NEWS media reports concerning the bombing of the United States federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, have unwittingly argued that terrorism is unavoidable. As one reporter put it, ''Now, there is no reason to believe we are safe'' (CBS Evening News, April 19, 1995).
There is a reason to believe in safety, however, and it is clearly stated in the Bible. Speaking of those who trust in God and listen for His guidance, the book of Proverbs says, ''Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken'' (3:25, 26).
Terrorists would deprive us of confidence in God as totally good and omnipresent. But we do not need to accept their arguments on the subject. We are under no obligation to believe in, or fear, the work of what President Clinton referred to as ''evil cowards.'' Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, gives us additional cause to reject the influence of such acts when she says specifically in her Miscellaneous Writings, ''Fear is the weapon in the hands of tyrants'' (p. 99). Our prayers can disarm this weapon, support rescue efforts, and help to uncover the perpetrators of the bombing.
We can begin praying by recalling that Christ Jesus taught us to know God as Love. Fear and evil are never sent to anyone by an all-loving God; they are no part of His creation. We disarm them when we recognize that Love cherishes its creation. As Love's ideas, you and I--and all people everywhere--are in truth members of God's family. We are spiritual beings, expressing divine qualities such as goodness, love, and purity. And because God, Mind, governs us, we are never the prey of murderous material thinking.
Evil, whatever form it takes, would argue that God is absent and that we can somehow be cut off from His government. If we accept that to be a fact, we may temporarily lose our sense of His guidance and allow fear to touch our thoughts. At times like this, we need diligently to return to the teachings of Christ Jesus and to revive in ourselves the full consciousness of the ever-presence of God, divine Love.
Sometimes we can do this more readily if we look for any evidences of good we can see, even in the midst of tragedy like the Oklahoma City scene. For example, the many volunteers who showed up as needs were made known surely express something of divine Love's nature. The courage and compassion of the firefighters and others who searched the wrecked building is another illustration. The orderliness of the rescue effort and the ingenuity displayed as it went on are evidence of divine intelligence being expressed.
These and other examples may inspire us to reach a higher level of thought through prayer. Instead of being overwhelmed by the loss, the fear, and the uncertainty, we are assured that God is present in ways that we can perceive humanly. We can confidently turn our thoughts to God's government of His universe and specifically reject the belief that evil could be going on side by side with omnipotent Love. As Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God'' (p. 228).
These words may be easier to read than they are to prove, but prove them we must if we are to support the security of our world. And we can do this. We should give no power--consciously or unconsciously--to any terrorist or other evilly motivated actions; we should not accept such acts as unavoidable or legitimate. Evil is never useful, and never justifiable.
Love, on the other hand, is always present to guide and protect us. This power of God, divine Love, is a refuge for each of us, for our loved ones, our community, and the whole world. And as we claim the presence of Love in our lives each day, we will have a basis for safety that can never be taken from us.
I will fear no evil.