A Christian Science perspective.
Floods in Pakistan – the worst in 80 years – have left an estimated 1,500 people dead and at least 3 million people affected. About 70 percent of the livestock in the Khyber-Pakthunwa Province, the worst hit area, is gone.
People are angry, fearful, and frustrated by what they perceive as an uncaring government. Meanwhile, rescue forces are trying to reach areas that are inaccessible by land because bridges are destroyed and weather has sometimes impeded helicopter flights. Our prayers for the people’s stability and peace under pressure, and also for the restoration of their homes, livelihoods, and communities, are urgently needed.
One of the first things I think of at times like this is that no one is forsaken by God, by divine Love. Because God is infinite, there is no place where His tender mercies are absent. Our prayers can insist that this spiritual fact is a reality, not just a pleasant theory. Every individual has a right to feel God’s mercies relieving anxiety; easing pain; comforting troubled hearts, minds, and bodies.
God claims each of His children as His own, and He loves them dearly. This passage from the Bible says it beautifully: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you” (Isa. 43:2, New International Version). One may say that the waters have already overflowed, but this spiritual message from God conveys that no matter where people are or the trouble they are in, God is there as an intelligent, loving, guiding presence, supporting them and showing them the way to safety.
This intelligent presence is Christ, the spiritual idea of God’s creation, which reveals our nature as made in His likeness. God’s creation is spiritual, and the man and woman of His creating is the perfect image of Spirit. Understanding this point helps one see that everyone has a direct relation to God that can’t be impeded or destroyed by material conditions. It also means that each individual is responsive to healing prayer, willing to love and to obey God’s leading.
Some have reported on those who have been unwilling to share supplies dropped by helicopters and who are hoarding them for their own use. The fear that often motivates such actions can be alleviated by our realization that divine Love cares infinitely for each of its children, and can supply every need. Hoarding isn’t necessary when one’s Father-Mother is the source of all good. Each individual can respond to Love’s care and also express love to his or her neighbors in need.
The same is true for those who are conducting the rescue. God’s Christ – the spirit of Truth that communicates to us God’s love for His creation, can lead individuals to drop rivalries, anger toward government, feelings of burden, or fear of flying in these areas. As an expression of God’s love, each rescuer can be protected by the wisdom of divine Mind. They can’t be tempted to put themselves in danger as a result of pressure from the top, from the press, or even from the people in trouble. Each individual can listen for God’s guidance and so know whether it is safe to pursue a rescue, if for example the weather isn’t quite right or if some other difficulty arises.
Divine Love’s purpose for the man and woman of His creating is good, and only good. Mary Baker Eddy made this point crystal clear in an article called “Spirit and law.” She wrote, “God is the law of Life, not of death; of health, not of sickness; of good, not of evil” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 259).
This law of Life is operating right now in Pakistan, and also in any other areas where natural disaster has struck. Divine Life restores hearts and minds, and opens the way for the larger restoration of infrastructure. We can pray to see proof that Life and Love also protect from natural dangers, such as snakebite or sickness caused by contaminated water, and ensure that evil memories cannot haunt people.
As Pakistan rebuilds, we can trust “the law of Life” to guard the people and guide the forward steps they take.