Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Heroism in the New Zealand Earthquake

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Heroism in the New Zealand Earthquake

Article excerpt

A Christian Science perspective: Prayer for rescuers and those awaiting rescue in New Zealand after the earthquake can help bring guidance and encouragement.

It is a terrible thing to experience an earthquake such as the one that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday. The earth's foundation shook dramatically, causing buildings to collapse and people to scrabble along falling corridors in order to escape the destruction.

Circumstances sometimes come up that leave us bereft of all our usual reference points and comforts, physically and emotionally. But from this debris there can rise inspiring acts of goodness that literally and figuratively carry us beyond the devastation. And these acts of goodness can be supported by prayer.

I watched a news report showing office workers carrying their colleagues out of collapsed buildings. Courage rose naturally because the need for it was suddenly there. Involuntary tears sprang to my eyes as I recognized this impromptu heroism and bravery.

I remembered scenes of similar heroism in many countries - after a mudslide, a wildfire, a flood, a cyclone, a tsunami. This earthquake struck close to home - I live in neighboring Australia - and required, as such a disaster always requires, intelligent and compassionate prayer based on spiritual insight. Offering this was a way I could help support the acts of heroism I was viewing on the news report.

However far away I am from such disasters, this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, reassures me that prayer can make a difference: "It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 494).

Immediately this prayer can be applied to those awaiting rescue and to those who are looking for survivors. Now, to every New Zealander, divine Love is supplying all good. Divine Love is a name for God, and so is Life. Love and Life have not been separated from the people of Christchurch or those of any other city that has experienced similar events. …

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