CHRIST JESUS once said to his disciples: ``Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.''1 This wasn't just beautiful imagery. Jesus' words were certainly helpful instruction for the disciples in viewof the dangers that lay ahead of them,although they may not have realizedthis at the time. The Apostle Paul was able to prove God's care; he came through persecution, stoning, and shipwreck by reliance on divine strength and grace. This points vividly to God's continuing care for all His creation as an ever-present, enveloping power.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, often wroteto newly organized Christian Science churches. Her support and encouragement of members was always evident. The following is an extract from one of these letters: ``Thus founded upon the rock of Christ, when storm and tempest beat against this sure foundation, you, safely sheltered in the strong tower of hope, faith, and Love, are God's nestlings; and He will hide you in His feathers till the storm has passed. Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home.''2
One afternoon not long ago I was reading this statement. Although its beautiful imagery appealed to me very much, I didn't identify with the message at the time, because I didn't feel especially at risk in any way. However, that night I woke to the sound of trees crashing down all around as a result of a hurricane wind that left devastation in its path.
All the lights had gone out, so it wasn't possible to read, but this passage immediately came back to me very clearly, especially the promise ``He will hide you in His feathers till the storm has passed.'' This gave me a focal point for praying both for my household and for everyone else affected. When daylight came we found that our home and the homes and families immediately around us had all escaped without damage. All the trees that came down fell harmlessly on open ground.
Many other people had similar experiences that night, but the point that impressed me was that the way to pray was given to me in advance, although I had no idea at the time how relevant it would prove. To me this didn't call up a picture of a special dispensation from a human-like deity, aware of impending danger and priming me beforehand with suitable protective prayer. Rather, it was the natural sequence of divine Love's universal care for its creation, expressed humanly in exactly the right words and sentiment to meet the particular situation.
The Father-and-son relationship between God and man that Jesus taught is the basic feature of creation. Because the Father is Spirit, as the Bible says, His offspring is actually spiritual, indestructible, and this is our true nature. Man is the image, or expression, of God, divine Love, and not a self-contained material personality always at risk from either familiar or unexpected hazards. Having a conviction of our own real spiritual nature and inseparability from God serves to awaken us to the operation of divine law and protects us from danger.
The more often we experience this protection ourselves, the stronger our understanding of God's constant care. And anyone who has this sense of God's ever-present love and its impartation to man will receive, when they are needed, the ideas that comfort and protect. This in turn makes us more willing to give time and thought to cultivating an understanding of our relationship to God for itsown sake. Nothing is more enriching or progressive.
1Matthew 10:29-31. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 152. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. 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