Dwelling in safety
We all want to feel safe, wherever we are. Human security measures, however much they are needed, can’t guarantee safety. But many have found safety through their understanding of God’s ever-present care and guidance.
When my sisters and I were growing up, our mother prayed daily for us, as she had learned to do through her study of Christian Science. Once when I was in high school, she felt a clear intuition that she should pray especially for my well-being. That same day I happened to eat lunch at home instead of in the school cafeteria. On returning to school after lunch, I found I had missed—by only some minutes, apparently—walking into the middle of a student riot, which had started at the entrance I always used and had ended up in the cafeteria. My mother was grateful she had heeded that intuition—and the experience impressed me deeply.
In a very real sense, our safety has to do with where we dwell. But this safe dwelling-place isn’t a particular location. It’s not a neighborhood, a country, a hideaway in the mountains, or a fortified compound. Our safe dwelling is what the Bible calls “the secret place of the most High.” The psalm says: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalms 91:1, 2).
This dwelling, this “secret place,” is the consciousness of our oneness with divine Love. It’s secret, only because it’s not known to the physical senses. But it’s fully known to all who turn to God in prayer and rely on Him with childlike trust and spiritual understanding, something we all have the opportunity to do.
Prayer enables us to turn away from the solid conviction of material sense that we are vulnerable mortals living in a random, violent world, separate from God and the security of His government. Through prayer we can begin to perceive our real, spiritual selfhood and our real relation to God as His offspring.
Our safe dwelling is what the Bible calls “the secret place of the most High.”
In the sanctuary of prayer we see that our safety is already established, because we already live in God, divine Love. We are one with Love, because we are Love’s own image of itself, its infinite self-expression. In Love there can be no danger, no evil or hate. There can’t be any fear in infinite Love, because Love knows only its own goodness. Man, who is the expression of God—and this includes the real individuality of every one of us—knows this goodness and expresses it.
Living in Love means we live in the infinite divine Mind. We are Mind’s spiritual ideas, conceived and governed by Mind. There is no depraved will or agenda in Mind’s allness. The only will is the divine will, Mind fulfilling its own loving purpose.
God is also the divine Principle of all being, maintaining law, order, and righteousness throughout its infinite allness. Nothing unlawful can take place in Principle, no evil plots can develop or come to fruition, because all that develops is the rightness of Principle.
This harmonious, divinely ordered reality of being in which we dwell is the divine Science of our being, which operates effortlessly and supremely, holding us all in constant, secure relation to our loving Father-Mother, God. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered this Science, states succinctly in her book Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, “Immortal man, in God’s likeness, is safe in divine Science” (p. 89).
Prayer opens our thought to our safety in divine Science. We become more acquainted with God, more conscious of dwelling in Him, and more confident of His unfailing care for us.
This spiritual uplift is the coming of Christ to our thought—God’s tender message revealing to us what is spiritually true and bringing this reality to light in tangible ways. By transforming our thoughts, Christ also transforms our lives. Through Christ we experience the safety, joy, and freedom of dwelling in Love. We experience the sheltering arms of divine Principle, and the wise hand of Mind, causing us to be in our right place, doing what’s right for us to do, when it’s right for us to do it.
The 91st Psalm illustrates the human, tangible effects of dwelling in this spiritual consciousness of God’s allness: “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (verses 3, 4).
Under Love’s constant presence and watchful eye, there can be no hidden danger to ensnare us, no malice to confront us. We can never be in the wrong place, or in the right place at the wrong time. Nor can any random act of violence intrude on Principle’s harmonious unfoldment of our day. The spiritual truth of being governs us, each day. It becomes our shield and our strong support, as we become more conscious of truth through prayer.
Mrs. Eddy writes: “How blessed it is to think of you as ‘beneath the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,’ safe in His strength, building on His foundation, and covered from the devourer by divine protection and affection. Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 263).
In the Science of being, safety is the eternal law of divine Love, governing us wherever we may be.
David C. Kennedy