Thursday, April 25, 2013

Music is therapy

A recent posting titled, “Music therapy makes a difference,” brought to mind a point that I often ponder, namely that existence is more than a biological journey.  The piece points to a child with developmental and cognitive disabilities who was able to respond more effectively to the activities around him when music therapy was applied. 

Through his story, we are able to see that music made a definitely positive difference where medical practices did not.  It also reminds us that music is an ancient form of therapy.  For example, the psalms as recorded in the Bible were musical poetry that soothed, comforted, spiritually uplifted and healed. The 42nd Psalm sings in part, “, “…hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

As I read, I recalled a friend in hospice just prior to passing from our experience.  For years he had been unable to care for himself in any way and was heavily medicated.  In his short spans of consciousness in a nursing home, he was able to bring a kind of humor to those caring for or visiting him.  Now, in hospice, there was no more medication and there was no obvious consciousness  - until music was brought in.  With live music and singing, his eyes opened and a smile appeared.  This joyful indication of a live consciousness appeared whenever the music was present, but not otherwise.

Music is not a drug or a medication.  Yet it is therapeutic. 

Mitchell L. Gaynor, MD, Director of Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the renowned Strang Cancer Prevention Center, writes in his book Sounds of Healing, “Most of us have experienced moments of deep feeling, whether it be exhilaration or sorrow, while hearing a piece of classical music to which we particularly respond. … We shouldn’t then be surprised to learn that sound in its purest form can promote healing at the very deepest levels of being.” (p. 27)

Sounds of Healing introduces very positive healing effects from attention to the whole individual and especially results of chasing away mental blockage to physical healing through engagement with musical sounds. 

Dr. Gaynor relates that his medical training had prepared him to look at and treat only the condition of the physical body.  Yet, as he began his practice, he noticed his patients’ fears and how deeply his patients were searching for a deeper healing experience beyond attention to the body.  About his musical healing work, he writes “My healing work has become as important as my work as an oncologist.  I have come to see myself as a healer who happens to be a doctor, rather than as a doctor who dabbles on the side in what too many people still dismiss as ‘alternative’ medicine.” (p. 25-26)

According to the website for the American Music Therapy Association, those who benefit from music therapy include: “Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.”

Thoughts about what is health care evolve.  In recent times, music therapy reemerged about 1950, but even today is not considered mainstream.  Yet, it is found healing.

It is interesting that Dr. Gaynor identifies methods not presently taught in medical schools as dismissed from the center of health care thinking.  Even though effective, they may not be covered by medical insurance, which may be a missed opportunity since they are far less costly than drugs and bring about elevation of health.

A related form of ancient healing that remains active today is prayer.  Prayer is my primary form of health care.  It has healed me of poor eyesight, a damaged hand, a painful inability to move limbs on one side of my body and other health challenges.  I have found that I can trust God, divine Love, more than other health approaches for healing.

Today we might call our psalms hymns.  One stanza that has lifted me time and again is this from Hymn 153 by Mary Baker Eddy in The Christian Science Hymnal:

 O'er waiting harpstrings of the mind
There sweeps a strain,
Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind
The power of pain”

As Dr. Gaynor is illustrating with his practice, healing the body through mindful and spiritual methods is not just an abstraction, but a practical approach to health and healing.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Spiritual Mindfulness - A Healing Consciousness

Interest about the place of mindfulness in health studies has grown over the past 30 years with much of the research finding that mental and physical health is related to mind. The often studied placebo effect illustrates that health outcomes improve significantly when the patient believes medication has been administered, when no medication has. The effect of mind on health is continually evidenced in medical research. It is an evolving form of caring for health worth watching.

Mindfulness as thought of in modern psychology typically involves three components:

  • Being in complete attention or awareness
  • Being in the present moment
  • Being nonjudgmental and without elaboration or biased interpretation

The idea of mindfulness is to allow one’s thought and consciousness to be free of limitations imposed by educational and social boundaries. It is to be aware of what is presenting itself for consideration such that intelligence is active rather than suppressed or dormant. Perception, conclusion and action can then result from intelligence rather than bias.

For example, centuries ago authorities ‘mindlessly’ rejected the mindful presentation that the earth is a sphere circling the sun rather than the belief that the sun passes over the earth. Sure enough, we see a flat world if we look over a prairie or a large body of water. So, the conclusion that the world is flat has viable, visible evidence. Yet, the higher evidence of the earth as a sphere circling the sun opened a boundary that allowed further discovery. More importantly, the opening of that boundary teaches the vital point that there is always more to understand about infinity.

Foundational work on the topic of mindfulness has been done by Ellen Langer, professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of multiple books and articles including: “Mindfulness,” (A Merloyd Lawrence Book; Perseus, 1989.) In it she translates for general audiences much of her scholarly, award winning research.

Dr. Langer points to some practices which stand in the way of a mindful response:

  • repeating what was done in the past
  • considering the situation at hand similar to others that have been handled
  • limiting thought through belief of limited resources and time
  • not recognizing influence of context

She recognizes that health is one of the areas in which mindful approaches would benefit mankind.

Langer discovered during various experiments that elderly residents of nursing homes had improved health and longevity through increased liveliness, awareness and control of their circumstances. In one experiment, certain residents were given a plant to care for and this group showed definite improvement compared to those who were not given a plant.

An active, caring mind made a positive difference.

Langer also became aware that mind rather than physiology is at work when a placebo brings about a positive result. She writes on page 190 of her book, Mindfulness; “Placebo effects are real and powerful. Who is doing the healing when one takes a placebo? Why can’t we just say to our minds, ‘repair this ailing body?’ Why must we fool our minds in order to enlist our own powers of self-healing?”

Again, mind rather than a pill makes a happy difference.

Such discoveries continue to generate research on understanding how mind heals where attention to a material body was previously the general focus of medical research. The exploration has brought together academics and spiritual thinkers and a closer look at both eastern and western traditions.

My interest in spiritual mindfulness stems from personal experience with spiritual healing. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control shows that almost half of Americans pray for healing and I am one of them. Researchers of the role of the mind in health and the role of spirituality in healthcare like influential advocates Dr.’s Larry Dossey and Herbert Benson are finding that those who engage in spiritual activities have better health results than those who do not. Spirituality and prayer can be a powerful form of mindfulness.

Consider these questions: What role does active spiritual thought have in bringing about health? Does it have real power?

In other words, if mindfulness can bring about improvement in health, is there a mindful awareness of spiritual power that brings to bear a factor beyond the brain, physiology or biology?

For example, The Holy Bible provides readers with these statements:

“I am the Lord that healeth thee.” (Exodus 15:26)
“I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord;” (Jeremiah 30:17)

These powerful affirmations are then illustrated by the healings of various prophets and followers of the Word. Christ Jesus and his students encouraged yielding to a divine power that heals and saves us from limitations in the ever present Now.

My eyesight was corrected by mindful attention to spiritual intelligence. I had worn eyeglasses for over 40 years and required fairly heavy bifocals for reading and driving. After losing my glasses at one point, I obtained a new prescription for trifocals and a statement from the physician saying that my eyesight would continue to decline. It sounded like a sentence, and I knew the sentence did not come from God. I chose to break free from limiting thoughts about the future of my eyesight.

A statement, “There is more Christianity in seeing and hearing spiritually than materially,” awakened my understanding that spiritual power is real and available to heal. Over the next weeks, I began to find that I could remove my glasses frequently for my daily work. Several months later I took the eye exam to renew my drivers’ license and passed without glasses. I have not needed aid for seeing in any way since then.

The statement comes from a book written by spiritual teacher and healer Mary Baker Eddy titled, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. This work has renewed my interest in the teachings of the Bible and shown me a kind of mindfulness that merges Dr. Langer’s findings with spiritual presence.

As Dr. Langer’s work shows, awareness of the resources and truths around us as contrasted with mere acceptance of unhappy or unhealthy circumstances can change not only our outlook, but also our experience. How high can we look for those truths? The possibilities are infinite.

Blog author, George Gregory, loves to talk with others about the power of spiritual consciousness in healing.  He is a Christian Science practitioner and represents Christian Science with the media and legislature in Iowa.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rethinking healthcare through overcoming obesity

Obesity in America is bringing about a rethinking of what is meant by “healthcare.”  The problem seems bigger than the present system of disease-care can handle.  Could a more spiritual approach change the picture?


In August the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their latest report on obesity indicating that again, as in recent years, a third of American adults are obese.  Worldwide, obesity has more than doubled since 1980.  Medical science links a number of diseases to obesity including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. 


What does poverty have to do with it?

Obesity is stated as a condition of excess body fat.  The term obese conjures up pictures of people eating more than is useful for their body condition.  And certainly, we Americans in this fast food nation eat lots.  (Notice the NYC ban on large sugary drinks.)  However, obesity seems as related to too little as well as too much.  Poverty and obesity are linked.


Poverty is a lack of something desired or needed.  It may be seen as a lack of financial support and the great preponderance of obesity occurs where income is low or absent.  


“Part of this [obesity] is due to lower incomes and education, which … also reflects lower public investment in education, public transportation, and recreational facilities.  The bottom line: cheap, unhealthy foods mixed with a sedentary lifestyle has made obesity the new normal in America. And that makes it even harder to change.”  So says Walter Willett who chairs the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health as reported in “Why we’re so fat” by Rachel Pomerance in


Poverty may alternatively be a lack of hope or purpose such as in the story of Jennifer Bonner.  Following an accident involving her brother, Bonner relates a sense of hopelessness.  She compensated for a lack of fulfillment with heavy eating.  From 334 pounds she got herself to a sustainable weight in the 100’s.  The change, in short, was that she fought back against transferring her weighty practices to her newly born daughter.  She found her joie de vivre anew.  Healthy thinking and living are connected.


The need to fight back

"It will take time and resources to win in the fight against obesity," said Dr. William Dietz, director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. "This epidemic is complex and we must continue to change the environments that make it hard to eat healthy, and make it hard for people to be active. By doing this, we not only help today's adults, we also invest in our children and grandchildren, so they won't have to endure this serious and costly health burden."


Healthcare or disease-care?

As reported in, “Dietz believes that beating obesity may even require a recasting of our entire healthcare system, since obesity needs to be prevented rather than treated after it happens. ‘We can't afford to treat obesity and its consequences,’ Dietz says. ‘So this begs the question whether it's time to move from a disease-care system to a real healthcare system.’"


Is the fight with obesity one to be addressed by added resources or are there other approaches?  Isn’t the thought that there are insufficient resources to fight obesity another kind of belief in poverty?


It’s interesting to contemplate what could be meant by a real healthcare system as distinct from a disease-care system.  The disease-care system is familiar.  It starts with disease as a fact and manages it, such that disease is always present until or unless the disease is cured.  By contrast, a healthcare system or wellness system could be one that starts and stays with health, preventing disease.  The focus is not so much on the body as on useful, fulfilling activity.


Models of whole health care are found in communities today in which attention is not so much on health as on caring for each other and the environment.  Although these models may not be the direction of a healthcare system we will see developed, they provide useful insight into alternative ways of thinking about health.


Dan Buettner in his book The Blue Zones illustrates how communities composed of individuals having a sense of purpose and a spiritual connection have a longer than average life span where obesity is not an issue.  Individuals so occupied have a more fulfilling engagement with life and little focus on the physical body.  The result, at least in the communities his team studied, was longer, healthier, happier life.


Buettner also identified diet as a factor.  Yet, the foods taken were more of what was available than selections of items specifically chosen for health.  Diet was not a prime consideration about being healthy, but was generally a result of engagement with the environment and culture.


The individual picture

Let’s narrow the focus from the community to the individual.  What is the picture of the ideal?  The model in a magazine ad?  A star athlete?  Even if I admire the appearance of these individuals, appearance is all I get unless I get to know them.  If I know them, their physical appearance becomes of less importance to me than our relationship.  The individual is more than a biological specimen. 


To me the ideal is the man of God’s creation, namely “the image and likeness of God,” from Genesis 1, verses 26 & 27 in the Bible.  I am not suggesting of thinking of God as having a physical body in a human form and then imagining man as having the same form.  Quite the opposite, I am referring to man with spiritual qualities of goodness such as beauty, strength, liveliness, intelligence, honesty, integrity and spiritual purpose.  Whatever illustrates those qualities is Godlike to me.  The beauty of a happy smile can be more engaging than a statuesque body.  Intelligence solves problems.


Are these qualities in each individual and can they be uncovered if hidden?  I have found that, just as a rose in my garden responds to sunlight, virtually everyone responds to respect and the kind of love that recognizes their inherent good qualities.  I have found that response in prisons, hospitals, workplaces and family life.  To me this Godlike picture or package of good qualities is not just a distant or future possibility but the reality of the individual now.


Plunging beneath the external picture to find the core value is like finding a treasure. 


I ask myself whether I can look at every individual and find elements of value that transcend the labels attached to them, whether it is race, body condition, religion, wealth or something else.  That may be hard if they are culturally diverse from my experience or have practices that I have been taught are undesirable.  Yet, if I am able to look beyond the label to see the fundamental value, the items being labeled become less prominent.  Years ago I worked as an engineer in Puerto Rico with a young woman who would have been labeled obese.  Women were not easily accepted in engineering at that time in the ‘70s and it was not an easy road for her.  However, as her manager at the time, I was able to assign her to teams working out some of the toughest problems.  Her competence as an engineer and a team contributor brought about solutions.  When new teams formed, she was among the most requested talent.  As the labels of sex identity and size became less noticed, her size reduced.  She eventually left the firm to join a Silicon Valley software firm of national prominence where her stature as an engineer grew.


Knowing that each adult and child has something precious to contribute to the whole is a useful way to think of whole health.  Those individual contributions make a purposeful community that fosters good life. 


For me, starting with God and Godlike qualities in His creation is far more helpful than starting with an unhealthy picture.

George Gregory is a Christian Science Practitioner living and blogging in Iowa

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day is a wonderful day for gratitude.

Having served briefly in the U. S. Army many years ago, I had a view of men and women who serve.  They are ordinary people from all walks of cultural, family, educational and employment backgrounds.  They are people with dreams and expectations similar to those of any of us. 

Military training and experience are great equalizers.  Each participant learns to support the team for survival and progress.  The missions are intended for helping others and for the greater good.

The soldiers I have known were not heroic kinds of people or the kind who would specially stand out as caring for others.  Some didn’t even fit easily with others outside of military organization.  However, when the time came to go to bat for others, most reached beyond ordinary response to duty even to the extent of putting their lives on the line.

Christ Jesus was once asked what the greatest commandment is, to which he answered first with the commandment given by Moses centuries earlier: “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind.”  And he added a second that he said is like the first: “love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:36-40)  Jesus was then asked “who is my neighbor?”  His response was the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), a man who cared for another man of a different ethnic background after others had passed him by.  This Samaritan did not just give a passing hand; he took special steps to see that the other man was fully cared for.

Caring for others is divine and a method of illustrating our love of God.

I am not saying that wars and warlike behavior are altruistic.  That is a different discussion.  Yet, our soldiers show a kind of caring that sets a high standard.  Those who we honor on Memorial Day illustrate the depth of their caring.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Healthy Initiative of Value

The Healthiest State Initiative, announced here in Iowa by Governor Branstadt, hopes to rank Iowans as the healthiest in America.   This initiative is moving ahead with the “Start  Somewhere” kick-off walk that was held October 7 at various locations around the state.  Similar initiatives are in process around the country.

To get oriented, I looked at the initiative website, which states: “According to the 2010 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, Iowa is #19 in the nation when it comes to being physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. … It’s not just physical health, though that’s part of it. The World Health Organization tells us that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or illness.”

The overall index for America has fluctuated around 66 out of 100 for the past four years with my state, Iowa, slightly above average at around 67 and the healthiest state, Hawaii at around 71.  It seems that a major change in approach is needed to raise the level of health.

I have been wondering where the program is that actually addresses health in all phases of life.  Health reform discussions centered on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have focused on paying for the ever rising cost of insurance for sick care.  Although that is an important discussion, I’ve waited for the question to arise as to what health is and what it means to care for it.  Doesn’t that question need better answers before trying to make a difference in health reform?

The definition of health used in the initiative transcends the condition of absence of disease or illness to include emotional and mental health as well as physical.  In other words, it is looking beyond the body to include qualities of happiness, contentment, mental sharpness and emotional stability.  These are spiritual and mental qualities.  It makes sense to me.  How can we be considered healthy if we are not feeling whole? 

It is interesting to think of health as linked to our spiritual nature.  I associate spirituality with fundamental intelligence, inspiration, and vitality that reach toward the divine.  For me, spirituality is more than just another phase of health.   It is a starting point for well being.

By addressing spiritual needs, a health care approach can go all the way to the source of sustainable well being.  By also addressing mental and emotional needs, this expansive approach is one that I can feel good about.

I have studied the relationship between health and spirituality for years with useful outcomes such as no longer needing the eyeglasses I had worn for over 40 years.  Now, for the first time in my life, I have a driver’s license with no restriction.  No expense, ready access, healthy results.  For me, spiritual care has become my primary system of health care.

It appears that the Healthiest State Initiative intends to look beyond whether individuals have access to medical insurance toward identifying a range of factors that contribute to well being and improving engagement with them.  The intent of this initiative sounds like a useful direction to me, especially since it includes not only the physical body, but also the spiritual qualities of well being.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


On that Tuesday, 9/11/2001, I was one of many stranded business travelers away from home.  As the morning progressed it became clear that airports were closed for an indefinite time.  Not knowing what might happen next, I yearned to be with my family.  So did everyone else it seemed, and the uncertainty left travelers scrambling for alternatives to air transportation.  I was grateful to find the last rental car available at any of the local rental services for my ten hour drive home.  During the drive, I prayed and reflected on what I was hearing on the radio.

I wondered what could be so troubling to those involved that they were willing to take their own lives and kill other humans in order to damage or destroy the buildings into which they crashed the planes.  The buildings hit were prominent icons of American business, military and government, which indicated to me a deep anger at America.  Radio reports began to identify the perpetrators as Middle Eastern. 

Listening, I realized that I had little meaningful knowledge about the Arab world.  My general awareness of the language, customs and religious views of the region indicated a great difference from my middle class, white American experience.  I wondered too what Arab region people really understood about my world.  From my view the Arab and Western worlds seemed not only distant geographically, but largely unknown to each other.

To me, the 9/11 attack served as a wake up call to genuinely understand the people of the Arab world and their needs and desires as well as the message of the perpetrators.  I wanted to feel and understand our similarities in strong faith, love of family and common human values.

Once home, I found a copy of the Koran and studied portions of it.  I spoke more deeply than my usual business talk with my Pakistani and Iranian colleagues about our families.  I intentionally went to Middle Eastern restaurants to eat falafel, babba ganoush and tabbouleh.  These were no longer just exotic foods, but meals representative of regions and people becoming more visible to me.  Tiny steps, but helpful towards more understanding.

As I look around today, ten years after the event, I see signs of more than a passing curiosity of American and Middle Eastern people trying to understand each other beyond conditions brought about by war or military force.  In the USA there are forums such as inter-religious discussions that bring ideas around Islam, Christianity, and Judaism together for discovery and mutual understanding.  There are a growing number of Middle Eastern restaurants, and for better or worse some of the foods are becoming part of the American fast food nation.  Even controversial reports of banning the wearing of head scarves associated with the Islam faith signals that Americans are wrestling to find public solutions for previously hidden or invisible issues.  Though there are still great gaps of unknowing to overcome, the progress is worth recognizing.

Looking at military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, they now include humanitarian approaches that are changing the methods of military involvement.  We can also point to the Arab Spring as a movement out of oppression for some peoples toward a form of greater self-determination that they are working out. 

To me, the enemy is not a person or a group of people.  The enemy is ignorance, fear, hatred, jealousy, greed, apathy, or anything that suggests the absence of love.  As a Christian and practicing Christian Scientist, I think of the spirit of love and the expressions of real caring as examples of God in our midst.  These expressions transcend nationality or religious creeds though they may be practiced in a quite different way than I have experienced.  Violent or aggressive actions show where the absence of love appears and where love can fill a space.   

Nothing can justify the violence of 9/11.  And, it has become clear that those who perpetrated the aggression are not representative of their region.  However, the attack alerted me to the great gap in mutual understanding between the general populations of the West and the Middle East.  A gap that can be bridged through the transforming spirit of genuine brotherly love.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Safety in Prayer

This spring, the Missouri River on Iowa’s west boundary rose to flood levels and even now, more than a month later, the water is still so high that people in low areas remain evacuated to campsites and elsewhere.  Similar floods or high wind situations are all too common in Iowa.

In the face of news of such occurrences I have often felt helpless.  Should I travel to the region and help?  Should I send money?  What can I do?  At times in my feeling of helplessness, I have done nothing and turned my attention away.

Yet, I have found that there is something that I can do that lifts me out of a sense of helplessness and allows action that meets a need.

I pray.

Prayer may take me to sandbag or to open my dry house to those who have lost homes or to contribute in another way.  But, for me it does something much more.  It ties my understanding to a power beyond me or the pending circumstances and above the flooding water.  It says to me, “You don’t have to be subject to anything except God, divine Love.”

The thoughts in my prayer might go something like this. 

The only thing really going on is God, because God is the only real power.
God is all good.  It is impossible for a perfect, eternal, infinite God to be a source of destruction.  Destructive movement of water, air or ground is not the outcome of God. 
There is more to discern here. I can ask for the capacity to see the evidence of God.
My understanding that God is the one creator and is all powerful means that all that is real is within God’s control.  Real power is with God and not with the water or wind.

My prayer can embrace the statement in Jeremiah 23 that God fills heaven and earth.  No place is left for disaster.

If I look up, spiritward, I can at least find some comforting thoughts about the Iowa floods.  There was plenty warning that flooding may occur.  Preventive measures were taken.  People and their animal friends were moved out of harms way.  Help was present for those affected in the form of shelter and nourishment.  There was and still is actually a vibrant flurry of helpful activity that points to the Godlike quality of caring for our brothers and sisters.

Sure, I have seen firsthand the kind of destruction that can occur with abnormal weather, hurricanes, floods and tornados.  But, I do not attribute the destruction to God and I do not believe that these abnormal conditions are the end of the matter.

Any form of destruction must be the appearance of the absence of God, the result of fear that a power other than God, good, is in control.  Yet, if God is true and is all powerful, omnipotent, then my prayer can announce God to my consciousness.

You may ask what results such prayer has brought about.  First, it frees my thought about the situation to realize that God, or good, is present.  I am no longer responding in fear, but with a better sense of wisdom, knowing that as an individual human I can do little and that as a representative of God, my God-given dominion can make a positive difference in bringing the presence of God into the picture.  It can completely change the circumstance as illustrated by Christ Jesus as he stilled the storm in Matthew 8:24-27 and elseshere in the Bible.

Several years ago while I was at work about 30 miles from home, a number of funnel clouds were sighted in our area and a sudden pressure change across the area brought down trees, power lines and some buildings.  Before I left work, I took time to pray.  Electricity was out including to traffic lights.  Phone service was not available.  Roads including interstate highways were so blocked that policemen in two locations told me that I would not be able to get through to my home for hours and perhaps not until the next day.  Yet, I was able to calmly find a quite unusual route with helpful guidance along the way to find my home safe.  Two trees in our yard were down, but neither had touched the house, my family was safe and neighbors were already beginning to help clear the area.  Although much damage of trees and other houses resulted, no one in the area perished.

What was the effect of prayer?  Anxiety and fear vanished for me through prayer.  It also gave me the conviction that a safe route home was available.  It gave me strength to dive right in to the clean up.  I was very grateful to find family, neighbors and others safe.  I cannot say what else resulted from my prayer.  But I can say that I have been through two major floods in our city, tornadoes and hurricanes and have found not only safety, but improved circumstances following whatever damage had occurred.  I am grateful to God for being God.