IN one brief period of several weeks there were a number of unfortunate incidents in my family. Our daughter's purse was stolen while she was on vacation. She wasn't carrying much money, but airline tickets and credit cards had to be replaced. Our son's car was stolen and vandalized to the point of being declared a total loss. While awaiting insurance reimbursement, he was driving our car and was rammed by a truck from behind so that our car was also declared a total loss and had to be replaced. We were very grateful our son was protected from major personal injury, but the demand to address our own personal loss -- loss of peace of mind, of joy, of composure -- remained.
It was not a bad thing at all, I reasoned, to lose complacency, apathy, indifference in regard to this whole subject of crime. It was not bad at all to become indignant enough about this imposition on my time, my thought, and my resources to really do something about it. And for me that meant to pray.
I realized in prayer that I couldn't be made to lose my confidence in God's unerring control; that I couldn't be made to lose sight of my own and everyone's true and secure status as the child of God or of the infinite resources with which God endows man. My prayer included an affirmation that my joy doesn't rest in any material thing but in the conviction that man is the loved of God, that he is safe in God's keeping, and that whatever God gives us can never be taken away. God gives such spiritual endowments as love, peace, wisdom, joy, integrity, and wholeness. These are the treasures in heaven that neither moth nor rust can corrupt nor thieves break through and steal, as Christ Jesus taught.1
My conviction that God made neither a criminal nor a victim -- neither a disadvantaged, alienated, drug-enslaved, or deliberately malicious man nor an unalert, careless, indifferent, helpless, or insensitive man -- could not be taken fromme, because it was a genuine, heavenbestowed treasure. In a profound way, affluence doesn't really consist of things that make one vulnerable but of virtues and qualities of character that make one invulnerable.
The needed things, in our family's situation, were replaced, or we were reimbursed. We had too often and in too many ways proved the truth of Mary Baker Eddy's2 words ``Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need''3 to question that this would be so.
The consequent strengthening of my convictions; the blessing that always flows from praying beyond the borders of one's own personal concerns; my greater alertness to be mentally defended, to see that true harmony cannot be invaded -- all these proved invaluable.
There is a universal, divine order that can't be disordered -- a righteousness that God wills, which can't become unrighteousness. There is the true nature of man, expressing the love of God, of divine Love, which can never be hateful or hated. Wholeness and happiness lie in living in accord with the wholly good divine Principle of being, which is God.
Only destructive, selfish thinking or behavior could seem, then, to rob one of what God forever bestows. In fact, such wrong mental states are the only wretchedness. But to lose sight, even temporarily, of man's true status can't alter or destroy that status. In essence, we rob ourselves only if we consent to or participate in what is ungodlike -- unlike divine Love.
The innate worth of every individual of God's creating -- the actual, spiritual identity of each one of us -- abides, and our aim is to act in affirmation of this worth, in defense and cultivation of it, in adherence to it, both for our own sake and that of others.
Our need is to acknowledge and adhere to the spiritual facts of God and man in the face of whatever appears contrary to those facts. So doing, we'll help prove that no one can, in reality, be robbed of good. We'll demonstrate the security that lies in obedience to His law. We'll prove the truth of Mrs. Eddy's statement ``We glean spiritual harvests from our own material losses.''4 We'll come to see that a false sense of things is what needs to be lost and that this loss is gain.
1See Matthew 6:20. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494. 4Retrospection and Introspection, p. 79.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. Proverbs 22:4