WHEREVER our particular activities take us, whether into areas designated as ``safe'' or ``dangerous,'' it is important to our peace of mind and freedom of action that we understand what really constitutes individual safety. For centuries, people in dangerous situations have turned to the Bible for reassuring promises of God's protecting care. One of the most comforting and best-loved promises is the first verse of Psalm ninety-one: ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.''
Many derive from this psalm a feeling of comfort and safety. But in these times of increased violence one needs to have more than just a comfortable feeling about his well-being; he needs to know beyond a doubt that he can be safe, wherever he happens to be.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel felt safe in the lions' den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless.''1
The five physical senses tell us that we are subject to the material conditions surrounding us, even to other people who can be irresponsible, dangerous. But from the Bible we can learn that God, perfect Love, is the one infinite supreme power and that man is the beloved offspring of his Maker, never for a moment separated from God's all-encompassing care, and neither the victim nor the perpetrator of violent acts. This God-created man is the true selfhood of each of us. The demand is to realize clearly what is true of God and man, despite appearances that would contradict that truth.
Christ Jesus proved God's care for man even when an angry mob led him to the top of a hill with the violent intent of throwing him off. We read, ``But he passing through the midst of them went his way.''2
Jesus fully realized the inseparability of man from God. He said, ``He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone.''3 The Way-shower knew that our real being eternally lives in harmony.
Because our true selfhood is inseparable from the almighty Father, there's a very profound sense in which we can say that safety isn't dependent upon where we are. Truly, our deepest need is to come to see more and more clearly our unity with God, with divine Life and Love -- and then strive to conform our thoughts and deeds to the divine standard of integrity and goodness. God's child is never, for even a second, deprived of his Father's loving care, never out of ``the secret place'' of spiritual security. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, ``In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea.''4 But to make this spiritual truth practical, we have to claim our divine sonship and express it in Christian living.
What if our job, or some other obligation, makes it necessary for us to go into a dangerous, crime-ridden part of a community? Or what if we live there? Can we expect to be protected? We never have to give way to fear. As long as we abide through prayer in the consciousness of divine Love's presence, we will feel the constant care of the Father.
A practical understanding of man's unity with God is available for all. Through the study of Christian Science one learns those spiritual truths that empower him to conduct his life without crippling fear and uncertainty. Through prayer and Christlike living we can gain the wonderful assurance of safety wherever we happen to be.
1Science and Health, p. 514. 2Luke 4:30. 3John 8:29. 4Science and Health, p. 476.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12