Finding sanctuary

NEWS photographs of Latin Americans whose faces are covered to conceal their identities are just one poignant reminder of how many people are seeking sanctuary today. Against tremendous odds they often travel from country to country, hoping to find a new home. Yet instead of leaving, many would rather have banished injustice, turmoil, and oppression from their homeland. And who wouldn't, if he could, find his sanctuary right where he is? No one chooses to run, hide, and live in fear. But more than human courage or commitment to endure wrongs is required to establish permanent justice and security. We see something of what is demanded in the concluding words of the twenty-third psalm: ``And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.'' The security, prosperity, and well-being described in this familiar psalm are founded on the understanding that one can, and actually does, dwell in the house of the Lord. Writing of the spiritual implication of this psalm, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, gives this interpretation of that last line: ``I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [love] for ever.'' 1 It may seem startling to say that our sanctuary is actually our consciousness of God, of Love's power and presence. But to the degree that we understand that this is true and see just how inviolate our sanctuary is, we are able not only to be safe but to be an instrument of peace and justice. Christ Jesus proved this in a remarkable way by passing unseen through an angry crowd that was ready to throw him off a cliff. They were not able to stop him from fulfilling his mission. (See Luke 4:16-30.) Of course, his resurrection was the ultimate proof of his safety in God. And while we acknowledge what a singular triumph that resurrection was, we should not lose sight of the fact that through the resurrection Jesus taught us the basis for our own safety. He taught us that man's spiritual identity, and his actual oneness with God, are his security. While Jesus is the supreme example of this fact, his is not an unapproachable example. Otherwise he would not have called us to follow him. Just before his crucifixion Jesus prayed for all who would follow him. What he said points to the fact that our conscious unity with God is our sanctuary. ``Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.'' 2 How do we bring this oneness to bear on our lives now? Actually this oneness is something God maintains. And we prove it to be our security as we willingly put ourselves under His law, follow His leading, and obey Him. One step in putting ourselves under His law is to consciously reject the fear that evil is power and is able to overthrow God. This step may be a giant one, when opposition to good seems so ever present and ruthless. Yet the fact remains that it is the will of God that all must come to recognize that good, God, is the only power. And despite the blindness of human perception, the spiritually awakened consciousness sees that right now divine Spirit is at work, proving its all-power and removing whatever would oppose it. In the meanwhile, each individual who understands man's unity with divine Spirit can find safety for himself and his family, even in ``the valley of the shadow of death.'' 3 Those who don't face so dramatic a challenge as persecution and death squads may well be inspired to act on behalf of those in need. But the fundamental demand on each of us is to pray and act in such a way as to awaken humankind to the spiritual nature of individual consciousness and life and to man's permanent home in God. 1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 578. 2 John 17:20, 21. 3 Psalms 23:4.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Finding sanctuary
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today