WAY better than tigers

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

Maddie is in sixth grade. Ever since she was little, she has had two special friends - Nightingale and Herschel. They are tigers. Well, not real ones. They're the same size as real tigers, but they're made of bronze, which turns green after it's been outside for a long time. Nightingale and Herschel are green tigers.

They live in New Jersey, on the campus of Princeton University, at the top of the steps in front of the most important building, called Nassau Hall. Nightingale is on one side of the steps. Herschel is on the other. Why do you think they're there? To guard the university and keep it safe.

Even though they aren't real tigers, and can't move or growl, they still give you that really good feeling that you're in a safe place. You can't see their power with your eyes. But you can sure feel it and know it. Maybe it's the university's way of promising everyone who goes to Princeton that they can learn and think without being afraid that something bad will happen. Nightingale and Herschel won't let it.

Imagine if you could have two tigers beside you everywhere you went. You'd probably never be afraid, would you?

Well, guess what? You have something even better than tigers protecting you right now and every single second. You have angels. The Bible says that angels will take good care of you. It says they come from God. It says, "God will command his angels to protect you wherever you go" (Ps. 91:11, Contemporary English Version).

So just what are angels? "Angels are pure thoughts from God...." Right next to that sentence, in the book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, it says, "Thought-angels" (pg. 298).

Wow! You have thought-angels. They're with you all the time. You have "thoughts from God." And there's nothing in the whole universe that's stronger and more helpful than those. Thoughts from God are always here - powerful, uplifting, good, and pure. Thoughts from God protect you WAY better than tigers.

One of the best thought-angels is love. God is constantly telling us that He/She loves us, so there's never any reason to be afraid. God will protect us. Honesty is also a thought-angel from God. So are obedience, gentleness, courage, forgiveness, cheerfulness, and humility. Let them in, and they'll keep you safe.

When you tell yourself the truth about who you are, that's a thought-angel from God, too. You can say: "God is good. And I'm God's child, so I'm good. Who I really am is something you can't see in a mirror. It's something amazingly beautiful, smart, and forever. I'm an awesome thought-form! A special expression of the qualities of God. I can live without being afraid that anything bad will happen ... because God and His mighty thought-angels won't let it!"

What's really cool is that the Bible gives two of God's thought-angels names: Michael and Gabriel. Michael stands for being really strong. Gabriel stands for love always being with you (see pgs. 566-567 in Science and Health). God is Love. So when Michael and Gabriel are beside you - when they're in your thoughts (and there's never a time when they're not!) - that's Love with you.

Now you know why Nightingale and Herschel are so special to Maddie. They remind her of Michael and Gabriel - of God being totally powerful and always with her, protecting and helping her. When she plays sports, goes away for camp, rides horses, or takes the city bus to school, Michael and Gabriel are there by her side. And they're right there with you, too.

When angels visit us, we

do not hear the rustle of

wings, nor feel the feathery

touch of the breast of a dove;

but we know their presence

by the love they create in

our hearts. Oh, may you feel

this touch, - it is not the

clasping of hands, nor a

loved person present; it is

more than this: it is a spiritual idea that lights your path!

Mary Baker Eddy

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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