This blog is by colleague, Tim Mitchinson, from Illinois.
By Tim Mitchinson
Once again, our nation grieves the loss of valued individuals – friends, sons, daughters, fellow loved Americans. We are heart-broken over the recent massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
As these families face the days ahead, they will confront feelings that hate has stopped the life and taken away the presence of someone they love dearly. But there is a question we can ask that can help heal the overwhelming sense of loss. That question is, “What can’t death do?”
My wife’s nineteen-year-old brother, Jeff, was killed by a drunk driver. For a year after his tragic death, my wife and her mother read the Bible every night, especially the teachings of Jesus Christ about life being eternal. Jesus raised others from death and even came back from the grave himself. He disarmed death. He proved that even death could not forever annihilate an individual.
My wife and her mother were comforted by Jesus’ words. In one of his discourses, talking about life after death, he said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (See John 10: 27-29.)
One takeaway from this passage that meant much to them, was that a drunk driver did not take their brother/son out of the hand of divine Love. It wasn’t easy, but both my wife and her mother persisted in their prayers until they grew to feel God’s love embracing them — and Jeff. They felt certain — and still do — that Jeff is continuing on in eternal life. They may not know all the particulars of what happens after death, but they are sure that life continues, including the individual life of their beloved family member.
This has allowed them to experience the healing of their broken hearts and even to forgive the drunk driver. They found that death did not have the power to make them bitter, to hate another, or to become paralyzed by grief.
After losing her brother to illness, Christian healer Mary Baker Eddy often questioned and even challenged the power of death to end one’s existence. As she gained a greater sense of the omnipotence of eternal Life, God, as illustrated in the Bible, she found that death was not something to fear, but to triumph over. Following Jesus’ example, she restored many who were on the brink of death back to health through prayer. As an illusion often distorts reality, she saw death as a distortion of man’s eternal, spiritual Life — the life that is never limited to the body. In her monumental work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “In the illusion of death, mortals wake to the knowledge of two facts: (1) that they are not dead; (2) that they have but passed the portals of a new belief.”
Could it be then, that death does not have the power to stop another’s love for us? Could it be that death can never stop love? I think so.
As we sympathize with the families and friends of those killed in Orlando, and join the supportive efforts of individuals all over the world in prayer, we can prove together that hate is not victorious, and that love endures. Furthermore, we show the world that this friendship, comfort, and resiliency not only triumphs over grief and anger, but can also help erase the prejudice, bigotry and madness behind such attacks.
Death cannot end the love we feel for each other. Neither can it arrest the courage, determination and humanity needed to meet hatred with love and forgiveness. It is this love and forgiveness that will disarm hate.
Thomas (Tim) Mitchinson is a self-syndicated columnist writing on the relationship between thought, spirituality and health, and trends in that field. The original article appeared on Evanston Patch. He is also the media spokesman for Christian Science in Illinois. You can follow him at @TimMitchinson on twitter or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.