Eye on the World: healing after tragedy

For individuals and communities who have been through abuse, disaster, or other tragic situations, it’s often tough to say exactly how healing and recovery will come about. But very often, gratitude for community support and especially faith in God play a central role. Over the past several weeks, many observers have noted how the few public appearances of Cleveland kidnapping survivors Amanda Berry, Gina deJesus, and Michelle Knight have suggested that these factors are helping them overcome the abuse they endured. 

Meanwhile, the city of Boston is also finding itself able to emerge stronger after two bombing attacks on April 15, 2013 — the day of the Boston Marathon — killed three people and injured hundreds more. Many nonprofits have helped those affected by the bombings, and citizens say their fellow Bostonians’ support has enabled them to move forward with their lives, even as surviving suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s trial begins.

Man is not a monster” and “Healing victories and freedom from the past,” both written by women who suffered sexual abuse, discuss how a commitment to seeing others as God sees them — as governed by God, divine Principle, not driven not by matter, aggression, or violence — removes fear and enables one to think clearly. Evil actions are never condoned by God, and as we pray to perceive His nature more clearly, we can expect to overcome tragedies — and even witness a decrease of evil actions in the world. 

To end violence against women,” a recent Sentinel audio chat, develops these ideas further. The guest, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, discusses how moral courage, which is certainly apparent among the three Cleveland women, enables us to respond effectively to violence and to find protection and healing through prayer.

You also might enjoy reading this poem, “Not all leaves need wind to fall” — a beautiful meditation on the constancy of God’s love, which never wavers, even when we face dark times.

As we celebrate individual and community progress in moving beyond tragedy, let’s remember that the true spiritual identity of each person is untouched and unfallen. Our prayers to support one another are so needed, and can do incredible good.

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