One day I was alone in the antique store I owned in New York City when five young men walked in. There had recently been a number of robberies in my neighborhood, and the police had advised local business owners on how to identify a potential robbery situation. The behavior of these men was just as the police had described. It seemed they were positioning themselves in my store for a theft.
I decided not to see this as a frightening situation. That might seem counterintuitive, but my basis for this choice was a spiritual conviction I have gained that turning one’s thought to God and our relation to Him can have a very practical impact in times of need.
In this case a familiar passage from the Bible came to me. Saint Paul said: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). His words suggest to me that we are always safe because we are always enveloped in God, divine Love.
I also thought of the following idea from The Christian Science Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy: “Everything in God’s universe expresses Him” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 331). That “everything” includes each one of us, as God’s spiritual creations. What a comforting thought to know that in spiritual reality, everyone is an expression of the Almighty God – an all-loving God.
I saw that from this spiritual perspective, a desire to do wrong was not in keeping with the nature of these young men. I silently prayed that as children of God, honesty, love, intelligence, and kindness were inherent in their real nature. This prayer allowed me to listen for the wisdom of the divine Mind, God, which is immediately available to all of us. Over many years, I’ve found that acknowledging God’s presence helps overcome the fear that would keep us from discerning inspiration and ideas always coming to us from our divine source.
Then it came to me that these young men might be interested to learn about a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty terra-cotta warrior I had in the store. So I went over to the man who seemed to be the leader and stood shoulder to shoulder with him. I asked with a big smile on my face, “Do you realize what you’re looking at?” Surprised, he asked me to tell him. He became so engrossed in my story that he called for the others to come listen, too.
When I was done, he thanked me and said they were leaving. I told them they were welcome to come back anytime to learn more about these wonderful pieces.
It seemed clear to me that a potential crisis had been averted, but more important, I understood more clearly that we are all created to do right, not wrong, and that we are safe in God’s love.
This article was adapted from the July 6, 2017, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.