In praying for the safety of individuals around the world, I am reminded of how important it is to bring genuine love for one another to our efforts to be alert to our surroundings.
This doesn’t mean we act naively or close our eyes to what seems to be going on around us. Instead, we can pray to recognize who all of us truly are as God’s loved children. This brings a sense of wisdom, unity, and care to families and neighborhoods, and opens our thought to God’s protecting guidance.
The basis for understanding man’s true identity is found in the Bible. For instance, the prophet Malachi asks: “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10). And in Ephesians, we read, “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (2:19).
I like thinking of everyone as being a “fellow citizen ... of the household of God” – each created spiritually, governed by God, who is divine Love, and naturally expressing and receiving divine good. Everyone, in truth, has “a goodly heritage,” as the Psalmist tells us (Psalms 16:6). We are absolutely inseparable from divine Love, created in its very image. This spiritual fact means that even in dangerous situations, we can pray to feel the presence of our Father-Mother God, and experience safety.
Christ Jesus demonstrated this throughout his healing ministry, such as when he passed safely through an angry crowd that wanted to push him off a hill (see Luke 4:28-31). “He passing through the midst of them went his way,” the Bible tells us.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you” (p. 571). No negative element can touch the man or woman of God’s creating. As we come to understand who we truly are as God’s spiritual, loved, cared-for creation, we experience safety and protection in our lives.
I have seen proof of this in my own experience. At one time I lived in a city neighborhood that was considered a high-crime area. It was important to be alert and aware of one’s surroundings at all times. I prayed daily to see everyone in the community in a more spiritual light – to acknowledge the good that was there, and to know that love is what’s natural and real in each of us, not hatred, suspicion, and fear. I made a point of seeing everyone as a child of God and cherishing this spiritual identity as I came and went.
I usually walked along the main streets and sidewalks, but during daylight hours I would occasionally cut through a small neighborhood park on the way home. One time, in the park, I came across two women who were arguing with each other. One of the women suddenly pivoted toward me and told me to stop walking. She had a knife in her hand and looked very angry. The woman’s companion stepped onto the pathway, blocking my way. I stood there quietly, mentally affirming divine Love’s presence and control over all His creation. I was not sure what was going to happen next. The situation did not look good, but as I let love fill my thought, I felt a sense of peace.
Suddenly, a voice behind me said, “Back off! She’s with me.” I felt someone gently take my elbow and escort me around the other women. It was a young man whom I had often seen sitting on the front steps of a nearby row house. We had never spoken, but I had often nodded or smiled at him as I walked past the house.
I don’t know if he and the two women knew each other, but the women immediately turned aside and the one with the knife put it away. It was the first and last time I ever saw them. When I thanked the man for his help, he thanked me for having greeted him each time I walked by his house.
When we open our thought to God’s infinite love, we naturally see and feel evidence of this protecting love in our lives. I was grateful for having experienced this that day. Love for God, and the love for our fellow man that naturally stems from a heartfelt love for God, who created us all, can be a powerful healing agent in human affairs.