Finding safety, wherever we are

A Christian Science perspective: The infinite goodness of divine Love is never out of range.

While online the other day, I noticed the phrase “danger lurks around every corner” as the headline for many articles and lead-in to websites. Topics covered ranged from climate change concerns to watching out for teen drivers to fear of crime. It’s tempting to feel that danger all around is an increasingly normal way to view life.

But over the years, I’ve found hope and confidence in the idea that we are divinely cared for, as is shown by the healing works of Christ Jesus. Jesus taught that God is ever-present Spirit – wholly good – and that everyone’s right nature is the entirely good, loved, and spiritual child of God. His understanding that divine law alone governs God’s creation enabled Jesus to defuse violent situations, turn people from wrong actions, and even to heal threatening diseases.

Our prayers can affirm the spiritual fact that God has created only good. This helps us see that no form of evil and its attending dangers have divine authority, which is the ultimate authority. Each of us can hear the message of the Christ, God’s all-powerful goodness, inspiring mental poise and fearless thinking, and guiding everyone as needed.

Many times in my own experience, I’ve seen how acknowledging the supremacy of God, good, inspires ideas that enable me to feel and be safe. I draw inspiration from Bible stories of individuals finding protection under trying circumstances. One heartening and instructive experience recounted is of the Apostle Paul, who at this point had become a dedicated follower of Jesus’ teachings. Having been subject to false accusations, he had appealed for a trial in Rome and was on a boat heading there with other prisoners when a fierce storm arose, threatening the lives of everyone (see Acts 27).

But by then Paul had gained an unwavering conviction of God’s guiding light, which had brought him through many dark paths. In this situation, he came forward courageously and said to all the men: “Take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul,... God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you’ ” (New Living Translation).

There’s a way of thinking about angels that can further enlighten us about this experience. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, “Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love ...” and “These angels deliver us from the depths. Truth and Love come nearer in the hour of woe, when strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 298, 567).

Clearly Paul, who had learned to remain keenly alive to directions from God, divine Love, heard the message of Love’s protecting presence right in the midst of this raging storm. Paul’s absolute certainty of the truth of this message led him to encourage others to eat, who hadn’t eaten for days, which comforted and uplifted their spirits. The soldiers on board had intended to kill the prisoners so they wouldn’t escape, but they were stopped from doing so by the commander. Everyone – all 276 on board – made it safely to shore.

No one can be out of range of divine Love’s infinite goodness. The willingness to listen and yield to divine Love’s direction has a healing and protecting impact.

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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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.