To understand and feel God's presence

One night my friends and I decided to go to a party we'd heard about. We met at a park so that we could all go to the party together. We were always meeting there—nothing bad had ever happened.

Just after we arrived, we saw that a group of about twenty guys were hitting and kicking someone. I wasn't afraid, but I started to pray as I had learned in Christian Science. "God is always in control," I prayed. I really wanted them to stop and leave that person alone. Then three of my friends recognized the one being beaten up. A few of us went over and tried to convince the gang to stop.

They left that guy alone and began threatening us, so we walked over to our cars and got in. One of them came after us and pulled out a gun. We were in our cars with the doors locked, but this guy started hitting the car I was in with his gun. Then he stood in front of the car and pointed his gun directly at me. I was in the front passenger seat and ducked down below the dash. Instead of being completely terrified, the first thing I thought of was the words "O gentle presence" (from the beginning of Mary Baker Eddy's poem "The Mother's Evening Prayer," Poems, p. 4).

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Here and there and everywhere
February 26, 1996

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