A Christian Science perspective.
A second explosion last week in the Pike River mine in New Zealand put an end to the hope of survival of the 29 miners who were underground. After waiting for five days, their relatives and friends were told that there was no possibility that any of the miners could have survived the explosion. This was the worst mining accident in New Zealand in nearly 100 years.
Situations such as this impel people with a desire to open their hearts and reach out to bring comfort and consolation to those feeling despair and loss. In the face of such tragic accidents, it’s easy to feel inadequate to meet the overwhelming needs confronting such a community. Can prayer supply the comfort and hope that are so needed for these mining families?
As I prayed about how I could support and bring consolation to my New Zealand brothers and sisters, I was encouraged by words of Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, from her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” She wrote: “Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds” (p. 1).
No matter how difficult the situation, we can have confidence that our heartfelt compassion and prayer will have a healing effect. The all-knowing Mind, which is God, is always at hand to bring comfort and to meet the human need. Through the power of love, divine Mind brings light to the darkness of despair; it invigorates hope in the face of hopelessness, and tenderly strengthens those who are facing loss.
It was this power of compassion that marked the healing works of Christ Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew says, “When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36). This tenderheartedness of the Christ – the power behind Jesus’ words and works – brought healing and comfort to those who were sick, frightened, and lost in the darkness of despair. Jesus was never intimidated by the size of the task before him. He went forward to face the situations with strength and confidence in the recognition that God was the power that would bring healing.
We, too, can be moved with the same compassion that continues to operate today though the power of the Christ. It is the evidence of the Comforter promised by Jesus, and it works in our lives through prayer, providing the answers to all human needs. As this selfless action of prayer is motivated by the desire to cherish and support others, it has the ability to reach into the darkest places with the light of Love. There is no place on earth where its healing presence cannot be felt. This Christly love comforts, consoles, and restores. It heals the brokenhearted.
Prayer is also needed to support the investigation into the need for more effective safety laws and research in the field of mining. Understanding that these activities are the outcome of divine Mind ensures their acceptance and implementation for the good of humanity. Prayer uncovers the negative ideas of lack or limitation that hinder these progressive steps from being taken. Affirming the truth that it is man’s inalienable right to work in safety and security, in an atmosphere that is pure and free, will help meet the needs of mining communities around the world.
God’s bountiful creation evidences only goodness and can never be subject to violence or destruction. God’s love for all humanity is always present, so there is never a time when one of His children can be separated from His love. This truth is the spirit of the Christ, which comes with compassion to comfort those who are fearful and despairing. It brings the message that good can never be lost and establishes the peace that restores the brokenhearted.