Lifting thought above the storm
A Christian Science perspective: Prayerful aid in extreme weather events.
Here in California we are in the midst of a long drought. And now it is predicted there will be an intense El Niño condition that will bring some relief from the drought but will bring storms causing unwanted flooding and mudslides.
I know many places in the world suffer from a similar imbalance in nature. When I become aware of extreme weather events, I want to do more than worry or feel sorry for those caught up in these conditions. I want to help, and the most immediate help I can give is prayer, whether I am in a position to offer any other form of help or not. I often pray for the safety and harmony of all those that might be affected by weather. I’ve learned to trust that those prayers are providing safety for those affected by the weather, and in addition, they often do lead to some type of action on my part.
When there was a large fire threatening the city I was living in, I was praying for our safety and wondering how I might alleviate the threat. As soon as I asked this question in my prayers, I received a phone call from a friend who asked me to join with several others in helping to build a firebreak on a hillside. In another instance when my city was threatened with flooding, I prayed much in the same way, and my dad and I were directed to fill sandbags for a friend whose home would have otherwise been taken by water.
In both those cases, I started by acknowledging God and His creation as good. I find this description of creation in Genesis 1: “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (31). “Very good” certainly isn’t out of balance with too little sustenance or too few resources. That “good” includes the safety of all He has created. I pray to know that the power of God is here to save, not destroy. Prayer helps me lift my thought above the destructive, material sense of things to the spiritual truth of perfect being that Jesus came to demonstrate.
Jesus’ understanding of God and the power of the Christ is what enabled him to provide security and safety for others. He was able to overcome the sense of “too much” or “too little” throughout his earthly career. In one instance when there was too little food for the multitudes on the hill, Jesus was able to feed them with just a few fishes and some bread (see Matthew 15:32-39). Jesus knew the power of his Father and knew that power could bring balance and harmony to our human situations that claim we’re at the mercy of “too much” or “too little.” Jesus saved and uplifted those that needed saving by teaching and demonstrating God’s saving power.
In following Jesus’ teachings today, I strive to recognize the same power of the Christ that is always present, providing us with whatever we need for our safety and supply, even today. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy describes the Christ as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332). I pray to hear that Christ message and find those prayers help me to lift my thought above the storm or discord and feel the presence of God. I think of the answers that come as a result of those prayers as evidence of the operation of the Christ power in my life.
There’s a hymn I sometimes pray with that assures me of God’s protecting power. It helps me to trust that my prayers have the power to protect and support all those who are suffering from the effects of serious weather conditions and to see God’s loving presence:
In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed? (Anna L. Waring, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 148)