Walking city sidewalks: alone but not afraid
How have you solved the problem of walking in the city? Some people go out only with friends. Others avoid city streets entirely. In both instances, fear of harmful attack is muffled. But it may roar unabated if there comes a time when they need to walk city sidewalks, and they are alone.
An alternative to muzzling insecurity is eliminating it. You can begin destroying fear of attack by recognizing that God is powerfully present everywhere. The Bible reminds us of that. To Jeremiah God stated explicitly that fear is unnecessary. Speaking of those who might stand in the way of the prophet's mission, God said, "Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord." n1
n1 Jeremiah 1:8
This fact of God's continued protection applied to us today, just as it did to Jeremiah, and it applies wherever we are when we glimpse and hold to the eternal law behind this protection. The Bible does not say, "God is with thee everywhere except in the city," or "Be not afraid in the suburbs but beware of urban settings." It says, "Be not afraid . . . for I am with thee . . ." always, everywhere, absolutely.
This fact formed a basis for my growing security while doing some necessary walking in the city last summer. At first I had to confront fear as I walked where muggings are not uncommon. Gradually it became clearer to me that I was never walking outside God's home. I was never actually moving outside God's presence. That would be impossible since God is present everywhere. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, puts it this way: "God being everywhere and all-inclusive, how can He be absent or suggest the absence of omnipresence and omnipotence?How can there be more than all."m n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 287
As I continued my work in the city, it also became clearer to me that I was never meeting anyone else who was not in reality a member of God's creation. Since God is everywhere, nothing could be outside Him. Nothing could be unlike Him. That included all the people I met. I saw beyond the belief that they were mortals capable of expressing passions, appetites, cruelty, or revenge. God is Spirit, not matter. I could see those I passed, then, not as potential muggers, rapists, or victimizers of any kind. They were in fact God's people, God's children. As children of God they must reflect God -- they must be spiritual, pure, loving, and lacking nothing. In the same way I too had a complete identity as God's child. I could not be a victim.
The Bible tells us about this true nature of man. John says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." n3 since, as immortal children of God, we reflect God's character, we must be individuals of integrity, expressing His completeness, love, understanding, purity. Victims and those who victimize are not the facts of God's creation.
n3 I John 3:2
God's universe of goodness is uninvadable and a pure blessing to man. With a perceptive spirituality we can begin to bring this truth to bear on our life and daily movements. Urban byways and those who travel there are not separate regions of reality. Matter does not define God's creation; Deity does. When it's necessary, we can walk city roads unafraid to the degree that we walk in God. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Because thou hast made the Lord, . . . even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee. Psalms 91:9, 10