ONE day I got an urgent call from a friend. Her husband was traveling in another country on business and had called to tell her that he had a severe case of food poisoning. He had wanted her to ask me to pray for him. As I reached out to God in prayer, I knew God as a healing and protecting presence. I felt a great closeness to God that enabled me to understand that although thousands of miles separated us from my friend's husband, God, who is ever-present Love, was right there with him -- and had been all along. I felt confident that since God is Life, all of God's children, each of us as we begin to understand our genuine spiritual identity, express vital, healthy being.
What a relief it is to understand that there is nothing that can separate us from God's loving care, not even war and confusion. As the Apostle Paul puts it in Romans, ``For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.''
The fear that illness and distress can be caused by changes in food, water, and so forth is not a law of God. Since He is All and governs the whole universe harmoniously, we are never out of His kingdom, the ``kingdom of heaven,'' which is our native land as children of God. God's environment is wholly spiritual, and it is always pure and health-giving. No matter how far we travel, we cannot get outside of God's control and care. ``God is at once the centre and circumference of being,'' the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, tells us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
When my friend contacted me next, she said that her husband had reported that the pain and discomfort were greatly lessened. He had been able to continue with his business obligations but had also arranged to leave the country a few days ahead of schedule. His main concern at this point was whether he was strong enough to manage the long and arduous travel home.
I reassured his wife that the trip couldn't put him in a place where God wouldn't be, and I continued to rejoice in the knowledge that God, ever-present Love, would be with him each step of the way. I remembered the Psalmist's assurance of God's presence and care: ``Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.'' I knew we could literally trust this Biblical promise.
Upon his arrival home he telephoned to report jubilantly that during the various stages of the trip he had been able to do all that was necessary, and even to help someone else. He had regained his strength and his appetite and arrived home completely healed.
I remembered a story of a small boy who was lost in a store. When he was reunited with his mother she asked him, ``Weren't you scared?'' ``No,'' he replied, ``because God was there.'' ``How did you know God was there,'' his mother queried. ``Because I was there,'' the boy responded matter-of-factly.
Wherever you are going, you too can know that God is there. In a troubled part of a city, at home alone at night, in an isolated desert, in a war zone, in an airplane soaring above the earth, you can feel God's loving presence. You and I and everyone are God's beloved children, and He will never cease to care for us tenderly. We can yield to this care and feel God's healing presence.