Holding up the light
A Christian Science perspective: Prayers for those caught up in storms.
When tornadoes hit the southern United States, it was reported that a father picked up a flashlight when he heard the storm and rushed to get his three children to safety. He thought his son was lost in the tornado, but after the storm passed, he saw his son walking toward him, unharmed. The boy had followed the light that his father was holding, to return home (see “Miracle of Alabama” DailyMail.com).
We often see people caught up in various storms – whether they be turbulent relationships between peers or distressing situations – but no matter the type, we all can follow the light to find our way home.
The light that can reach and embrace us at any age and under any circumstance is spiritual; it is God’s unchanging, ever-present love, in which we are always safe. In prayer, seeing everyone in the light of the Christ, as God’s children, made in His image and likeness gives us a view of God and man that shows us that no one can really be separated from God’s care. It says in Psalm 139, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (verses 7-10).
We can trust God through every storm and realize that, in God’s care, we cannot be pulled away or separated from good. We cannot fall out of God’s love – it is everywhere and fills all space. As we understand that God, who is divine Love itself, tenderly, calmly guides and holds us, what appears to be an urgent, chaotic situation is replaced with peace. This peace is the result of our human view yielding to the divine. Mary Baker Eddy noted in her textbook on healing, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494).
Christian Science prayer does not wrestle vainly with storms that could harm us; instead, it affirms the calm and peace of ever-present Love right where the twisting logic of human events attempts to invade. This peace that God brings to us may show us a way to calm relationship problems, open our thought to a new way of seeing a situation – or it may alert us to seek shelter from danger.
A proof of this kind of prayer happened a number of years ago in my family. My brother was returning to college after a visit home. After flying into the Denver airport, he sleepily climbed into his car for the trip back to his college. While driving on the mountain roads through a snowstorm, he fell asleep. At the same time, back in the Midwest, my mother had just left home to go shopping. She felt an urgent need, however, to pray for her son and turned around, went home, and prayed to know God’s ever-present love was right where he was, so no harm could come to him. She prayed until she had a sense of peace about his safety. Late that evening, my brother called her and said his car had rolled over end to end twice and then over one more time, coming to a stop in a snowdrift. While the car was demolished, he was completely unharmed. To me, this has always served as an example of holding up the Christ light in prayer, responding to a need, and affirming God’s protection.
Are we not each called upon to see others with this same care, to trust that God will guide, protect, and govern all? This trust in the Father-Mother God shows the light that can’t be blocked, extinguished, or depleted. It continues to shine so that we can find our way. It acknowledges that prayer is more than talk; prayer reveals God’s already-present care that is guiding each of us. Prayer lifts up the light of truth for all to see. These inspired prayers show God’s love constantly caring for each of us at every moment.