Ever since my daughter Emily (a fourth-grader) was a toddler, she and I have played a board game called "Sorry!" It's a game that I played when I was a kid, too. Well, we love this game. And the fact is, she usually wins (which makes it all the more fun for me!).
Basically, the game involves getting your playing pieces safely from "Start" to "Home" by moving them around the board. The place your pieces pass through right before getting home is called the "Safety Zone." When your pieces are in this zone, you can't be threatened by your opponent. You are off limits. Out of danger. You're safe!
One of the things that we really like about this game is that it reminds us of something Emily learns in Sunday School. My daughter and I love to think of ourselves (and her mom and everybody else) as living in a spiritual safety zone, in the care of God. This is the safety zone - the ever-presence - of divine Love.
Christian Science is teaching us that this is where we truly do live. The Bible says we're made in God's image and likeness. That means we're spiritual because God is Spirit, perfect because God is perfect. Christ Jesus showed that God is our Mother as well as our Father. We are all the loved children of God. He, She, constantly watches over us, keeping us safe.
When I think of my daughter, I always affirm to myself the spiritual fact that she is God's perfect child, now and forever in the safety zone of Spirit. And then I think of this Bible verse from Deuteronomy: "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders" (33:12). Sometimes I like to paraphrase this a bit, to make it specific for Emily. When you pray, you can do the same thing for yourself or for someone you love - or for everybody in general.
I might affirm: "My daughter is the beloved of the Lord. She dwells in His safety zone; the Lord will cover her all the day long, and she will always be between His shoulders."
Someone I know, for whom this passage means much, paints a lovely word picture. She says the verse makes her think of the mother love a swan has for her cygnets, all huddled on her back safe and warm as she swims along. Talk about being protected and loved! That is one way you can think of your own relationship to God.
Nothing could make me happier as a parent than to be sure that my daughter is learning to think of herself - and others - as spiritual; that she knows that God's creation can't be touched by evil; that she knows that God's angels, thoughts from Him, guard her day and night. As another one of our favorite Bible passages says, "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (Ps. 91:10, 11).
The textbook of Christian Science, written by Mary Baker Eddy - "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" - describes angels in one place simply as "God's divine messages" (Pg. 566). They are infinite in number, reminders of what's true about us and how we relate to God. Here's an example of an angel message: "God is here with me, and I'm safe."
Science and Health explains that the biblical depictions of two angels, Michael and Gabriel, show God's constant care. "These angels deliver us from the depths," we read on Page 567. They're invisible thoughts, but Michael and Gabriel go with my daughter wherever she goes. I'll tell you, they're the best assurance a parent could have. They represent God as He truly is - divine Truth and Love, providing complete protection, day and night.
Our family has seen the practical power of listening for God's angel thoughts of protection and healing. My daughter has been free from illness and safe during gymnastics and horseback riding activities. She and her mom were delivered from a terrorizing situation in which they were held at gunpoint on a Manhattan subway.
We have begun to learn together that the safety zone of Spirit is not a physical place; it's the supreme power of God! This power is always at hand, ready to be found active in your life and in the lives of those you love, guarding, healing, and delivering from harm.