When my son passed away recently, everything seemed dark and desolate. One of the first telephone calls I made was to a Christian Science practitioner. I needed help to see my way out of this darkness. She read me these lines from Mary Baker Eddy’s Hymn 23: “Thou gentle beam of living Love, And deathless Life…” and offered to pray and support me. The practitioner gave compassionate, gentle, but firm support through this time of need.
Over the next few days I thought deeply about Life eternal. If Life is eternal, it cannot be snuffed out for the time we are dealing with the immediate human situation, and then resume its eternal nature. If Life is eternal, it is always so.
I also focused on “activity.” Humanly, we often think of activity as physical—which is fine, since it is one way of looking at it. But looking through the lens of Christian Science, I saw activity as spiritual thought, which is manifest humanly in so many ways. More importantly, it is always manifest. I thought of the many, many ways in which my son expressed that spiritual activity, through life, love, learning, and an ever-active mind. That activity continues on.
The support and love from family and friends was very comforting. But it was good to be reminded that all that love and comfort has its source in ever-present divine Love. I could always turn to that Love, confident of its constancy and sustaining power.
I turned to the Bible Lessons, and found so many verses from the Bible and passages from Science and Health that gently nudged me in the right direction, from a sense of deep loss to a more meaningful sense of eternal Life. I was hungry for the truths in those Lessons—the truths that tell us that man is the image of Love, that man is deathless and spiritual, and that man’s substance is all spiritual, not material.
I learnt, and continue to learn, that my son continues to express the qualities of Love, Mind, Life, and Soul that he reflected when he was with us. These qualities are ever with us as we express them in our own lives. And the light has not gone out—it continues to shine, as we are ever “the sons (and daughters) of the living God.”
One of the passages that really stood out and “spoke” to me was from the Bible Lesson on “Man.” “Man is deathless, spiritual. He is above sin or frailty. He does not cross the barriers of time into the vast forever of Life, but he coexists with God and the universe.” (S&H 266:29)