When you see dimly, then ask as a little child for light, and continue to pray to Love for it, and the help will come and Love with it.
From A Letter 1895
They are God’s beloved children!
Prayer in the aftermath of hurricane Mitch
From the February 22, 1999 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
For a long time after the hurricane itself had ended, news reports told us that the devastation from hurricane Mitch had set Honduras and its Central American neighbors back forty to seventy years in their development of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. The hurricane destroyed most crops and left thousands dead and homeless. How do these countries recuperate from such destruction? How can the people rebuild their lives?
To be sure, it has been encouraging to witness the many brave and unselfish acts performed by victims during and after the hurricane. Further hope is found in the number of individuals and nations around the world that have provided clothing, food, temporary bridges, excavating equipment, and other aid.
My own heart was not numb to Central Americans’ cries for help. I was born in Honduras, and tears streamed down my face every time I saw the plight of so many orphaned children on the news. I wanted to grab every one of them in my arms and make everything all well. I knew I couldn’t do that, but I could embrace them in my prayers.
As I turned to God, I came to feel in my heart the conviction that there are no God-forsaken children. These words from the book of Isaiah reminded me of God’s constant, spiritual care for all His children: “‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you. ‘O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires'” (54:10, 11, New International Version).
These words were comforting, but how could I be sure my prayers would have an effect? First, I realized that these prayers didn’t originate in my own consciousness. They were evidence of Christ, Truth, God’s ever-present influence, washing me of merely mortal views. Through Christ, I could feel the inspiring and energizing influx of spiritual love, unselfishness, honesty, and power.
It was the Christ that Jesus expressed so purely that enabled him to have dominion over destructive weather and to bring healing to thousands. Christ Jesus’ thought was a clear window for God’s infinite love to shine through. He understood that God, divine Life, was the only power and substance of the universe, and this gave him the conviction to demonstrate that evil in all its forms was nothing when compared to the omnipotence and allness of divine Spirit, God. He lived his spiritual understanding moment to moment, healing sin, disease, and death. Speaking of Jesus’ spiritual ways of accomplishing good, Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “The divine Mind was his only instrumentality in religion or medicine. The so-called laws of matter he eschewed; with him matter was not the auxiliary of Spirit. He never appealed to matter to perform the functions of Spirit, divine Love” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 288).
I realized that the best help I or anyone else could give to the victims of this disaster would come from prayer—letting Christ, Truth, shine through the window of our own consciousness. And to see God’s ever-present help during this severe time, I needed to understand more about the infinite goodness of God, who is divine Love itself. The cause of disaster is never an angry God punishing His people. God is the universal divine Principle of harmony, the all-loving Father-Mother to whom so-called natural disasters are unnatural. The infinite and all-powerful goodness of Spirit can impart only boundless blessings upon all.
Likewise, God, the divine Mind, does not make man mortal, sinful, and vulnerable. Man’s true selfhood is spiritual, belonging to God and expressing God’s divine goodness. The healing and transforming presence of Christ nullifies even infectious diseases. Man is truly Mind’s spiritual reflection of infinite good. There’s no place in this infinite good for any evil that could be carried from person to person. In reality, only God’s spiritual good is contagious, active, powerful, and freeing.
As I continue to pray for the victims of hurricane Mitch, I know that their true, spiritual substance remains intact, for it is a part of God’s indestructible good. The worldwide outpouring of love they have received comes from inexhaustible divine Love expressed. This love cannot run out, for infinite good, God, renews it and infinite Mind, God, reveals it in the forms that best meet all needs. This love includes even those who have died—they continue on as God’s spiritual expressions in timeless Life, fully endowed with all the good and purpose that was theirs before the world was.
The people in Central America have indestructible spiritual resources with which to rebuild their lives.
My prayers have helped me recognize that the people in Central America have indestructible spiritual resources with which to rebuild their lives. Christly tools of honesty, selflessness, creativity, courage, and love can rebuild homes, roads, bridges, and farms. These tools are spiritual and do not wear out. They are bountifully given by God, and the results from their use are lasting. These countries’ real resources are spiritual, ever present, and overflowing. I saw that this can be a time of spiritual renewal, a time of rebirth of integrity, peace, discipline, hope, and opportunity.
The people of Central America still need our practical help and prayers. May our hearts stay open to continuing to assist them. Let us love them with the spiritual understanding that they are not forsaken, but tenderly held in the all-powerful embrace of divine Love, God.