The calls were infrequent but disturbing. There would be obscene remarks or a chilling silence when I said ''hello.'' Occasionally a disarmingly friendly voice would say, ''Remember me? We met at . . . ,'' but I had never been there and had no idea who was calling.
There was no set pattern to the calls, so I never knew what to expect when I picked up the phone. No truly permanent solution to the problem appeared as long as I reacted with anger or fear, or tried to deal with the situation on a purely human level. Freedom came through prayer - through understanding that God alone governs man and that true peace and security come from Him.
When I realized that I was forever perfectly safe in the Father's care and that nothing but good could touch my real being because God is good and good, in reality, is all, I began to relax and to take the calls in stride. I would answer the phone with a loving tone and simply hang up if the call was not legitimate. Instead of slamming down the receiver and mulling over the situation with indignation, I would quietly affirm that God, infinite Love, was expressing Himself in man, and that both the caller and I were governed by Love.
The words of a hymn frequently came to mind: Speak gently, it is better far To rule by love than fear; Speak gently, let no harsh word mar The good we may do here. Speak gently to the erring ones, They must have toiled in vain; Perchance unkindness made them so; O win them back again. Speak gently, 'tis a little thing, Dropped in the heart's deep well; The good, the joy that it may bring, Eternity shall tell. N1
n1 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 315.
Whether a call came or not, I pondered the true, spiritual nature of man made in the image of God, as described in Scripture. Refusing to accept as valid any qualities but those derived from the Father, I strove to identify all individuals as complete and satisfied, pure and loving.
I rejoiced in the Psalmist's declaration ''Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.'' n2 I knew that I truly did love God's law of peace and well-being for all, and that there could be no penalty for relying exclusively on Him. Before long the calls ceased, and they have never recurred.
n2 Psalms 119:165.
We never have to take offense at what the carnal mind presents, for its concept of man as a mortal victim or victimizer is entirely false. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''We may well be perplexed at human fear; and still more astounded at hatred, which lifts its hydra head, showing its horns in the many inventions of evil. But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?'' n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 563.
Malice, hate, sensualism, are no part of God's creation, and they have no power to control anyone, anywhere, unless we honor them as gods - make them into something they really aren't.
Understanding the truth of man's spiritual nature can be a powerful alterative in human affairs, as Christ Jesus proved through his healing works. The Master demonstrated for all time that infinite Love is omnipotent, and that man, in reality, is forever inseparable from his creator, expressing exclusively His entirely good nature.
Immorality has no actual hold on anyone, because it is no part of man's real being. Knowing this spiritual fact, we can readily obey the Master's charge ''Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.'' n4
n4 Matthew 5:44.
The good, the joy that it may bring,
Eternity shall tell. DAILY BIBLE VERSE If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. I John 4:12