'Safety Is No Illusion'
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
THIS was the headline of a newspaper article I saw. I found it so intriguing that I read the story, which was about safety in industrial complexes. Undoubtedly occupational safety was important, I thought, but what about safety from other dangers-the danger of being a failure, for example, of not succeeding in life? Or from life-threatening violence? How can a person be safe from someone who is out to take his or her life? How can we protect ourselves? We all want to be out of the range of evil-untouchable.
Here is a Biblical example of protection from harm. The inhabitants of Nazareth could not stand the greatness of Christ Jesus, and were filled with anger toward him. Luke's Gospel says, "[They] rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way" (4:29, 30). Throughout this experience, Jesus was in absolute safety; his enemies could not apparently see him. Perhaps you could say he was not transmitting mentally anything they could attack. Can you and I approach this example? What is it that puts us out of range of evil?
One's safety has to do with his or her state of mind. If we are not fearful or hateful, this absence of evil thinking is a source of protection to us. Now, we may have good intentions and yet find torturing thoughts encircling us with fear. But they aren't our thoughts; we needn't identify them as such. We can turn on our mental heels, and become conscious that God is present now, here. It's not evil that is present, but God only, and this is because He is infinite. For Jesus the presence and power of God were what was real-not fear and hatred. He lived and worked to show others that his way was the way of absolute safety. And it's a way of life to be enjoyed, full of evidence that God is with us and that He, good, has all power.
Several years ago, my country was facing frequent acts of terrorism. I had taken part in a conference about The Christian Science Monitor, which was founded by the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, in 1908. We had talked about her motives for founding a newspaper. Mrs. Eddy herself said she intended the Monitor ". . . to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent. The object of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind." This is in her book, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany (p. 353). The Science referred to here is the knowledge that God made the universe and created it good.
That knowledge was soon to be my own source of protection. Still completely filled with thoughts from the conference, I got into the train that would take me home. It was dark, and I sat in an empty compartment in an empty car. I thought that in the solitude I could consider the needs of the world. After a while, a young man got into the compartment with me. Suddenly I was taken by a fear so strong that I had only one desire: to get out of the compartment. I looked at the young man, who looked back mockingly. I didn't dare stand up and go past him or reach for the emergency brake; I had the feeling that either action would have bad consequences.
To overcome the fear, I turned to God and asked Him to show me His presence. I prayed in the way that I understood. And suddenly I lost all fear, conscious that I was absolutely safe and protected because God was with me. I was even joyful. I offered the young man the Monitor. He refused it-politely-saying he knew the paper but did not agree with it. A short time later he left the compartment. That was significant, because we were not at a station, and he was obviously not leaving me in order to get off the train. "The Science that operates unspent" is not passive. God's law was protecting both that young man and me.
Learning of God reveals to us His omnipotence in our own lives. Prayer is the "place" in which we are all safe and protected.
You can find in-depth articles about Christian Science in The Christian Science Journal, a monthly magazine.