On March 11, on television, I watched the news of disaster in Tohoku, Japan. I didn’t know about it until that night. I felt defeated thinking if I had known much earlier, I could have helped by immediately praying—affirming that God does not bring death and devastation.
And then I thought in order to help rebuild and support this situation, I shouldn’t dwell on “should have” or “could have” but turn my eyes away from the scenes of disaster and pray with exactly the opposite, the reality of divine harmony.
Mary Baker Eddy says in her Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, “Is a stone spiritual? To erring material sense, No! but to unerring spiritual sense, it is a small manifestation of Mind, a type of spiritual substance . . .” (p. 27). And in Science and Health, she writes, “The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal” (p. 70).
To human sense, people, buildings, a nuclear power plant, the ocean, air, roads, and all the essential utilities such as water and electric lines are just material entities. They are vulnerable and can be destroyed. This is the picture a mortal, material view of creation projects on our world like a bad dream. It seems real within that limited mind.
However, Christian Science teaches that what’s real is the spiritual universe (reality). And reality is composed of spiritual ideas. All these spiritual identities continue to be maintained by divine Love. As spiritual concepts, the roads, people, utilities, nuclear power plants, express qualities of God.
Even now, the experts on earthquakes are forecasting the possibility of a magnitude 8 in the ocean off Tohoku region or magnitude 7 in the inland of Tokyo region as a part of inevitable aftershocks. We can also pray to see that the real spiritual identity of the atmosphere and the ocean cannot be contaminated by radiation.
I truly believe this kind of prayer will help the recovery and restoration in Japan. It is proven that when we are praying to heal someone from suffering, we look away from body and pray while setting our “mental eyes” on the perfect man’s spiritual identity made in the image and likeness of God (see Genesis 1).
Mrs. Eddy writes: “The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals. Physical force and mortal mind are one” (Science and Health, p. 484).
As the earthquake or material damage is the expression of these thoughts of mortals, we should put them out by replacing them with Truth–God’s spiritual reality such as harmony, order, calmness, and love. Just as light brought into darkness immediately makes a room bright, we can replace every claim of destructive power with constructive and loving ideas about Life, not death. God’s creative power does not give power to destruction. I am praying to understand that all-powerful God has no consciousness of earthquakes based on Eddy’s quote, “Truth has no consciousness of error” (p. 243).
In the past ten years or so, I have prayed when I’ve heard predictions of big earthquakes in Tokyo and in Kansai area where I live.
Now when I pray, I include the Tohoku region, knowing that God, divine Love, is maintaining all of His spiritual identities. I am now taking time to pray specifically for these places with these ideas.
Kazuhiko Kaneda lives in Kyoto, Japan.
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