OUR home used to be in a large apartment complex where the tenants shared ownership of the building. Twice a year we met to consider the budget and other issues affecting the building. When my wife and I attended our first meeting, we realized that there was an odd division between the tenants.
Some people lived as though they were under a state of siege. They felt violence lurked everywhere and wanted security mirrors at every corner of the corridors, stronger locks on the doors, more stringent safeguards in the lobby. To them, the city was dangerous.
Others in the building felt quite safe. These tenants enjoyed the city. To them, their home, the corridors, the laundry room, were unusually safe. It was why they had moved into the building. They felt comfortable raising their children there.
My wife and I were members of this latter group. And not just because police records corroborated our neighborhood's status as a low crime area of the city. We tended to think of our home as being in the city of God rather than in an evil place-or a good place. Through our study of Christian Science we became accustomed to acknowledging the presence of God and His control over all the earth, wherever we were.
In studying the Bible, I noticed that the book of Psalms frequently refers to the law of God. I learned that I could depend on this. The consciousness of God's power enforcing divine law is something like walking down the sidewalk with a uniformed police officer at one's side. Many are tempted at times to underestimate the power of divine law. Yet God's law dissolves the motive to do wrong. It prevents violence and erases fear.
But what if one has to pass through a high crime area? Perhaps the only route to school is through a drug-plagued street, or our work schedule forces us to return home late at night. The Bible reassures us. The book of Job, for example, tells us of a path ''which the vulture's eye hath not seen'' (28:7). What is this path? It isn't in any material place. This path is our consciousness of our inseparability from God, divine Principle. Then we know that we are never alone, never outside His powerfu l presence. The power of God becomes so real to us-and to those around us-that evil is neutralized, made nothing because it is nothing.
The prophet Isaiah also spoke about the protection that comes to those who trust in God. He said: ''And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there'' (35:8, 9). Obviously, this is the road we should take! Here we can not be preyed upon.
But can spiritual thinking really be enough to ensure safety? Yes, because it's not just thinking, it's demonstration. Christ Jesus taught his followers how to demonstrate the power of God. This included deliverance from angry mobs, from violent storms, and even from death. The Gospels and the book of Acts relate many encouraging accounts. And what proved effective two thousand years ago is just as relevant and practical today.
Knowing that some wonder about the power of Christ, Truth, to be really effective, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, posed this question in her work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it,- no longer imagine evil to be ever-present and good absent? Truth should not seem so surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem so real as Truth'' (pp. 130-131). Both the Bible and Science and Health show us how to understand and demonstrate this power of good.
Life is far better-and safer-once we have learned something of the power of good. It's well worth investigating now!