AFTER listening to intensive coverage of the Middle East crisis, I felt like a battleground myself, with a war going on inside my thoughts. Our leaders, their leaders -- what was right, what was wrong? All these ``facts'' poured into our ears, the technology and weaponry involved, the statistics of destruction, the probing of centuries of Mideast strife. How do you deal with the facts of such a nightmare? I turned the television set off and sat quietly to pray. In a moment I remembered something written by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence.'' And I thought of the words of Christ Jesus' found in John's Gospel: ``God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.''
I realized that I needed to reason from the reality of spiritual existence. Starting anywhere else would be like leaving God out of His own universe! I began to pray very simply: ``Dear God, Your universe of Spirit is totally good. No evil can invade Your universe. No power exists that can destroy or disrupt Your creation, the only reality.'' I saw that God, divine Life, can never be destroyed, nor can any of God's ideas! This helped me to feel calm again.
A friend once told me of a Christian Scientist who was required to travel in and out of Europe during World War II. When asked if he'd been fearful of U-boats, he answered -- with the confidence of someone who understood that God, good, had created all -- that he lived in the universe of Spirit, where there could be no U-boats or any other destructive elements. He had confidence that he could claim God's protection and have safe passage -- and his experience proved that his trust in God was well founded !
The book A Century of Christian Science Healing includes an account by a young girl who had been held in a prisoner-of-war camp. She had been earnestly studying the Bible and a copy of Science and Health she had been given, when a clear conviction came that a spiritual idea of God could never be imprisoned. She picked up her few belongings and walked out of the camp in broad daylight -- and no one saw her leave.
Many of the towns and villages Christ Jesus visited can still be seen on maps of the area today. But no matter where he walked, he could fulfill his divine mission because he constantly served God, dwelling always in the universe of Spirit.
In the Bible the ninety-first Psalm promises: ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.'' In truth we all live in that totally protected dwelling place of God's allness.
Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health: ``It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established.''
By understanding more clearly the spiritual fact that we and all mankind do live in God's universe -- untouched by hatred, injustice, tyranny, or destructive technology -- we can help to establish and experience the protection of God's kingdom on earth.
The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.