Finding Comfort in a Frightening World

October 2019

Rev. Elizabeth Longo

Rev. Elizabeth Longo, Unity Minister, Unity of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Daily Word writer

Rev. Elizabeth Longo is a transformational coach and retreat leader based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Learn more about her at elizabethlongo.net.

On making space for Spirit to do its healing work

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 goodbye 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. There was a deep knowing from within that everything was going to be okay 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.

When our world is shaken by life’s circumstances, we have a tremendous opportunity for growth.

As a Unity minister now, I’ve heard many times that the role of the 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 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.

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 the greatest gift I can give someone who is going through a time of loss or despair is to simply 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 space that is comforting.

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.