May 23, 2013
For the most part, you and I can’t just drop everything and go to Moore, OK to help comfort, clear, and rebuild. But we can sure pray. We can see the power of God made manifest in the first and continuous responders, the loving hands and hearts reaching out, the strength growing out of sorrow. Good is more powerful than evil because it always ultimately prevails.
The Psalmist writes, “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.” (Ps 139:7-10)
Let us hold fast to that vision of God as ever ready, ever willing, and ever present to save, so that we may bless our brothers and sisters whose lives have been disrupted and dismantled.
But more than that, let us take responsibility for our own part in the bluster and hot air that leads to destruction. Hosea puts it this way, referring to the incorrigible ways of his people: “Look at them! Planting wind seeds, they’ll harvest tornadoes.” (The Message Hos 8:7) Make no mistake: this is not a condemnation of the dear people who live in Tornado Alley. It’s a recognition that we all contribute to the atmosphere of thought which surrounds us.
For you Trekkies out there, you may remember The Day of the Dove, an episode pitting the Klingons against the Enterprise. Spock realized that the anger and hatred expressed between the two factions was feeding the violence. As an antidote, he suggested they began to laugh and enjoy one another’s company. They did so, and the evil dissipated releasing everyone from harm.
Monsters Inc. tells a similar story, about the discovery that joy and affection are a more powerful, safer, and easier to obtain, fuel than fear and anger.
The swirling maelstrom of human emotions like anger, hate, fear, willfulness, etc, leads to more of the same. And as it billows and expands it seems to envelop us in its churning. We must temper that tempest.
The Bible has a number of great solutions, not the least of which is the Golden Rule: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matt 7:12) Or this from Proverbs: “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” (15:1)
The fact is, it really makes a difference. You surely can recall times where a sense of calm interrupted and offset a harmful situation. If it works on a smaller scale, don’t you think it can work on a grander scale as well, if we all pitch in?
When Jesus said “peace, be still,” he could have been speaking as readily to the agitated disciples as to the storm. Either way, the result was the same. (Mark 4:39) The wind ceased.
Let us take to heart our own part in the solution: prayer and goodwill towards all. It certainly can’t hurt and will more likely do a very great good!
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.