Images of helpless women and children seeking refuge in schools, or lying injured in hospitals while artillery, bombs, and rockets explode around them leave those of us watching them on the nightly news saddened, despairing of being able to help what appears to be a hopeless situation.
Yet there is always something we can do. The Holy Bible points the way, and Christian Science reveals how we can help make a difference. An account in the Bible comes to mind. It is of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, who were driven into the wilderness to fend for themselves (see Genesis 21:9-20). They ran out of food and water, and Hagar separated herself from her son so she wouldn’t have to watch him die. But right there, in the middle of the wilderness, with no visible means of survival, an angel of God was sent to Hagar: “[A]nd the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is” (Genesis 21:17). The account goes on to say that Hagar’s eyes were opened and she saw a well of water, which enabled them to survive.
Christian Science teaches that it is God’s pure, complete love and care for every one of His children that breaks through the picture of hopelessness being communicated by the physical senses. In the Christian Science textbook, the term “angels” is defined as “God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 581). Irrespective of what our physical senses tell us, the angels of God’s presence are ever with us, revealing the protecting, saving power of divine Love as always at hand to comfort and guard us.
The really wonderful thing about this divine activity, is that it’s available right now to all of us, and our acknowledgment of it is not only able to bless us, but everyone we are cherishing in our thoughts. The founder of The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: “Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 210).
What are these “good thoughts”? What differentiates them from mere wishing or positive thinking?
Good thoughts are the spiritual ideas that come through prayer, the spiritual intuitions and understanding that God is infinite, ever-present Love; that He creates man in His image and likeness and His children can never be separated from Him for an instant; they are never subject to conditions that could hurt, harm, or destroy them.
These spiritual facts are not wishful thinking or dreams. When we pray to perceive these affirming truths, thought is lifted to a level of spiritual understanding where we know that God is All, and there really is none else beside Him; there is nothing capable of interfering with His expression of life and love in all His creation. This understanding is effective, enabling us to see through what the physical senses are presenting. Right where danger and destruction appear to be, we can experience the security, peace, and protection divine Love is always providing, and can see that God’s presence and love are embracing everyone.
Next time we’re presented with images of war and innocent people being harmed, we have the opportunity to step up, make a difference, and lend our good thoughts and prayers to recognizing God’s government and control over all the earth, affirming the safety and security of all His children, everywhere.