God is comforting Her people
There is no person or circumstance that is beyond the reach or help of God, infinite good.
Originally published for The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column on October 13, 2023
In light of the brutal attack on Israel and its punishing response, many are seeking comfort in prayer. More than anyone, those still anxiously waiting for news about their loved ones’ safety and whereabouts, and those grieving their loss, need to feel God’s loving presence and almighty protection.
I thought of a Jewish family that my tour group crossed paths with several months ago in Israel. The family had fled from their home to escape sporadic rocket fire and was unsure if their home would still be there when they returned. I wondered, too, about a Palestinian friend who had essentially been stateless his whole life. All were gentle, peaceful individuals caught up in a cycle of fear, misunderstanding, and hatred. Were they safe?
During grievous times, prayers may sometimes seem futile and words hollow. But there are beautiful promises in the Bible that unburden the heavy heart and wing it with hope. For instance, in the book of the prophet Isaiah: “For thus saith the Lord.... As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (66:12, 13).
Holding to the spiritual fact of everyone’s unbreakable unity, safety, and life in God brings hope, and strength to go forward.
And in Psalms: “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. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me” (139:7–11).
What could be more comforting than to feel in the deepest recesses of our heart that not a single one of God’s children can be separated from Her love and saving power? There is no person or circumstance that is beyond the reach or help of God, infinite good. Wherever we are, God is, for we are one with our divine Parent as the image, or spiritual reflection, of divine Love. Not even those seemingly caught in the web of hopelessness, fear, or hatred can be cut off from God’s redeeming love. God is here, now, guarding and guiding all of us.
Holding to the spiritual fact of everyone’s unbreakable unity, safety, and life in God brings light, hope, and strength to go forward.
As I prayed along these lines, I was reminded of a time when our family had lost contact with someone very dear to us who had been struggling with a challenging situation. We feared we might have lost them. All of us were praying for peace and comfort.
A family member later told me that as she was sitting and praying by a bay one day, a cormorant—a water bird common to the area—came into view. After paddling on the surface of the water for a few minutes, the bird suddenly dove into the deep and disappeared from sight.
In a flash of understanding, my family member saw that while our loved one was out of our sight, they had never left God’s loving care. Despite what we saw (or didn’t see) on the surface, this individual’s life was continuing uninterrupted because God, the creator of all that truly is, is Life. There was no place this individual could go or be taken to that would separate them from our loving Father-Mother, from Life itself. As God’s spiritual offspring, each one of us reflects divine Life, is the child of Life, and has an eternal life—an identity that is indestructible.
Whether we saw this individual again or not (and ultimately we did), nothing could change these spiritual facts. This was the comforting message that came to my family member through Christ—God’s powerful, universal message of truth and love—and replaced the darkness of fear and grief with light.
As God’s spiritual offspring, each one of us reflects divine Life, is the child of Life, and has an eternal life—an identity that is indestructible.
The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, gives this prayer of gratitude for God’s light and love:
“May the great Shepherd that ‘tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,’ and binds up the wounds of bleeding hearts, just comfort, encourage, and bless all who mourn.
“Father, we thank Thee that Thy light and Thy love reach earth, open the prison to them that are bound, console the innocent, and throw wide the gates of heaven” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 275).
May the light and love of God be known and felt by all—in the Middle East and everywhere.
To find more articles to support a continuing cycle of shoulder-to-shoulder prayer and shared inspiration during the Israel-Hamas war, please explore a collection called Prayers for peace amid conflict.