Love letter to the Midcoast region

By Wes Davis | May 07, 2020

Camden — There’s no question that our midcoast communities, and communities all across the planet, are in a time like no other. People are grappling with some pretty scary stuff: Will I catch the coronavirus or lose my job or run out of money? How long will I be juggling the demands of children schooling at home while facing the pressures of my job?  How long will I shelter alone, with no direct human contact?

I believe it is possible to experience something other than — or really more than — the fear that may be gripping us. In my faith tradition, I begin this endeavor with prayer — lifting my heart to God to be filled with the “perfect love” that “casts out fear,” as the Bible puts it. Faith, or a growing understanding of God’s unchanging love, can be a reliable calming influence that eases fear. I am coming to know this divine Love as a constant and continual source of guidance, stability, and reassurance.

One thing that has buoyed my spirits during these trying days has been taking time to pray for our government leaders and public health officials that they feel the strength, support and inspiration to make principled and loving decisions that will bring us into a brighter tomorrow.

My prayers enfold all the health care workers caring for others’ health, even as they might have a sense of uncertainty about their own. And for all the other essential workers selflessly keeping the supply chain going and other critical infrastructure. I’m not sure there are words that can express the comfort which I wish for them, so I will leave it to God to give comfort to those who need it. As divine Love, She surely gives it freely.

Along with the recommendations from public authorities for social distancing and cleanliness, there is another one that shouldn’t be overlooked: to stay calm. It is good to remember that there is an answer. There always has been throughout the progress of time and there always will be. When we’re calm, we’re better able to respond to the spiritual guidance that leads us to do what we need to do and find solutions where only problems were looming.

Jesus would concur with this encouragement to remain calm. When he was appealed to for help with a certain problem from an individual or friends in need, his first response was often, “Fear not.” Christian Scientists believe it was Jesus’ vast spiritual perspective — of God’s present love and goodness that each one of us is inseparable from — that enabled him to quiet fear and to provide healing solutions to the full range of problems besetting this human experience, even those that seemed impossibly hopeless.

Nineteenth Century Christian reformer, Mary Baker Eddy, (and founder of my denomination), frequently used Love as a Biblical synonym for God. She used this name in her adaptation of a much-beloved and comforting Psalm in the Judeo-Christian tradition:

 

PSALM XXIII

[DIVINE LOVE] is my shepherd; I shall not want.

[LOVE] maketh me to lie down in green pastures: [LOVE] leadeth me beside the still waters.

[LOVE] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense]: [LOVE] leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for [LOVE] is with me;

[LOVE'S] rod and [LOVE'S] staff they comfort me.

[LOVE] prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: [LOVE] anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [LOVE] for ever.

 

May goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Camden, is holding online services Sundays at 10 a.m. and an online Wednesday evening testimony meeting at 7 p.m. To join our online services, please visit our website at: cscamden.org/services.

All are welcome!

Wes Davis is a member of the Christian Science Committee on Publication, of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Camden.

 

 

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