TRIPS that lead to the ocean are sheer delight for us inlanders. No wonder my husband and I stopped at a lovely park just at sunset to breathe the cool, damp air and to watch families sail kites and kick soccer balls. When we returned to our van and headed for the motel, I reached for my bag--but it wasn't there! Wallet, keys, checkbook, credit cards and an important letter ready for mailing--gone.
After a moment of shock, we spoke aloud of our trust in God's nearness and His willingness to restore what belonged to us. As we searched areas where the bag might have been tossed, we resolved to reject the alarm that would shut out the recognition that man is uninvadable, the perfect expression of God's being, which is All--really All. As students of Christian Science, we'd had many proofs of God's love and provision so it was natural for us to expect a solution in this situation.
As we approached the police station to report the theft, we recalled a statement we'd read that morning. It's by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She says in her Miscellaneous Writings, "Christian Scientists have a strong race to run, and foes in ambush; but bear in mind that, in the long race, honesty always defeats dishonesty. These words stiffened our resolve to rely completely on God's wisdom and love. We felt His nearness and watchfulness. Anxiety and frustration gav e way to confidence in God's care of us as we thought about this verse from Psalms: "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me. We felt confident that we would recover the bag.
Our first obligation was to reject the false conclusion that theft has no spiritual answer. Accepting losses as inevitable and unrecoverable is inconsistent with Christ Jesus' teaching and example. He taught, Matthew's Gospel records, "I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.
More than ever, as we prayed, we found inspiration in a deeper understanding of God's allness and power, which supports faith in good as ever-present. We felt the peace that accompanies conscious reliance on God, divine Love.
Meetings with business associates the next day went well, and we drove home feeling grateful for God's lovingkindness blessing every facet of our lives. When we checked the telephone answering machine for messages, we heard someone from a police station several miles from the place where we had stopped saying: "A man has turned in your bag. Please call. What undeniable proof of God's readiness to restore (within twenty-four hours) what was rightfully ours!
Everyone can enjoy security under God, divine Mind, because He is all-acting and all-governing. To the degree that we acknowledge His orderly, harmonious universe and realize that all true being is the spiritual manifestation of God, divine intelligence, we will be able to claim exemption from theft or loss of any kind. This was clearly evident when we talked to the man who dis- covered my bag and heard him say: "I was walking my dog and passed a grassy area--saw the bag--walked on. But on second though t I went back, picked it up, found your identification, and called the police. Only a small amount of cash and some postage stamps had been taken from the bag. Everything else was intact.
Every day in our activities, we can discover more and more of God's nearness. Through discovering His unfailing love and care, we find our security and the immediate opportunity we have to experience uninterruptible harmony.