It had been an extremely difficult day, unlike any other, and I arrived home with feelings of sadness and deep concern. Shortly after I settled into a chair in the living room, one of our two cats – the one who usually reserved his affection for another member of the family – jumped on my lap, moved up to my chest, and put his front legs around me as though he were giving me a hug. It was a touching moment, particularly because this cat simply didn’t do that kind of thing, at least not in his contacts with me.
I felt this was more than a coincidence. I saw it as a modest but incredibly timely indication of God’s love. It helped shift my thought away from preoccupation with the day’s troubles to remembering that God is infinite, uninterrupted Love itself and that Love hadn’t gone anywhere and could never be absent. It brought an uplift to my thought, and my day.
It’s very common, of course, for people to be helped not only by the affection of a pet but also by someone’s kind word or deed, or timely good humor. We could consider such occurrences as pleasant, random happenings with little if any connection to God. But the Bible’s teachings open up a different view, one that indicates divine law at work in our lives, not mere happenstance. God’s laws consist of fundamental spiritual truths found in the Scriptures – for example, the infiniteness and goodness of God, whose love is unwavering, and God’s perpetual care for man, His spiritual likeness. To embrace this divinely inspired view is to recognize the naturalness of any indication that God is present and caring for His children, and to be grateful for it.
People sometimes characterize the kind of experience I had as being visited by angels sent from God. I didn’t, however, think of my cat as an angel. In the highest and truest sense, angels are God’s illuminating thoughts, counteracting evil and conveying His love for us. To me, that love was manifested in the affection of a dear household pet. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love, no matter what their individualism may be” (p. 298).
When Christ Jesus resisted and rebuked the temptations of the devil in the wilderness, we’re told that the devil left him, “and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him” (Matthew 4:11). In the Bible’s Old Testament the prophet Elijah, at such a low point in his experience that “he requested for himself that he might die,” was provided for and roused to go forward by an “angel of the Lord” (see I Kings 19:1-8).
It’s often at the darkest, most difficult times that we’re most receptive to these divine messages. Yet they’re always present to bless in some appropriate way. Only that which has a divine source – that which comes from above, so to speak – can pierce through the materially based thinking that would drag us down. In order to experience the angelic presence of God’s thoughts, it’s sometimes enough simply to be humbly receptive to Him, to the divine Mind, with a pure desire to feel God’s nearness, to be touched by something higher than what the human mind could ever convey. At other times, more persistent prayer may be needed – a steady listening for God’s thoughts, a firm recognition that there is in spiritual reality no mind or influence apart from the one divine Mind, and an acknowledgment of who we really are. We’re not truly mortals separate from God, but His very expression, the spiritual, immortal reflection of infinite good.
Because divine inspiration is unlimited and always fresh, we can’t project what form it will take. But it’s safe to say that it will come in a way that speaks to our specific needs. Bearing witness to God’s messages, with their uplifting, healing influence, is a heavenly experience that can bring down-to-earth good results.