Affirmation: The Christ presence is my guide, my strength, and my comfort.
Comfort might feel like a warm blanket on a cold winter day, a place to relax and feel safe. Sometimes it appears in a stranger’s smile, a cup of tea, a hug, or a kind word of reassurance from a loved one.
Our souls long for this reassurance, to know they are safe, loved, and part of something greater. Ultimately, the longing is to know our oneness with the Christ presence, a guide we can turn to for strength, solace, and help in times of need. We find reassurance as we allow our personalities to melt into our divine being.
As a child I was terrified of the dark and being alone. I was born in Cuba during tumultuous times. A revolution was going on, and all the grown-ups around me were stressed. Being an only child, I spent a lot of time on my own, hugging my teddy bear to feel safe and comforted.
When I was 5 years old, my mother and I left Cuba as refugees on a Pan Am flight to the United States. Missing was my faithful companion, my teddy. It was taken away from me or disappeared—I don’t know what happened to my dear friend amid so much confusion.
I was devastated. I cried and cried as I said good-bye to my father, my grandparents, my home, and everything familiar. The memories are faint, but what I do recall is that, after my meltdown, I started to feel a profound peace. I had a deep knowing from within that everything was going to be all right and that I was being cared for and protected.
Looking back, it is clear to me that what I relied on as a child for comfort and reassurance was none other than the Christ presence, my invisible friend in uncertain times. All along, I was being held in the arms of God.
Turning to Prayer
While I was praying and contemplating what comfort means for me, I received a call from a dear friend and spiritual leader, so I spontaneously asked him his thoughts about comfort.
First, he giggled and said he found comfort in chocolate, a massage, or a day at the spa. He then paused and said my question was very timely, for he had been in deep despair the past few days.
In the midst of his darkness, he turned to prayer, opened his “spiritual toolbox,” and called on God with every breath of his being. What kept coming to him were the words “Be still and know that I am God,” which are framed in his living room in front of his meditation chair.
“Our human tendency is to want to alleviate the pain or try to find a solution. What is needed is to make space for Spirit to do its healing work.”
He found comfort in the power of prayer and in knowing that, even though he was feeling utterly alone, he had sacred people in his life who truly loved him and were praying for him.
He also found comfort by turning his attention to gratitude, despite his feelings of desperation. Underneath it all, he knew he already had all he needed.
There was greater awareness and freedom in truly understanding the meaning of “this, too, shall pass.” He then said, “And I am still here. And the power that carries me through the dark times is still here—always has been and always will be—for there is no place where the love of God is not. And all things work out for good.”
Being the Presence
As a Unity minister, I’ve heard many times that the role of a minister is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” There is great wisdom in these words. When we get too comfortable in our habits and our safe little world, not much spiritual growth seems to happen. Yet when our world is shaken by life’s circumstances, we have a tremendous opportunity for growth.
In The Revealing Word, Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore says, “Christ in you—the true light, which guides every man coming into the world, is, and ever has been, in man.”
It gives me great comfort to know that, regardless of where we are in life’s journey, we are held in the love of God. By being available to each other, we express the living Christ presence. Knowing this brings peace to my soul and empathy for the experiences of others.
I have found that the greatest gift I can give someone who is going through a time of loss or despair is simply to be a listening presence. Our human tendency is to want to alleviate the pain or try to find a solution. What is needed is to make space for Spirit to do its healing work. Just being present and available creates an opening and a safe, comforting space.
The greatest source of comfort lies within us, where we can turn for solace, strength, renewal, and guidance. Knowing the Christ in me is knowing unconditional love and acceptance—closer than my very breath, always guiding and leading me toward my highest good.
Consider this question as you meditate or journal: What are some of the ways you find comfort when you are going through life’s transitions or challenging times?