The issue of toxic wastes is on the minds of many people these days. This is good if it makes us wiser and more alert about a very challenging problem. But what if it increases fear?
Certainly we need to be very, very wise with toxins. Great care should be taken in disposing of them. But we need not fear them. Christ Jesus tenderly promised his followers through all ages that they need not be harmed by anym poisons. He said, ''If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.'' n1
n1 Mark 16:18.
This is a fully practical promise. When Paul, one of our Lord's faithful followers, was bitten by a viper, he was not in the least harmed.2 In much more recent years, a Christian Scientist who was a professional chemist was saved by the same Christly power from all aftereffects of what would be considered a lethal exposure to potassium cyanide, a highly toxic substance. n3
n2 See Acts 28:1-6.
n3 See A Century of Christian Science Healingm (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1966), pp. 168-172.
Some might say that many more have died from poison than these two who did not. They may feel that these two experiences illustrate either rare physical laws that are not yet understood, or miraculous, divine suspensions of law.
But other thinkers may see here examples of the little-understood and always saving law of God, who is infinite good, and they may yearn to know more of what it means to be a true follower of our sublime Master, Christ Jesus.
Many sincere and loving people stoically accept illnesses and effects of accidents as God's will, which, they assert, we do not yet understand. But can such views bring about consistent, permanent, Christian healing, which Jesus practiced and told us to practice? Are Christians generally proving by their faith in these views that deadly substances cannot harm them?
Christ Jesus said that we are his disciples if we continue in his word and ''know the truth'' that makes free. n4 Two of the most basic, scientific, and eternal truths, revealed in the Bible, are that God is infinite good and that man is God's perfect likeness. This is good news, for it follows from these truths that to God there are no harmful toxins, no dangerous chemicals, and no vulnerable man. Man, as God has truly created him, is forever safe and secure in His care. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''Immortal man, in God's likeness, is safe in divine Science.'' n5 Far from an abstraction, this is practical truth, which, as we accept and understand it, provides healing and protection.
n4 See John 8:31,32.
n5 Miscellaneous Writings,m P. 89.
If, then, God is infinite good, where do the tragic effects of poisons come from? Matter does not have any intrinsic power; it is only a mistaken, universal conviction of such power that seems to make poison harmful. When we ''know the truth,'' we yield our thought meekly to the Christ, to God's eternal healing message, which reveals the perfection of God and man. As this truth takes more and more charge of our thoughts, it governs our lives. It progressively dissolves, through the Christ-power, our long-held beliefs in the potency of so-called material laws and dangerous substances. Then we feel more safe and secure. And what is more, we are more safe and secure. Not theoretically, but actually. The Bible assures us, ''He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.'' n6
n6 Psalms 91:1.
Our understanding of spiritual truth does not, of course, excuse us from using wisdom about supposedly poisonous sub-stances. But it does better equip us to heal whatever evil would confront us and to find appropriate means for disposing of toxic wastes. Bit by bit we'll prove that the Bible is exactly correct when it tenderly promises, ''Safety is of the Lord.'' n7
n7 Proverbs 21:31.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 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. Psalms 91:9-11