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THAT 'STILL SMALL VOICE' OF GOD: TOO SMALL TO SPEAK TO EXTREME WEATHER?

From the September 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal


"WE SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CONTROL OVER THE WEATHER THAT WE HAVE OVER OUR BODIES."

Mary Baker Eddy as quoted by Irving C. Tomlinson (A11927, The Mary Barker Eddy Collection, The Mary Baker Eddy Library)

A remarkable statement. In fact, when I first read it, I have to admit to doing a double take. Just as with medical-news reports, every day we hear breaking news about the weather—and it's often pretty grim. Earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, floods, and droughts can seem huge in scope—and definitely beyond our control. But as we practice Christian Science, we come to understand the universal truths of God, good, to be unbreakable law. So if there is one, all-powerful Mind, how can we be helpless victims living in a world of random weather disasters?

And if weather events appear to devastate individuals, communities, and sometimes whole populations, doesn't this require immediate, heartfelt—and effective—prayer?

What "thought" is on our horizon?

Christian Science proves that everything is thought. We perceive our mortal bodies and the weather through the five physical senses. Thought comes to us individually—as what these same material senses claim to tell us about our bodies and our immediate environment. It also comes to us collectively—through what the majority of mortal thought generally accepts as true. The collective thought appears to solidify over time and results in being accepted as "physical laws." These so-called laws confirm what is experienced through the five senses—as our "bodies" in the material form of dysfunction, including disease and contagion. And they also take form on a broader scale as storms, earthquakes, floods, fires, and other "natural phenomena."

Are we accepting extreme weather events as "natural phenomena"?

These days climate change is on top of everyone's weather agenda—and there are strong human opinions, yea and nay. But regardless of one's personal or political take on it, human reasoning alone isn't enough. Regular, conscientious prayer is at the heart of all healing, along with the practical solutions that must spring from this prayer.

There seems to be an assumption that collective thought is more difficult to "heal" than individual thought—and this can leave us feeling powerless against meteorological "forces." But as that bold statement of Mary Baker Eddy's reveals, weather cannot be outside the reach of God, because it is under the invariable and only true law of one Mind, one Principle. Which means that we can expect it to be effectively treated with prayer.

"Sick weather" is no more normal than a sick body. Neither is part of God's creation. Illness comes from fear, ignorance, or sin. Violent weather is the result of the collective consciousness—fear, hate, violence, revenge, ingratitude, lust, jealousy. Mrs. Eddy wrote, "... the atmosphere of the human mind, when cleansed of self and permeated with divine Love, will reflect [a] purified subjective state in clearer skies, less thunderbolts, tornadoes, and extremes of heat and cold; ..." (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 265). Regardless of whether we're facing an individual physical challenge or the eye of threatening storm, the same elements are at work in prayer: acknowledging the allness of God's creation—unchanging, pure, perfect. We can confidently deny anything that opposes this perfect creation, and do it with fervent, unselfed love.

So we can get to work right away, not just for our surroundings, but at the far reaches of the globe. You don't have to wait till you hear about some disaster in the news. Anyone can prepare—can expect, can affirm in prayer—what the first chapter of Genesis emphatically declares: that God gives dominion over all the whole earth (Gen. 1:26, 28). This means we have the right—and the responsibility—to reverse the belief in natural disasters.

Of course it helps to be ready and willing to pray about weather extremes when they're reported in the news, but preventive, proactive, daily prayer is essential to perpetuate and demonstrate harmonious weather.

"Act of God" ... or God in action?

Extreme and unpredictable weather is often referred to as an "act of God." What a lie—that bad weather is somehow sacred or God-sent. Would God—who is unconditional Love—wreak havoc upon Her own beloved creation? It is in deep, persistent prayer that the healer can face down this impossibility. Whatever God creates is useful, innocent, and harmless; consequently, the opposing testimony that destructive weather is something we have to endure is false. Of course it helps to be ready and willing to pray about weather extremes when they're reported in the news, but preventive, proactive, daily prayer is essential to perpetuate and demonstrate harmonious weather.

During the last storm season, I was sitting in my study praying, when I became aware of a roaring sound outside. When I walked out on the front porch, it was obvious that the weather had changed dramatically from bright sunshine to ominous black clouds shrouding the sky. What sounded like a freight train seemed to be coming toward us from the west. My wife and I picked up the weather radio and our two small dogs and went to the basement.

As I walked out of the ground floor back door, the thought came to me to confront the storm—right then and there—and the words came as a prayer. I directed them at what appeared to be a looming tornado: "If you continue in our direction, you will disappear. There is nothing here to nourish you. Anger, greed, impurity, dishonesty, and the like don't live here. Your fury, chaos, violence, and malevolence need these things to fuel you, and they are not to be found. The animals in our woods are harmless and peaceful. The plants and trees and flowers have nothing you need or want. God, good, is here, and this goodness is all there is."

As I walked back inside, my wife said that the weather radio was warning people to take cover and to protect their property, not only from possible tornados, but from large hail that was predicted to arrive in the next few minutes. She reminded me that we had a truck and an RV in the open, so I proceeded to move them under shelter. During this time, I felt a great sense of peace. Hooking and unhooking the trailer went extremely smoothly and rapidly. I knew that God was caring for us and all of His creatures who were depending upon us for protection—since prayer protects all on whom our thought rests.

When I walked back into the basement, my wife said, "The weather report has totally changed." I looked out the window. Black skies and dire predictions had turned back into a beautiful day. The entire experience took place in little more than half an hour. Three days later, our weekly newspaper confirmed that there had been a tornado heading toward our house that afternoon, but it had dissipated en route.

Knowing, and holding to the fact that weather, spiritually discerned, is the creation of God, Mind, is an effective, practical antidote for untoward conditions. Complete reliance on this fact diminishes fear, softens the atmosphere, and demonstrates that weather is the servant and not the master of us all. This approach can't help but eventually bring weather into a harmonious relationship with the human scene. Constant and consistently good weather is not an impossibility—it is inevitable.

As we understand and nurture this concept, and put it into action in our daily prayers, weather will cease being perceived as a ferocious adversary and instead progressively become what Spirit creates and maintains—a consistently predictable and gentle friend.

♦


Don Griffith is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Elberton, Georgia.

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