Reports have indicated that, while the most recent terrorism in the form of biological warfare has not been very widespread in terms of loss of life, it has been tremendously widespread in causing our imaginations to run wild and in causing great fear. There's something unnerving about the malicious intent to spread poison or disease. "Who's next?" keeps us imagining every possible evil scenario.
There's a Bible verse I've used frequently when I've felt overwhelmed by fearful projections: "... (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:4, 5). In fact, I used this Bible verse just a couple of weeks ago when my grandson was sick.
Our daughter called at 10 p.m. Her son was struggling with congestion and coughing, and she asked me to pray with him. I offered to come over. When I arrived 10 minutes later, we spent half an hour singing and praying to feel God's everpresence and omnipotence. My grandson quieted down, climbed into my lap, and told his mom, "I want to spend the night at Grammy's house."
I scooped him up in a blanket, drove home, and tucked him into bed. Then I sat beside his bed to pray some more. I enjoyed the spiritual assurances that were coming to me, but a nagging concern kept threatening to undermine my prayers: "When the morning comes and he's not well enough to go to daycare, who'll take care of him? I have a busy day planned, too!"
Gratefully, I recognized this as an "imagination" exalting itself in opposition to what God was telling me right then of this child's present perfection as the image and likeness - the reflection - of God's eternal perfection. To bring "every thought to the obedience of Christ" was to understand that I wasn't battling with a physical condition. My battle was mental. The foes were the fears that would convince me that God, good, is not all-powerful and that disease has more power than God; that it takes a long time to heal congestion and coughing; that you can't expect this to be healed right away, so you'd better imagine what tomorrow will be like if he's not well by then.
Jesus didn't build in a certain amount of time to heal. He didn't imagine all kinds of contingency plans for how to take care of things. The Gospels contain 41 uses of the word "immediately." Jesus' actions were immediate because of his understanding of God as the only power and presence. God's presence is the everpresence of goodness, health, harmony, peace, and life. Jesus proved this in the immediate healings of leprosy, a withered hand, blindness, fever, and even in the raising of the dead.
To bring my thoughts into line with or obedience to the way Jesus thought meant to stick with the assurances of God's allness that I was feeling, and not to allow any doubt or fear to take my thought away from the fact of my grandson's spiritual perfection. Mary Baker Eddy put it this way in the textbook of Christian Science: "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious - as Life eternally is - can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 495).
It didn't take long that night. I was able to silence all the imaginations and to feel at peace, knowing my grandson as God knows him. I went to bed. We all slept well. When we woke up, he was completely ready to go to daycare.
The imaginations that night don't compare to the massive threat of disease or death. Yet, I'm drawing upon what I learned from facing the smaller forms of fear to discipline my thoughts about threats of the spread of anthrax and other biological poisons.
Think of the powerful effect - the "pulling down of strong holds" of intimidation and terrorism that will occur as we refuse to indulge the fears of biological warfare.