A divine alert system that protects us

A Christian Science perspective: A knowledge of God and man can alert us to danger and lead us safely away from harm. 

I was walking down a very busy road in a large Middle Eastern city when it felt as if something wasn’t quite right. I wasn’t feeling a sense of danger or fear, but felt that I was being alerted to something. I was on a crowded road, so many people were behind me, but I sensed that I was being specifically followed. I felt an awareness that went beyond a physical assessment of my surroundings.

As a Christian Scientist, I pray daily to gain new and clearer views of God. I’ve learned from my studies that God is good and the origin of all that is real and permanent. That God is good and is the only true power is a consistent theme throughout the Bible. As prophets, kings, and ordinary people understood the presence of good, they discovered that its opposite, evil, became more glaringly obvious to them; it was just so anomalous to the divine. Knowledge of the supremacy of good, God, enabled them to understand the powerlessness and nothingness of evil. To a degree, it was this same divinely inspired sense that alerted me to what I needed to be aware of.

As in the experiences of many in the Bible, this conscious awareness of good becomes an effective alert system for us. It’s based on what the prophet Jeremiah meant when he explained that God is the infinite intelligence in whom there is nothing and no one outside His vision and care: “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:23, 24).

As I held to the idea that God, divine good, is infinite, I was able to calmly turn around to look behind me. At that moment, I saw two men who were aggressively heading toward me. Though I initially tried to physically move away from them, they continued to follow after me. Realizing I could not lose them in this way, I decided to pray.

Prayer, for me, meant understanding that God, as divine Love, is fully engaged to help us. The evidence of the love of God for us is clearly seen in the life and healing works of Christ Jesus. He showed us that it is the will of our Father in heaven to protect and save everyone. With Jesus’ demonstration in mind, I prayed about the two most important laws he taught us to obey: to love God and our neighbor.

Knowing that a consistent practice of these laws leads to Christ healing, Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, “With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 469-470).

From this, I realized that under the supreme law of the one Mind, God, there could only be the powerful divine purpose of good within everyone. Doing harm to another had no law of God to support it, and without divine support, it had no power or reach.

Walking along the road I silently contemplated this divine fact – that with one Father, all my brothers and sisters around the globe are under the same law of God’s care and guidance. I knew this must be true for the men following me – that they, too, had the inherent ability to respond to the guidance that our Father is always imparting to everyone. The idea of one God with His family of sons and daughters deepened within me a firm spiritual conviction, understanding, and love. As I prayed with these spiritual facts, the men stopped following me and went in another direction. I never had any other threatening incident.

That day on the crowded road I felt the divine impulse that protected me in a very tangible way. It continues to encourage me to be alert to the presence and power of God, divine good, within all of us. 

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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