THERE was something special about that little lamb of hers! It was just a stuffed animal, grayish and tired-looking, fraying badly at the edges. Yet, when she snuggled down under her comforter with it on those chilly winter evenings, my daughter felt safe. And you know something? As Mom and Dad watched her sleep, they did too!
Her innocent trust helped to remind us all where real safety -- for children and adults -- comes from. In several places in the New Testament, Christ Jesus refers to the heavenly care extended to ``lambs'' and ``sheep.'' There really is no doubt, though, that he's referring to us as the lambs. Luke's Gospel records that once Jesus said to his followers, ``Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.'' And a little later he assured them, ``Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.''
Isn't it this heaven-sent power that keeps the lambs -- us and our children -- safe? If we go forward into each day's activities with the love typical of God's man, we can expect the protective power of God's love to go with us and keep us safe.
God is the source of the power Jesus referred to. And we can prayerfully acknowledge God's power to keep all His ``lambs'' -- each one of us -- on a safe path. Lamb is really a way of thinking of the real innocence of man's God-created selfhood. Since God is all-powerful and all-knowing, the spiritual innocence His children have is far from helpless. God not only creates man; He also keeps him always in His care. That's really where the innocence lies. Since he is always in God's care, man can't wander away from God. ``His delight is in the law of the Lord,'' we read in Psalms.
Even when we're subject to another's negligence, irresponsibility, or bad intent, God's love is more powerful than any human circumstance. We can rely on it for our protection. This places our safety beyond accident or circumstance. What Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, had seen of God's care and protection in her own life enabled her to say with certainty 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.''
Safety belongs to the whole family of man because the whole family belongs to God. The real joy is when everyone is protected, and our prayers can help this happen more often.
A friend's recent experience brings this point home. She has a young, active family. One evening while driving in the family van, she thought at length about patience as a natural quality of man in God's likeness. To those of us who know her, she's a model of patience. But that day she found herself praying to know that her heaven-born patience extended to her driving.
Later, after completing an errand, she stopped at a crosswalk and waited, even though she could see no one in the crosswalk. There was no reason not to drive on, but she obeyed her intuition not to go forward. Suddenly a man ran forward, swooped up a small child, and retreated. My friend had not been able to see the child, and she was grateful that she had been spiritually impelled to express more patience in her driving.
Safety resulting from God's love is a constant theme in the Bible. And since God's love is always with us, we can prayerfully listen for His guidance to keep everyone safe. There's no limitation to this protection.