Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

On the Road to Restoration ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

On the Road to Restoration ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

Two parents working full time. Three teens looking forward to a holiday weekend. Everyone in need of a real break.

So what's the vacation destination? Sandy beaches? Mountain skiing? Or ... clearing brush and doing salvage work for a small church?

Would you believe we took a flight to New Orleans to help with disaster relief after Katrina, our luggage bulging with work clothes, hand tools, garden gloves, and sturdy boots? In fact, getting on that plane seemed the most natural thing to do that week. It was the logical outcome to our prayers for this community during the previous three months.

Despite what it looked like, we had prayed to see evidence that God is there and good is going on in practical, tangible ways.

God as ever- present Love continuously communicates to each of us the ideas that will shelter the vulnerable, provide necessities, and illuminate progressive answers. The more we prayed, the more we realized we could be part of those answers.

It wasn't even a hard sell to the kids. They had followed the news stories online. When we asked them if they wanted to get involved, they jumped at the chance to make a difference.

But how? Often well-intentioned good can simply overwhelm those in need or send what isn't needed at the wrong time and in the wrong way. Who needs a donated winter coat in a humid climate?

Most of us are looking for a vacation to help us leave behind our everyday lives - and the daily news included. Our sense of rest and recreation tends to be as far removed from discouragement and devastation as possible.

But there's something in the old proverb that shared sorrow is half sorrow, and shared joy is double joy. Simply becoming usefully engaged in another's plight can ease the burden in ways money and other donations can never fully accomplish. And helping someone else find a reason to smile again rekindles an inner vitality we may not have felt for years. …

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