Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Glimpses of Heaven: From Grief to Comfort

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Glimpses of Heaven: From Grief to Comfort

Article excerpt

Glimpses of heaven are everywhere in a friendly smile, in random acts of kindness, in forgiving or being forgiven, in music that elevates the soul, in thought as a new truth dawns. The list goes on and is unique to every person. Glimpses of heaven brighten our days by giving us hope, joy, inspiration, and even a sense of security.

There are times, however, when we want more than a glimpse. When someone you love passes on, for example, or when you read about someone passing on unexpectedly or under tragic circumstances, where can peace and answers to soul-searching questions be found?

Once I was the organist for a memorial service for a young girl and her father, who had been killed in an accident at a family outing. It was heartbreaking to see the small white coffin next to the larger one. I kept thinking of all the events she wouldnt experience her next basketball game, her prom, and her high school graduation, not to mention career, marriage, and starting a family.

While I was playing the prelude, I prayed for strength and comfort for all present. I realized that everything that is meaningful on earth is so because of the Godliness it represents, because all good originates in and emanates from God. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, explained, Pure humanity, friendship, home, the interchange of love, bring to earth a foretaste of heaven (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 100).

At that very moment I could understand that the young girl wasnt experiencing loss or remorse, but rather, peace, love, and immortality. In John 14:2, Jesus lovingly comforts his disciples, saying, In my Fathers house are many mansions... I go to prepare a place for you, where, we can be assured, earthly suffering is not even a distant memory. In that setting, all is well.

As comforting as that knowledge is, it might not be enough to completely restore peace of mind for someone who is grieving. I know it wasnt enough for me several years ago when a dear woman who was like a mother to me a best friend and a spiritual mentor suddenly passed on. Despite the spiritual truths I had learned, weeks passed, and I hadnt overcome the grief. …

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