Safety means different things to different people

The Christian Science Monitor

Safety means different things to different people. It is the same as with one's sense of pleasure. At three the boy loves a wooden horse, at thirteen a bicycle, at twenty-three a motor car or a flying machine. And so it is with safety. The mother's arms are safety to a child, a cellar spells safety to many during a Zeppelin or aeroplane raid, a trench affords to many at the front a sense of safety, and a lifeboat is generally the first thought of safety to those in a torpedoed ship. A casual reader might believe that Noah really found safety in the ark. But this was only the outward manifestation of his true sense of safety, of his perception of the fact that man is spiritual, therefore indestructible.

Spiritual perception, then, is the source of safety, and if this sense of safety should grow ever clearer and clearer, a sense of absolute safety would result. Man is effect and God the cause. No cause ever existed without an effect, else it would be no cause. Mrs. Eddy writes on page 544 of Science and Health: "Matter cannot change the eternal fact that man exists because God exists." This is absolute safety to the one who understands it metaphysically and puts it into practice. To understand it one must understand the relation between God and man, Father and Son, Principle and idea, Mind and its expression. These terms show the inseparability of God and man. Where one is, the other is, and just as one is eternal, the other is eternal. Paul's ringing words come triumphantly to us down the centuries: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." In other words, the mortal sense of things cannot interfere with the fact of man's inseparability from God, or as quoted above, "Matter cannot change the eternal fact that man exists because God exists."

How can this truth be practiced so as to make it available to mankind here and now, at this time of seeming special need of safety? Through practice of the qualities which express God. If right living does not accompany understanding, then the understanding is a hollow sham, not right spiritual understanding at all. It is only by identifying oneself with man who is the reflection of God that one can claim the safety of the Son of God. He who is truthful is protected by the truth he lives, for to be truthful cuts deep down into the human sense of things. It means to exchange material thinking for spiritual understanding, to know what Life is, even when its seeming opposite is rife about one, even though the horrors of the battle field are clamorous of fear and death. It means to know the truth about man's real selfhood as image, idea, and the nothingness of the claim that it is in matter, which can be destroyed.

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March 30, 1918

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