On the day the joy and happiness and unity and celebration of Boston Marathon 2013 was ambushed by bombs, my heart and my prayers went out to the people of my town of Boston and to all those visiting from afar for this wonderful gathering.
It was a shocking and horrible scene. I had to pray to find a semblance of peace for myself. I felt good about my prayers and they gave me some sense of strength.
The next day I had to get up very early and travel into Boston to work, right near where the attack happened. I awoke that morning only to have a great sense of sadness descend upon me. When I was brushing my teeth, I felt like crying. As my wife and I drove into the city the sadness became more palpable. I felt as if I was feeling the sadness of the city, the sadness of joy turning into sorrow.
At the same time I felt that yesterday’s prayer was working in me, that deep down there was a peace. The surface was sadness but in the depths of thought and feeling there was a peace. It was an interesting place to be mentally and I didn’t fight it but rather just stepped back and observed my feelings a bit, feeling I guess that the Spirit of God was going to win out without my forcing it. The sadness gave me a deep sense of compassion that didn’t feel all bad. I felt as though in this very meek state it was easier to feel God, to feel divine Love’s presence somehow. I felt effortless prayer, full of love, and I mean a deep deep feeling of love going out to all, even to the perpetrators, feeling somehow that they had been used and needed comfort too.
It actually developed into a beautiful feeling, maybe just a hint of the compassion that Jesus often felt according to the scriptures. It made my prayer stronger and yet I wasn’t trying to pray, wasn’t saying words or even trying to think spiritual thoughts in an organized way. I was just listening and feeling what felt like divine Love working in me and through me to embrace everyone, to comfort those that mourn, including myself. And oddly enough, when the sadness felt strongest so did the love I felt for everyone, the love I felt embraced by. And I got clearer than I’ve ever been that I need to love so much more, in every instance — that we all do. That is the only thing that will take away, utterly destroy the hatred, the anger, the frustration that would cause someone to do something like this.
This feeling of love and compassion and hope and comfort I’m sure was and is the Christ. I understand the Christ to be the power of God — the godliness that works in us, the light that enlightens us. In this experience I felt it stronger than usual. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and wrote about the Science of Christ defined Christ this way in one instance,
“Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.” (Science and Health 332:9-11)
I have to say, that is what I felt and still feel to some degree in regard to this trying time. It is all very fresh and I’m still working my way through it but I feel there are spiritual forces at work for all of us that are stronger than the seeming forces of sadness and dread.
This Christ, our true divine nature, is not just working in me any more than it was just working in Jesus. I know it is universal and is working in each one now and always to bring peace to our sadness, comfort to us that mourn, binding up our broken hearts, and healing broken or damaged bodies.
I’m reminded of these two verses from a church hymn, referring to Christ the Savior.
He comes to bless thee on his wings of healing;
To banish pain, and wipe all tears away;
He comes anew, to humble hearts revealing
The mounting footsteps of the upward way.
He comes to give thee joy for desolation,
Beauty for ashes of the vanished years;
For every tear to bring full compensation,
To give thee confidence for all thy fears.