuries. Those in the household were fine, and all the animals on the property had survived as well.
How grateful I am for this proof of God’s love and care that are available to all. No prayer is too late, too little, or insignificant. Each prayer is the true hug our loved ones require, our known or not-known friends so need.
Adapted from spirituality.com.